European exhaust noise regulations will force Mercedes-AMG to build quieter cars, according to a new report from Australia’s Motoring. A Mercedes-AMG product planner, Bastian Bogenschutz told them that AMG cars in every market will follow the new European sound regulations.
“It’s coming from the European regulations,” Bogehschutz says. “We can [design specific exhausts] but it’s too expensive for every market to do it, it’s pretty difficult.”
This is where all the fake, piped-in noises come into play. “The regulations were getting pretty difficult for the sound to just come from the exhaust system,” Bogenschutz says. “So we added the AMG pure performance sound. There we take the real sound from the exhaust system, the pulsation of the real sound, and move it inside the car. It works together with the exhaust system.”
As we take a look at the EU sound regulations, Bogenschutz clearly isn’t kidding. Manufacturers have been subjected to ever-increasing noise rules since new legislation went into effect in 2016. It phases in lower limits every couple years, down to 68 dB by 2026. In 2016, the limit was much higher at 74 dB. That’s far quieter than varying state regulations here in the U.S. We’ve reached out to Mercedes to see if we can’t get some American-specific information regarding what AMG exhausts will be like in the future, and will update if we hear back.
The new Mercedes CLA 45 S and A 45 S looks like they may be some of the first AMG cars to be future-proof for the exhaust legislation, at least in other countries. Of the two, we’re slated to get the CLA, but Mercedes has only revealed the non-S for America thus far. Could Mercedes take advantage of the U.S. rules with a louder exhaust? All the beautifully angry exhausts on the road today say yes. It just costs money.
Many manufacturers (Mercedes included) use adjustable exhausts these days with valves that open and close depending on what mode the cars are in. That helps pass sound limit tests, but not if the regulations require the testing to be run in the most aggressive exhaust setting. The United Kingdom is taking matters into its own hands and testing new noise cameras that could theoretically measure the exhaust noise of your vehicle and automatically ticket you like a speeding camera does. They aren’t deployed everywhere yet as a means of enforcement, but it is scary stuff for folks running loud exhausts.