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      04-17-2014, 11:13 PM   #160
MeganeTrophyGuy
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Drives: Megane Trophy, M135i
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tokyo

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Active Sound in an M car

A few weeks ago, I sold my Renault Megane 265 RS Trophy for an M135 which has the artificial noise being pumped in, and though I don't really like the idea, I was willing to give it a try since it is just a temporary commuter car for the next year and not a full on M-model. I also liked the fact that this is one of the lighters BMWs with one of its biggest engines - each generation of BMW seems to get bigger and heavier which they seem forced to try to offset by constantly pushing up the hp numbers and use of advanced technologies. It says only a very small part of the sound is artificially produced and I suppose I am Ok with the idea for this kind of car (something that is more GT than track-oriented), especially after I added the M Performance Exhaust which gives about another 10% of sporty noise in all the right places, but it still kind of feels like the M135i is just one more example of sports car makers getting too mesmerized by the promise of technology, rather than remembering their sporting roots which historically produced wonderful, raw, analog driving experiences that truly connected the driver with their vehicle and the road.

M-Performace cars like my M135 supposedly have about 30-40% original parts when compared with the regular cars in their line while M-cars supposedly have 70-80% original parts. This makes it seem like more of a cop out to have to pipe in artificially produced sounds on all-out M-cars like the M3/4/5/6 (especially since there are great aftermarket systems that do a fantastic job of delivering 100% natural sporty sounds already). I have had some great BMWs in the past including an E36 M3 and E46 Alpina B3S, and the wonderful, signature BMW straight-six exhaust note was an important part of the sell for me.

My M135i is a short term 1 year purchase and though I had originally been thinking about trading up for an M4 next year, the artificially produced sound is a definite issue for me. I loved the glorious sound of the old V10 M5s and had long ago decided that wouldn't even consider the new M5 for the same reason.