Have you ever thought that, despite their great looks and handling, the MINI never sounded like a man’s car? Well, worry no more, as MINI has developed a fun new toy for their product range.

BMW engineers have developed a technique to make us perceive sound differently. This means that a diesel MINI can sound like a Mustang GT.

The German automaker has two built two prototypes, a 635d and a MINI Clubman with the option of four engine notes, including one that will make people think you have a big V8 under the hood.

BMW has called the system, ‘Active Sound Design’ and it utilizes the car’s own sound-system so, well, that test drivers thought they were performing better than the standard vehicles with identical performance.

The 635d prototype uses ‘acoustic lightweight construction’ techniques that use new lightweight sound and vibration deadening in the engine bay and under the car. Add that to an engine that is “partially encompassed by an acoustic capsule” and the engine noise is very low.

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With the real engine note toned down, the new sound system can pump a V8 noise into the cabin through the speakers.

"Today’s diesel engines are capable of a lot. They’re efficient, highly effective and high-torque, but until now they were lacking the right sound," said Kaltenhauser to Autocar. "With Active Sound Design, they’re finally achieving the sound that they deserve based on their performance characteristics."

BMW says that Active Sound Design allows for "significantly more systematic and finer adjustments than classic sound design, which is oriented around the intake and exhaust systems."

"Even minimal changes to vehicle sound can have a big impact, since human hearing subconsciously evaluates acoustic surroundings like a high-performance analyzer and all changes are continuously registered in the brain," said Kaltenhauser to Autocar.

Just don’t tell anybody you have it on the car or you might be called a liar.

Source: Autocar

What do you think?
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  (359) posted on 06.15.2010

Go to hell bmw. This is pathetic. First I thought they had put a v8 in a mini, but no it’s just the sound. This is as fake as it gets.

  (392) posted on 06.14.2010

Today’s diesel engines are capable of a lot. They’re efficient, highly effective and high-torque, but until now they were lacking the right sound,

  (347) posted on 06.11.2010

v8? are they serious? with the new bigger and heavier engine they should also redesign it’s frame and suspensions.

  (359) posted on 06.11.2010

Well, According to Albert Kaltenhauser, BMW’s Manager for Airborne Sound, Acoustics and Vibration. BMW started work on the system to improve the sound characteristics of diesel engines.

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