Disappointed that your new Ferrari 488 Pista isn’t loud enough? You’re not alone – we’ve all been there. Fortunately, the boys and girls at Maranello have been busy and they’ve come up with new ways to make that great Ferrari sound.
First, consider U.S. Patent Publication 2017/0350287 published December 7, 2017 and owned by Ferrari. The drawing tells the story. Sound is piped from the exhaust pipe directly to the passenger compartment. What a great idea – deafen the driver and not the rest of us. These should be standard equipment on all Harleys.
Or how about U.S. Patent Publication 2018/0112636, published April 26, 2018, also owned by Ferrari. This application solves the problem of the overly quiet air intake, an issue that has dogged my elderly Toyota pickup since it was new. In the Ferrari application individual pipes duct pressure pulses from the intake for each cylinder to an ‘amplification pipe.’ The amplification pipe includes a membrane that oscillates back and forth under the changing pressure of each intake. The oscillating membrane creates sound waves that are directed to – you guessed it – the passenger compartment.
Finally we have Ferrari’s U.S. Patent Publication 2018/0202353, published July 19, 2018.. This application addresses a supercharger driven by an electric motor. An exhaust turbine drives a generator to power a battery and the electric motor. Thus far, there’s nothing new. Electric superchargers are old hat.
What’s new is how the Ferrari control system selects how much power to extract from the exhaust turbine. It turns out that an exhaust turbine quiets an engine to which it is attached. The more energy the turbocharger extracts, the more it attenuates the sound. Ferrari programs the control system to extract less energy when the driver expects the engine to be loud. The system may use a microphone to measure engine noise in the passenger compartment and to turn the turbine down (and the noise up) accordingly.
All of this technology is to make a new Ferrari sound like an old Ferrari. You didn’t think that the Ferrari sound happened by chance, did you?