Have you always wanted a Lamborghini but could never justify more than a Golf? Well, Swedish company SoundRacer has just what you need. It promises to make any car with a cigarette lighter and FM radio sound like a V-8 or V-10 with a plug-and-play solution.
The system uses an FM transmitter to pump rpm-matched sound over the car's audio system, presenting a convincing facsimile of a brawny V-10 or V-8 engine sound to the cabin occupants.
A sort of fun and early branch from the technology being investigated more seriously for hybrids and electric cars, the SoundRacer system is purely for entertainment value.
It does, however, show just how easy it might be to adapt to cars like the Toyota Prius, Mercedes S400 Hybrid and Tesla Roadster--all of which can be so quiet that they're actually a danger to pedestrians. All that needs adding is a sufficient external sound system and you have a convenient, easily understood signal that a car is approaching.
And again, there'll be some entertainment value. Imagine the perfectly calibrated sound of a Ferrari 250 GTB coming up behind you, sending chills up your spine--only to spin around trying to catch a glimpse and get an eyeful of a Fusion Hybrid in EV mode. Or instead of a Ferrari, imagine an air-cooled flat six like those in the Porsche Evolution Competition. Or even a Hemi V-8 with a big, ugly cam. The sky is the limit.
For now, however, SoundRacer is offering a single unit that can imitate either generic V-8 or a V-10 engines, though the V-10 sounds suspiciously Lambo-like to these ears. The SoundRacer also functions as a standard FM transmitter for MP3 players equipped with a 3.5 mm audio jack. It's available via the web at the link below.