The Nissan 370Z is getting a little long in the tooth these days. So what does Nissan do to keep it current? Did they add a turbocharged engine, or make it lose some weight, or give it a dual-clutch gearbox? Nope, they added one of the most hated new technologies on cars instead: engine sounds through the speakers.

Why Nissan decided to augment one of the VQ V6’s worst qualities is beyond me, but here we are, and it probably comes much to the delight of Z-bros who don’t have to go out and buy the biggest fart pipe they can afford now. (Oh, hell. They’re gonna do it anyway.)

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Nissan today announced these additions to the 2016 370Z Coupe, NISMO and Roadster:

Enhancements for the 2016 model year include the addition of a new Deep Blue Pearl exterior color and a new available Bose® audio system incorporating Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE). The ANC system generates canceling sound to remove undesirable low frequency engine noise, while preserving invigorating sounds of engine performance, providing a more “pure” sound. The ASE enhances natural engine sounds to help bolster the driver’s acceleration experience.

“Enhances natural engine sounds to bolster the driver’s acceleration experience.” That sentence is just painful to read. Next time you see a friend in a fast car, ask them “How was your acceleration experience, Ted?” and see what they say. I bet they’d be perplexed, because such a sentence is only English in the loosest sense possible.

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Listen: I’m progressive when it comes to cars. I think we can enjoy new stuff and old stuff, and I’m generally in favor of things like improved efficiency, lighter weight, and better technology, if it’s done right.

One thing I can’t get behind is this trend of piping in engine noise through the speakers. It may be “natural” noise from the engine bay, but it doesn’t feel natural at all. It also adds an unnecessary degree of complication to the car. I realize it’s probably done for noise, vibration and harshness reasons, and on other cars because turbocharged motors sometimes sound like crap.

I just don’t see how the 370Z, of all cars, needed such a system. Granted it never sounded great in the first place, but this seems like a really strange addition so close to the end of its life. Were any 370Z people asking for this? Does anybody ask to have engine sounds come through their speakers? I didn’t think so. There has to be a better way to do this, automakers.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.

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