Hush that Ferrari! EU turns eye to engine noise

Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:10pm EDT
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By Ethan Bilby

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Engines may rev a bit quieter if EU lawmakers have their say about it.

European politicians want to strengthen legislation lowering the allowed noise levels of cars and recommending mandatory artificial noise systems for electric vehicles.

The law would standardise the methods used to determine how noisy cars are in the European marketplace, which lawmakers say would result in stricter limits. But the legislation retains a special clause for powerful low-weight super cars.

Nima Nader of the think tank Centrum fur Europaische Politik (CEP) says allowing vehicles like the Ferrari F550 to be louder than similarly sporty cars like the Audi A6 doesn't make technical sense.

"In our opinion it doesn't make any sense to let these special cars be louder than cars with a lower power to mass ratio, because the noise that is produced by the car has nothing to do with this ratio," he told Reuters.

Analysts also say that mandating the lowering of noise limits for cars over a short time-frame could drive up prices.


While officials in Brussels are keen that cars not be too loud, they are also quick to make sure they're not too silent.   Continued...