What the VW Golf R / GTI Soundaktor Is and How to Disable It

What the VW Golf R Soundaktor Does and How to Remove It 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Volkswagen (and other car companies) followed the lead set by the fashion industry by making cars that are fake. What we mean is that the exciting engine sound made by the 2016 Golf R is artificial, but there is a way to bypass it.
At the back, this performance hatchback has four exhaust pipes. Four, like a Ferrari. It doesn't need that many, considering it's only got four cylinders to deal with. However, the 2.0 TSI sounds undeniably cool as it launches or is going through a tunnel. That's only from the outside, though, as Volkswagen engineers were given the hard task to design a car that's very comfortable on longer journeys, yet still exciting when the driver is in the mood for some fun.

Ever since the Golf made its European debut in 2012, most cars made by the Volkswagen Group are available with drive mode selectors or even fitted as standard with them. You can put them in comfort, sport or configure the Goldilocks setting that's just right for you. Not only does the Golf R's system sharpen the throttle but it also activates the so-called Soundaktor.

It's sort of like a resonator box that sends engine noise into the cabin when activated. The first video is from a guy named Schwabo, who bought a 2016 Golf R and played with the Soundaktor. In comfort mode, it does nothing at all, but put the car into Race, and it's like the Star Ship Enterprise has arrived, even though the performance and acceleration are the same.

The second video is from Zed4me. He has a fascinating story about how one dealership wanted to put a $12,000 premium on the car, which is absurd. He also explains that the Soundaktor is a device that vibrates when the engine is under load which is then sent up into the windshield. Some people say it sounds like a V8, while others compare it to drugs because it's a party only you enjoy.

Disabling it is a simple job that won't take you too much time. There's a plug that you need to pull, and it's located right in front of the windshield, underneath the black plastic guard where all the leaves gather. It's all presented in the video, which we recommend watching if you want to get rid of the pesky fake sound. For the record, Audi, Skoda, and SEAT all use this kind of system and the plug should be in the same place. Oh, and the Golf GTI has one, too.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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