Ford has filed a patent for an artificial engine-noise system that makes it sound like there are more cylinders at work – not for “go fast” purposes, however, but to save fuel.
According to the manufacturer, the new technology would improve fuel efficiency by encouraging the driver to shift gears lower in the rev range.
A common talking point for downsized engines is real-world fuel efficiency, as drivers will generally work the engine harder for better performance.
Above: Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder engine
Ford claims that drivers generally shift by ear, using its 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine as an example, saying that higher revs are held to gain better performance from the tiny displacement, which lowers fuel economy.
The aim of the artificial engine noise technology is to play the sound of the engine working hard at the ideal revs for an upshift. By making it sound as if the engine is working harder lower in the rev range, Ford believes that drivers will shift sooner, improving fuel economy.
Above: The Ford Fiesta is one of the models offered with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine in Australia
In turn, the application of such technology will also help the environment by reducing emissions, however, there is no guarantee that the patented tech will feature in Ford’s range anytime soon.
On the flip side, Ford’s performance models such as the Mustang pony car and Focus RS hot hatch fitted with the larger 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine already feature a version of artificial sound producing tech, but this is used more to enhance the driving experience rather than encourage drivers to save fuel.