by Dave Ashton
During and after the Chicago Auto Show, opinions on the upcoming Dodge Fratzonic exhaust system started to emerge. Recreating the tones and subtle vibrations of a traditional V8 and transmission in a convincing way is what Dodge has been beavering away on for some time. Now, real-world feedback is starting to come in, up to now generally being positive.
The video below gives a good representation of the current state of play with the exhaust system, with Dodge obviously still tweaking parameters based on initial feedback. The great thing about the video is that it doesn’t just give examples of the exhaust notes, but also direct feedback from other people at the scene, chin-scratching away wondering how the hell Dodge is going to pull this thing off.
To reproduce a convincing V8 noise, plus the 126 dB volume, Dodge hasn’t just slapped a few speakers on the exterior of the vehicle but instead opted for acoustic piping at the rear of the car. Dodge is also building into the system gear changes, muffler noise, and generally, all things down the chain that is up to the fee and noises we have come to expect.
Obviously, this is still a work in progress by Dodge, and you have to bear in mind that the sounds were witnessed with the help of the venue’s huge reverb and echo capacity.
It’s looking and sounding like Dodge will make a sound system with the upcoming Dodge Charger Daytona SRT that will at the least please future buyers. Apparently, Ferrari is also developing their own sound system for their vehicles. Plus, these early developments may have wider implications for the whole car industry.
In a bleak future when all roadgoing vehicles are fully electric, we are not going to have the usual oncoming vehicle sounds which tell us to get out of the way. This may lead to more traffic accidents, so the need for electric vehicles to pump out some sort of sound may be needed. Obviously, 126 dB of sound may be overkill for popping down to the grocery store, but being able to change the volume of the output is one side benefit of this future system. In other words, future electric vehicles, including muscle cars, should have the option to be in silent stealth mode or as loud as a jet taking off.
One thing’s for sure, Dodge is clearly aware of having to reproduce all the minutiae from the sound and feel of a traditional V8. It’s not just about the initial sounds, but also the subtle vibrations and feel produced by a traditional ICE engine. This is obviously a work in progress, which seems to be on the right track.
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