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Old 10-09-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
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Ford Puts Engine Roar Back into Refined Focus ST Cabin


For Ford drivers, life in the fast lane has become life in the quiet lane as engineers raise the bar for refinement by cutting noise and improving soundproofing.

However, for hot hatch drivers, engine roar is an integral part of the driving experience, and Ford engineers have come up with a unique electronically controlled solution that delivers a sporty soundtrack or a more peaceful journey, depending on driver inputs.

“Focus ST drivers want to hear the engine sing when they put their foot on the gas,” said Bjoern Boettcher, Ford of Europe’s vehicle sound quality expert. “Our cars are engineered to be quiet inside the cockpit, so we have to pull out a few tricks to give enthusiastic drivers the sound they crave – and that’s where our Sound Symposer comes in.”

The Sound Symposer amplifies the sound produced by the engine and channels it along a pipe to the dashboard panel where it is easily audible to the driver.


“Even racing drivers appreciate refinement on the road, but when the flag drops, a rich engine note like the Focus ST’s is one of the best noises you can hear,” said professional racer Tom Chilton, who drives a Ford Focus EcoBoost in the World Touring Car Championship. “Not only is an on-song engine easy on the ear of any performance car fan, but it also delivers valuable information about what’s happening under the bonnet and provides an important reference for drivers who need to use all of their senses at the wheel.”

The system developed specially for the new 250 PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost Focus ST triggers an electronically controlled valve to open under heavy acceleration that can as much as double in-cabin volume levels. It remains closed at times when the driver is likely to appreciate a more peaceful environment, such as under more moderate acceleration.

“If you take away the symposer you get close to zero engine noise in the cabin under acceleration – it’s that effective,” said Boettcher. “It is actually quite a surprising experience when you are driving a powerful car like the Focus ST.”

“Getting the right sound for the right vehicle is to a certain degree a case of trial and error and attention to detail. After developing the right position for the Symposer in the sound lab, we took it to the track and kept refining it until we really felt we had a match,” said Boettcher. “The final version fits the ST’s DNA perfectly; quiet enough to make daily driving a pleasure, yet loud enough when you want to have some fun.”

The new Focus ST is on sale in Europe now, available as a 5-door hatchback or wagon version.


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Old 10-09-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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Sorry but I prefer to hear my engine through the exhaust, not a vent....
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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well if i want to hear my exhaust now, i have to open a window to get good a sound byte. Sounds like this is just saving me a step. I dont think id have any qualms with the symposer.

If i was going with the ST, I'd probably be looking for a 3" turbo back exhaust and im sure that would make things nice and loud.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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I think I'd like this better if they'd offer a way to turn it off.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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Sounds neat to me. :D
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Seems like a gimmick for the boy racer crowd and is a bit silly;the exhaust note should come from the exhaust.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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This is ENGINE sound, not to be confused with exhaust tone.

They do the same thing in the 5.0 Mustang so you can hear the intake "woosh" inside of the car.

You think its silly, but would you rather sit in a car and hear nothing? Sure you can strap on a fart cannon and hear your own farts, but that's less exciting than hearing the perfect resonance of an engine screaming at 6k RPM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:09 AM   #8
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I don't mind it, it's just a necessary evil that comes along with the enhanced emphasis on NVH levels. Automakers have to make the cars quiet on the inside for NVH testing and for increasing the overall level of refinement, and they've gotten darn good at it lately. Pretty sure European cars have restrictions on noise level outside the car as well, which is why the exhaust itself has to be quiet. The only way for the driver to hear the engine is to remove all the sound deadening, or go with an aftermarket exhaust, or employ little tricks like this sound symposer. Gives you the best of both worlds, quiet when cruising, loud(er) when getting on it. And that's what hot hatches are anyway, the ultimate compromise of practicality and performance.

Bjoern summed it up perfectly with this statement: “Our cars are engineered to be quiet inside the cockpit, so we have to pull out a few tricks to give enthusiastic drivers the sound they crave – and that’s where our Sound Symposer comes in.”
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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My Type R had an awesome engine scream at 9000rpm and it's sound was unimpeded into the cabin with zero gimmicks and Honda just used the ingenuity of using no sound deadening materials in the whole car -cool for engine sounds and light weight but the tradeoff was hearing everything else so maybe a sound symposer for the engine sound might not be bad.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f250lightnin View Post
Sorry but I prefer to hear my engine through the exhaust, not a vent....
Me too
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