Simulated and amplified engine sounds are all the rage these days, and there are various ways to implement them. Systems that use the speakers to play a noise like those from BMW are often chided for being fake, but those that just pipe in the vibrations to the cabin are somewhat accepted. Ferrari has filed a patent application for such a system but with a lot more complexity.
The patent application describes a device for the amplification of intake sounds that transmits intake sounds from each runner of the intake manifold to a device that passes it on to the cabin. This type of system is similar to the one found in some Ford vehicles where there is a pipe leading from the intake manifold to a membrane that is sealed but can vibrate.
The sounds coming from the intake vibrate the membrane and then those vibration are transferred down a tube to the cabin where the intake sound is repeated.
Where the novel part comes in here is that currently existing systems have one spot on the intake manifold where a pipe connects. But Ferrari wants to connect a pipe to each individual intake runner, which would mean eight pipes coming out of a V8 engine going to a manifold box. That have a diaphragm on the end that would transmit the vibration to the tube going to the cabin.
All of this sounds neat in theory, as it would transmit something close to an authentic sound from the engine but it would require a spaghetti of tubes reminiscent of old air injection system in the early days of emissions reduction. It would also introduce at lest nine more points of failure for the intake system since these tubes would be connected to the intake runners which are behind the throttle body and mass air flow sensor so any type of leak from any runner would cause the engine to run rich because unmetered air could enter the intake.
While this type of failure might seem far-fetched, it is not uncommon to see failures and intake leaks on the Ford Fiesta ST which has a similar type of system and they only have a single tube going into the intake manifold.
I am sure that Ferrari is making its cabins better insulated to be more comfortable which is what leads to inventions such as this. Generally luxury buyers want quiet until they hit the accelerator.
But maybe it’s just easier to compromise a little on the insulation and make the cabin loud enough to hear the natural sound of the engine. It is, after all, a Ferrari. Wouldn’t you want to hear it?