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The exhaust disappears under the rear apron

Trend 2022 - I have no exhaust at all

The auto industry has been following a trend in recent years. The exhaust, for decades an important detail in the rear apron of the car for the following drivers, disappears quietly from the streets. Many global manufacturers continue to rely on internal combustion engines and are gradually stuck in the dilemma of simultaneously publishing the environmental impact of conventional drive systems in slices. So what do you do with the new engine factories? There is no real interest in acting consistently in either the auto or oil industries. The easiest way is to hide the problems visually and acoustically.

The sound enthusiasts

They still exist: the sound-loving automobile enthusiasts, for whom the exhaust sound is carved into the day or night like an aria during acceleration. Some manufacturers such as Eberspächer are eager to take the noise drama to the extreme in real sound orgies. You may rub your eyes when you look at the manufacturer's website, but even after that, the manufacturer prides itself on this exhaust with the designation “Active Sound System” with the award “Innovation of the Year 2016” including the image of the high-gloss trophy. Thanks to the readers' choice of the magazine “Auto Bild” last year, these sound acrobats were ennobled with this title. The manufacturer emphasizes the system: "Depending on the model and engine output, impressive sound experiences can be created that underline the development of the engine's performance acoustically powerfully." can be demonstrated to the series sound.

Youtube is a true Eldorado for thunderstorms of sound from the exhaust. Anyone who thinks this is the tip of the iceberg hasn't seen it yet ABT sound control for the Audi. An ABT module is added to the vehicle's sound generator via plug-and-play so that the typical ABT sound is emulated on the production vehicle. Then it bubbles loudly and monotonously from the exhaust. And they say goodbye to the video with the off-screen voice saying “From the racetrack to the road”. on Youtube there are also various specialist workshops that present the built-in "active sound systems" in the videos in the installed state with, in their own words, "fat sound" and the sound enthusiast at the end of the roaring sound thunderstorm with the immediate note "Please always like". complemented by a wide grin.

Car Friday

Anyone who counts themselves to the very hard core of the tuning scene wants to experience the sound thunderstorm live. For this reason, a dedicated fan base has formed over the last few decades, who especially celebrate their tuning thing at night in spacious parking lots according to their own rules. Depending on the location, up to a few hundred initiates meet here for the nightly festival and exchange of ideas. The tuned cars are lined up like strings of pearls and are proudly presented and explained. What new achievements are being presented? Which sound storms are the favorites? The predominantly younger audience likes the community experience in a committed scene.

The exhaust disappears

While the sound fans are still celebrating on YouTube, new tactics can be found among the manufacturers when selling combustion engines in view of the realistic emission values ​​measured. The dilemma of underpinning traditional combustion engines with a positive environmental image is supported by an optical trick. The exhaust system disappears directly under the rear apron. According to the motto "Out of sight, out of mind", the current models are often delivered with the exhausted or completely hidden exhaust. Sophisticated solutions are required that promise the customer an environmentally friendly appearance.

VW Tiguan eHybrid model year 2022
VW Tiguan eHybrid model year 2022

Integration in the rear apron

So far, the exhaust gases were always clearly visible at the rear. A tailpipe or even the muffler were presented clearly visible for the following drivers. A gradual change has been taking place here for a few years. With a simple trick, the cooled exhaust gases on the tailpipe are simply discharged further down by up to 90 ° on the tailpipe. The rear apron or the rear bumper visually helps to integrate the tailpipe into a new design. It no longer looks so intrusive and signals the environmentally friendly handling of exhaust gases.

Rear apron with concealed tailpipe

In the next stage, the tailpipes disappear completely under the rear apron, especially in the compact and mid-range segment of passenger cars in the newer model generations. The invisible space under the car gives it a new aura. The exhaust gases are swirled out of sight and from the outside it appears environmentally friendly at first glance. Above all, the designers want to appease the owners of diesel cars and not confront them with the result of the diesel. The hiding place deep under the rear apron helps.

Fake tailpipes

A completely new trend, which was particularly evident at the IAA last year, are the fake exhaust pipes in the rear aprons. Here, chrome-plated panels are integrated into the rear apron, which are particularly emphasized in the large-format SUV models and end just behind the bumper. Only the wind escapes here, while the exhaust ends below the car. This suggests particularly clean combustion processes to the following car drivers. With this trick, two further effects are achieved: First of all, of course, the savings in production costs and, at the same time, simplification of maintenance in the workshops.
The dismantling of the rear aprons is easy without the annoying exhaust system.

The trend towards hidden exhaust pipes for cars with internal combustion engines will continue. It will be interesting to see which technical solutions will be presented in the future. The ingenuity of the manufacturers is astonishing.

Addendum

There are more trends and current information in the magazine.

N. Hawthorn

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