Electric Exhaust Note Coming

It looks like gasoline and diesel vehicle will also benefit from a synthetic or fake exhaust note as already found on some EVs.

Tenneco announced during the Frankfurt show a new dimension in delivering signature exhaust sounds for vehicles, the Tenneco Software Based Signature Sound System.

This acoustic technology is said to provide custom designed exhaust tones – ranging from comfort to sporty – by enhancing the sound generated by the engine to better support the vehicle’s brand image.

“As vehicle manufacturers develop engine strategies to meet stringent fuel economy and CO2 emissions targets, the ability to differentiate that vehicle’s sound can be compromised,” said Tim Jackson, executive vice president, technology, strategy and business development, Tenneco. “Our sound system demonstrates how we can provide our customers with enabling technologies that meet their regulatory targets, and at the same time, use our technology to help to enhance their vehicle’s image and brand with a signature sound.”

The signature sound system features a combined audio controller and amplifier module and a specially designed plug-in loudspeaker. The loudspeaker produces sound near the vehicle tailpipe where it mixes with the sound created by the engine, resulting in the desired signature sound characteristic.

According to Tenneco, the loudspeaker does not require a direct connection to the exhaust system, which helps to maximize vibration decoupling and thermal isolation.

The vehicle’s signature sound is created through the use of a proprietary electronic signal processing system, which can be programmed to meet the requirements of a specific vehicle or brand.

Based on the vehicle’s speed, gear in use, engine RPM, and other data, the audio controller generates an enhanced exhaust sound signal which is then produced through the tailpipe loudspeaker. The unique signal processing software optimizes the sound profile to achieve the desired signature sound characteristics both outside the vehicle and for passengers.

“Tenneco’s extensive experience in acoustics and predictive modeling has enabled us to develop software to create real sound, in real time, from CAE calculations based on powertrain system data” said Sebastian Stücker, Tenneco’s supervisor of acoustic development and sound design. “Additionally, based on our extensive design and validation process, we’re able to limit the number of prototypes, which results in cost savings and shorter time to production.”

Tenneco said its Software Based Signature Sound System is applicable for diesel, gasoline, electric and hybrid vehicles and is currently being tested with several global OEMs.

Engineering and validation is conducted at Tenneco’s Global Emissions Technical Centers in Edenkoben, Germany and Grass Lake, Michigan.