Ferrari has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a “device for the amplification of the intake sound” of an internal combustion engine. The system is a little different than the “Active Sound Design” populating many of today’s modern performance vehicles — a setup that involves piping in engine noises via the car’s sound system (à la BMW), through a speaker attached to the firewall (e.g. Volkswagen), or by redirecting some intake air through a diaphragm and into less-insulated areas of car (Porsche).
For Ferrari’s new system, the last solution seemed to be the best fit. But rather than running noise through a singular valve and pipe, the Italians want to use each runner of the intake manifold — presumably to create a richer and less-artificial sound. The patent request even states that the amplification pipe produces a noise that is “very pleasant to the human ear.” Filed in April of this year and clearly written by some super-intelligent automaton that’s obsessed with human ears, the system looks pretty complex.
In fact, schematics wizard Bozi Tatarevic — who shared his find with Jalopnik — alluded to it being a little too elaborate. But this is Ferrari we’re talking about here. Certainly their clientele would be willing to to endure whatever additional maintenance is required to have pitch perfect engine noises piped into the cabin, right?
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.
Potential failures aside, the overall benefit is a well-insulated and quiet cabin that only gives you the sounds you want to hear. But it seems like Ferrari is taking the long road on this one, as it would be easier to simply use less sound deadening — saving some weight in the process. We’re just going to assume this system is intended for people shopping for something like a GTC4Lusso and not a 488 Pista with an aluminum floor.
[Image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]