This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Wed, Dec 31, 1969
The LACar Editorial Staff
SoundRacer will make a gas-sipping econocar sound like a V8 hot rod
By Roy Nakano
Legend has it that conductor Herbert von Karajan told Enzo Ferrari that his engines produce “a burst of harmony that no conductor could ever recreate.”
The same has been said by aficionados of American high performance V8s and exotic Italian V12s. Creative carmakers have managed to make economical four-cylinder sedans with turbochargers, intercoolers, and all-wheel drive into the performance equal of V8 and V12 muscle. What they haven’t been able to do, however, is to replicate the harmonious music produced by these thirstier engines.
The folks at the Swedish company, SoundRacer, believe they have the answer. With the help of inventor Kenneth Palmestål and designer Karolina Adolfsson, they have come up with a device that detects the engine’s RPM (revolutions per minute) and generates a signal that replicates the sound of a high performance V8 at the same RPM. The signal is transmitted through your FM radio and comes out of your car’s speakers.
Installation is simple: Just plug in the shifter-shaped SoundRacer into your 12 volt DC socket, tune your station to the numbers registering on the SoundRacer LED readout, turn up the volume, and you have instant high performance engine sounds. Since the sounds come from your speakers, only you and your passengers will be able to enjoy the benefit of the SoundRacer (unless you’re inclined to open your windows and really crank up the sound!).
We tried the SoundRacer on a number of vehicles. Manual transmission-equipped cars with good sound systems work the best. We also tried it on a Volkswagen Passat with a Tiptronic-equipped automatic transmission, and the results were good with the Tiptronic in sequential manual mode. On the other hand, results on a CVT (continuously variable transmission)-equipped Toyota Prius were disastrous. The sounds coming from a CVT transmission are already pretty annoying, but the SoundRacer just made it even more so.
Ultimately, what we have with the SoundRacer is an automotive piece of entertainment for the amusement of yourself and your passengers. While no one will be fooled into thinking you dropped a HEMI V8 into your econocar, there are far worse ways to spend $45. At least with the SoundRacer, it won’t worsen your gas mileage. And if your taste leans more toward Italian exotic cars, SoundRacer does make a version that emulates the sound of an Italian V10. The choice is yours: "American style" V8 and "Italian style" V10.
See LA Car's video clip by European Correspondent John-Fredrik Wright.
More information as well as video, sounds and pictures on soundracer.se
To purchase the SoundRacer V8 on Amazon.com, click hereVITAL STATISTICS
Name of product:
12 volt DC from cigarette lighter socket
Built-in FM transmitter with LED display
3.5 mm stereo plug line input (cable included)
Will also transmit music from an MP3 player or other external source to the FM radio
88.1 to 107.9 MHz
Sample review unit courtesy of USA distributor:
PO Box 478
Pine Island, NY 10969