Europe says, “Shhh!”
Sometime soon, whether you slip into your new Mercedes-AMG or spot one cruising past, it may sound a bit different – at least from the outside. Thanks to new European regulations, exhaust notes are getting quieter, and not even AMG’s burly performance cars, nor its competitors, can avoid them. And that involves AMG cars outside Europe, too.
In an interview with Motoring, Bastian Bogenschutz, Mercedes-AMG’s head of product planning for compact cars, told the publication all markets are affected by Europe’s legislative changes. It’s too expensive to design specific exhausts for each individual market. That includes the U.S., which means AMG’s other means of auditory delivery will have to suffice. The regulations are also getting more stringent about every two years, which further complicates the problem.
Two of the first vehicles these new regulations are quieting is the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A 45 S and 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, which also happen to pack what Mercedes calls the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine. European regulators don’t want you to hear it. However, thanks to technology, and the dissatisfaction of some, AMG is countering the new regulations by enhancing the in-cabin exhaust note. The company added the AMG pure performance sound, which takes the real exhaust sound and moves it inside.
Gallery: 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S
In-car audio systems mimicking exhaust and engine noises aren’t new, as are other creative ways to enhance the driving experience. And it’s not an ideal solution either, but it’s better than nothing. While European regulations will quiet future AMG vehicles, the robust aftermarket scene should provide plenty of solutions to rectify the quietness. Sound is a visceral part of the driving experience, and nothing beats a series of loud pops, burbles, and wails from the a stellar exhaust system. But times are changing, which means there are new regulations automakers have to follow.