Mercedes-AMG’s next-generation sports cars will be quieter, report says
You can thank European noise regulations for the result.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Automakers have been on a tear lately with their exhausts. Whether it's the muted crackles and pops of AMG's straight-six mild hybrid setup or the all-out insanity of the
R, OEMs have upped their noise game in a big way over the last several years. But, apparently, it's all about to come crashing down.
Mercedes-AMG is warning that its upcoming new line of sporty vehicles will be a fair bit quieter than in generations past, Motoring.com.au reports, citing statements that Mercedes-AMG product planner Bastian Bogenschutz made during a press drive for the A45 S. The timing couldn't be worse, because these cars pack the M139, otherwise known as the most powerful production four-cylinder engine ever. That deserves some noise.
The aforementioned hot hatch and its sedan-ish sibling, the CLA45 S, are AMG's first cars coming out under new European regulations concerning exhaust loudness. In case you're wondering why automakers can't just hide the sound away in a specific mode, it's because the regulations measure the loudest exhaust system the car has on offer.
Even worse, Europe's regulations are about the flip the bird (or the V, depending on your country of origin) to the rest of the world. Borgenschutz told Motoring that the company could design different exhausts for markets outside Europe, but cited complexities and cost for reasons why the company won't do that.
I hope you like synthetic sound, because that's what automakers plan to use in order to provide some sort of aural symphony in lieu of the cannons out back. Heck, a number of 'em already have these systems in place, whether that involves physical tubes channeling intake noise to the cabin or electronic systems that pump sound through the speakers. Major noise fans can always upgrade to an aftermarket exhaust, as there are many companies building exhausts out there, each with their own unique note. Those third-party bits can get mighty expensive, though.
While that's a big old bummer, it's unclear just how many automakers will follow in Mercedes-AMG's footsteps and make things quieter across the board. Jalopnik's David Tracy pointed out that, during a recent drive of the Alpina B7,
representatives told him the European-spec car had a quieter exhaust than the car destined for the US. Then again, the B7 starts at $142,800, so maybe Alpina can pony up the dough for a second exhaust system. Worse comes to worse, it's nothing a reciprocating saw can't solve.
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 packs one hell of a four-cylinder engine