BMW solves one of the biggest problems with its cars
BMW has long earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of exciting cars (and of course motorcycles). Yet for an automaker that has long crafted delicious and enjoyable rides for enthusiasts, the company has certainly seized its fair share of opportunities to polish those same enthusiasts who give it such a great reputation. Whether it be charge a subscription for features that everyone offers at a single price, body styles cross pollinated to the point where names become largely meaningless Where just throwing pictures in our faces, the Bavarian Motor Works has no problem arousing controversy in the name of progress.
That said, to their credit, they also don’t mind going back on decisions that may not have turned out the way they probably hoped. BMW has reversed its decision to make Apple CarPlay a subscription service, after all, and if the way they moderated the infamous Chris Bangle style of the controversial 7-series of the E63 generation is something to spend, the toothed face of the new M3 and M4 might just be smoothed over into something more digestible before long.
And now we’ve learned that BMW is also taking steps to tone down one of the most controversial features of its recent models – the synthetic engine sound coming out of the speakers.
See, in case you haven’t heard it, just about every new Bimmer today uses speakers to simulate the sound of the engine, in a new attempt to rekindle the excitement of growing cars. more soundproofed by generation and thus isolate the occupants from the roar of the engines which are literally BMW’s middle name. They are hardly the only manufacturer to do this – automakers from Ford to Lexus to Volkswagen have adopted similar tacts – but BMW’s self-proclaimed status as the ultimate driving machine has led it to attract more fire for the decision than many other brands.
(Also, unlike, say, VW, which uses a dedicated speaker mounted on the firewall for such purposes, BMW transmits an audio file from the engine note to the stereo, making it even more similar to the equivalent of an automobile backing track.)
But as Autoblog recently brought to light, the latest cars from BMW, such as the M235i Gran Coupe, give the driver the flexibility to adjust the support the engine needs. In this car, at least, drivers can switch between “Sporty”, “Balanced” and “Reduced”, the latter coming as close as possible to the lack of a digital soundtrack. (There is also an option for the car to decide which mode to use based on the drive mode settings.)
It’s a nice feature to have – although according to Autoblog, this requires digging deeper into the settings of the iDrive system for the car, presumably to prevent good weather fans from accidentally turning it off, and then angrily calling their dealership to complain that their M850i doesn’t sound as sporty. than before. And you can be sure we’ll try to find it on the next BMW we drive – and when we do, we’ll let you know what it’s like.
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