2016 Ford Focus RS Fake Engine Noise (Speaker Played) Explained

2016 Ford Focus RS Fake Engine Noise 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
So far, the 2016 Ford Focus RS has swept everybody off their feet with its Drift button and the kind of sideways stunts it can pull, but we want to take the time to talk about the manic hatch's soundtrack.
Since the uber-fast Focus shares its 2.3-liter turbo four with the Mustang EcoBoost, the Blue Oval decided the two should also offer the same fake engine noise. As a result, the Focus RS uses its speakers to play various levels of vroom-vroom, depending on the revs.

We've brought along a piece of footage that allows you to see the Active Noise Control (this is how Ford calls the system) at work. US developer COBB Tuning, which has set its sight on the Mk III RS, has asked a European partner (US cars haven't been delivered yet) to play with the car and install the developer's five-way ECU map AccessPORT.

As the tuner revealed back in September 2014, when working on the EcoBoost 'Stang, changing the mapping, which is done using the buttons on the steering wheels, activates the artificial voice of the Focus. The clip below brings us the tune variety delivered by the hot hatch, from idle to 5,000 rpm.

A bit of Focus ST/RS soundtrack history

While we would've preferred a mechanical system that channels actual engine noise inside a cabin through a resonator tube, Ford has experimented with this in the past, but wasn't happy with the reliability of the solution - interestingly, premium carmakers such as Jaguar have gone down the mechanical pathway with success.

To be more specific, the Mk II Focus ST used a mechanical, valve-actuated sound symposer for both the pre-facelift and the revamped models. This was also true for the Mk II Focus RS.

With the Mk III ST pre-facelift, Ford experienced reliability issues, so the company decided to turn to the artificial sound solution for the facelift and it seems the solution is here to stay.

In fact, the Blue Oval has even patented a speaker-based system aimed at convincing the driver to shift gears at lower RPMs, so we don't expect the automaker to return to the mechanical system anytime soon.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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