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The Future Of Automotive Tuning

Published on October 9, 2012 under Humble Mechanic

Years ago tuning a car was simple. More air into the engine meant you could add more fuel. The more air and more fuel, the faster the car would go. Simple right? Doing things like

  • Adding different air intakes
  • Changing exhausts
  • modifying internal engine parts (like cam shafts)
  • Adding forced induction in the form of superchargers or turbochargers

They were all meant to move more air into and out of the engine. The best part was, it worked.

Today those same modifications are still considered “go fast” parts. There is one component that is the biggest influence on performance. The car’s ECM. Tuning the car’s engine computer is the way that we can get the best increase in performance at the lowest price. Now, nothing about what I have said is futuristic at all. That is the here and now.

So what will the future look like. Well, first let’s remember that tuning is not just going fast. It is about the over all drive. The feel of the road, the sound of the exhaust, or the full range of a car’s stereo. So here is the future. The “Soundaktor”. Think of this as an engine noise tuner. This is a video I shot last week. We activated the “Soundaktor” with the scan tool to check out the full range.

Sounds cool doesn’t it? Many people think that it is a gimmick. That it is not really “tuning”. This is not the first time VW has had something like this. The 2.0FSI GTI had a “noise pipe” that was used to tune the sound of the GTI. I happen to love the sound of the GTI. 🙂

VW does not stand alone when it comes to advanced audio tuning. BMW, Lexus, and Porsche all use some type of sound tuning. BMW even plays it though the car’s stereo.

So what will the future look like? Will we keep up with the advanced sound tuning and pumping in artificial sound? I think so. I think car manufacturers will continue to fine tune the sound inside the car. Maybe we can even get rid of wind noise. Now we are talking.

So here are my 2 questions to you

  1. What will the future of tuning look like?
  2. Do you think that tuning the sound with something like a Soundaktor is cheating?

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4 Comments

  1. Pat McCloud

    I don’t think it is cheating, when done to that level. With how much quieter new cars are, they need to do something for the people that actually want to hear the engine in their car.

    That being said, as long as it is just enhancing or allowing you to hear the engine, it is good. If they try to make the engine sound like something it isn’t, I would say that would be crossing the line into cheating.

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