One of the absolute best parts of seeing a Formula One race live is the sound. The current V8 cars emit a high-pitched howl that is absolutely ear-splitting and amazing to hear in person. That may not be the case when they switch to turbo V6 engines in 2014, but fortunately, F1 bossman Bernie Ecclestone may have a solution.
SPEED reports that Ecclestone is worried that the switch to V6 engines could mean a loss of some fans because the noise will be less "dramatic," and so he has suggested that sound could be artificially enhanced somehow.
Ecclestone has been quoted as saying that the V6 sounds like a "lawnmower engine," which isn't exactly encouraging. He's also miffed at the fact that they won't rev as high as the current cars do. Today's V8 engines go as high as 18,000 RPM and the planned V6 engines won't be able to reach 16,000.
From the story:
Admitting it is not his preferred option, Ecclestone nonetheless revealed that artificially enhancing the V6 engine sound is a possibility.
"Maybe we can make them sound like the current engines," he said.
Great. Artificial sound enhancement may be coming to F1. The article doesn't say how they would do it, but it does quote Australian race promoter Ron Walker saying he was told it could use some kind of sound-emitting "squeak box" in the back of the car.
Remember, automakers have started doing this too. BMW now pipes artificial engine noise into the speakers of their M-cars because the unadulterated engine sounds so blah. It's kind of a consequence of modern cars, which have so much technology that they don't really have that pure mechanical roar anymore.