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The Roar is Back

When gas prices shot up in the 70s, it was the death of muscle cars with their throaty roars, signifying the cars’ power. In their place came whines of fuel-efficiency or worse, the hum of electric motors. Not anymore: muscle cars are back, with their loud vrooms. Except that now, the noise is fake — digital noise-makers fed into pipes or speakers to create a rumble. Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Lexus and more have all used “enhanced” sounds to make their cars sound more beefy. BMW even pumps recordings of engine noises through car stereo systems. “It’s a mind-trick,” grumbles Mike Rhynard, 41, past president of the Denver Mustang Club. “It’s something it’s not. And no one wants to be deceived.” (RC/Washington Post) ...Coming on next year’s models: an extra-cost “quiet mode” switch.
Original Publication Date: 25 January 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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