While the sound produced by a supercar is often likened to a symphony, Lexus has taken the acoustic performance of its new LFA far more seriously in order to create its Formula 1-inspired soundtrack.
An acoustic team was assembled specifically for the LFA project whose sole job was to ensure the exhaust note of the LFA was unlike any other car on the road, enhancing the sensation of speed and acceleration.
The aural qualities of the V10 engine and exhaust system has been fine-tuned to create a unmistakeable “soundtrack” that rises from a rumbling note at idle to a nape-tingling red-line wail.
The main silencer is made of titanium and has a valve-actuated, dual-stage structure that channels the exhaust flow according to engine speed.
The exhaust valve stays closed below 3000rpm, routing the flow through multiple chambers, creating an unobtrusive note.
As the needle rises the valve opens, allowing the exhaust to bypass these chambers and flow into a single resonance chamber, before exiting through the stacked trio of tailpipes.
The induction system was also modified to complement the engine’s acoustic properties, featuring a uniquely formed horizontally split resin surge tank which mimics the acoustic chamber of wind and string instruments.
Up to 4000rpm the engine emits a wail equal to a frequency of 300Hz; this changes to 400 to 500Hz as the engine revs climb to 6,000rpm; and a peak is reached at 600Hz as the engine wails towards its 9,000rpm red line.
Even the air intake is made from a porous duct material to generate the bass and mid-range tones – an effect the LFA development team call Resonated Complex Harmony.
This unique soundtrack is played into the cabin through a sound channel running from the surge tank into the cabin below the main dashboard panel, so people on board can enjoy the experience as much as those on the outside.
Two further sound channels run to an opening in the upper cowl on top of the dashboard structure and a reflector panel low down at the front of the cabin.
Together with the primary sound channel, these put the driver at the centre of the LFA team calls the 3D Surround Sound Concept.