Ford Believes Fake Engine Noises Will Save Fuel

Ford Believes Fake Engine Noises Will Save Fuel

Ford has filed a patent to use fake engine noises in hopes of saving fuel.

How does that even make sense? Well, the patent itself is for “increasing the number of cylinders in an internal combustion engine in a virtual fashion,” but essentially it’s a device that generates “engine noise at a time period between two directly successive ignition events of an internal combustion engine.” In other words, Ford hopes that by making its smaller engines sound louder, that drivers will shift earlier instead of revving up their engines and wasting gas.

Take the company’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine for example. Although it’s built to have a balance between performance and fuel efficiency, owners may not be getting the best fuel economy by continuously driving in a higher RPM band than intended.

SEE ALSO: Ford Straps EcoBoost Power to Skateboard, Blender in New Ads

The American automaker has found that many drivers “shift by ear” rather than watching the tachometer, and since these smaller engines make less noise, ideal shift points are being missed. This particular patent will virtually increase the cylinder count, making the smaller engine sound larger with artificial noises in hopes that drivers shift sooner.

The technology could be used to virtually increase the cylinder count two- or three fold and Ford believes it will be most beneficial on its smaller turbocharged two- and three-cylinder engines with manual transmissions.

[Source: USPTO]

Discuss this story on our Ford Fiesta Forum

  • J_in_TX

    Just put a shift light in. Geeez.

  • earl

    this is just dumb… fewer and fewer manuals anyway.
    and the owners will bring it to the repair shop cause it seems underpowered .

  • smartacus

    The very last line was the most important: two- and three-cylinder engines.
    -FORD got a parallel twin going on? Is it a 360- 180- or 90-degree crank?

  • Nancy Disengers

    probably has that, my focus 2.0L does.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Thank you, Ford for insulting my intelligence.

  • Bug S Bunny

    This would do just the opposite for me, I would love the sound of a larger engine knowing full well that there is only a three-cylinder under the hood and it’s getting three cylinder mileage.

  • Yal100

    I’m thinking a heads up tac display with a shift light that is adaptable from fuel economy to performance would be better than this nonsense 🙂

  • Mike McCurry

    That’s strange my v8 Ram 1-ton and my v8 GMC Denali half ton already sound like a v8. Oh yeah, because they are. Life long Ford truck guy but will not be getting a v6 Ford truck. The switch was pretty painless. I actually like my Ram and GMC trucks very much.

  • thedad

    They pipe in engine noise on my ecoboost F150 so it sounds like a V8. REALLY annoying!
    You wouldnt hear the engine normally so they pipe in this fake noise…you can kill it by disconnecting a couple wires feeding into the infotainment system…found that on an owners ersally forum so its not universally loved.

  • timothyhood

    Not really sure how someone who has a Ram and GMC can call himself a “lifelong Ford” truck guy, but whatever.

  • timothyhood

    All this griping about this patent (which we don’t know if it will ever see use in production) and people are missing the BIG PICTURE here:

    Clearly Ford is committed to continuing manual transmissions for the foreseeable future, otherwise, why would they need to try to get people to shift sooner for better fuel economy? In this age where manuals are dropping like flies in a Raid factory, real auto enthusiasts (the only ones who would complain about this fake noise) should be giving Ford the thumbs up for continuing to make a manual transmission an option.

  • The_Fast_and_Furious_Gunrunner

    Many new cars, even those with automatic transmissions, have paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and people can delay a shift with those just as easily as with a manually shifted standard transmission.

    I’m continually amazed by the ingenuity of automobile manufacturers. I’ll bet this was devised by the international arm of the Blue Oval rather than by their domestic branch.

  • jimbo124816

    Maybe that’s why my Ford Fiesta was sold to me as having a 16 cylinder, twin turbo. Do you suppose they pulled a fast one on me. And that 250 MPH speedometer seems to hit 130 on the way to church.

  • Skye

    Tesla take note

  • zoomzoomjeff

    How about just an artificially lower red-line?

  • Isend2C

    a Cold Air intake will make the car louder and allow the engine to breath freer… basically better in every way…

  • vm0303

    sounds like a decent idea. It gives feedback to the driver but does not distract the eyes from the road