Audio Technology

Metallica, Radiohead help Rolls-Royce take bespoke to new decibel levels

Rolls-Royce customizes the Phantom's audio system using components from premium sound equipment brands, but prefers not to name them.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce cars are the epitome of bespoke luxury automobiles. They can be completely custom crated or, for the more pedestrian buyer, they can simply be customized.

Before buyers place hands on the their new Rolls-Royce Phantom, the company has already tailored its audio system to create an encompassing audio experience for driver and passengers.

Unlike premium automakers who tout available systems from JBL, Bose, Harman Kardon, and B&O, Rolls-Royce prefers not to name its sound system suppliers, letting the system's engineering speak for itself.

It all starts with the car's frame. The Architecture of Luxury is made of aluminum, which was selected, in part, because it has a higher acoustic impedance than steel. This reduces the amount of noise that is passed on to the cabin. Engineers also gave the model a double-skinned bulkhead and floor sections to help keep road and tire noise permeation at bay.

Rolls-Royce Phantom body in white The Phantom is crafted at the company's Goodwood manufacturing facility in England. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Designers took note of the car's bass speaker size and let it define a resonance chamber in the car's sill section resulting in the car's materials working to turn the entire Phantom into, basically, a subwoofer.

The windows of the Phantom feature 6mm of double-pane acoustically dampened glass. It also has 130 kg of sound insulation throughout the car with a special focus on the headliner, designed to minimize reverberation.

Engineers even went so far as to work with their tire partner to invent "Silent-Seal" tires, which feature a layer of foam inside the rubber that reduces tire noise by 9 decibels compared to a standard tire.

Rolls-Royce audio experts drove thousands of miles in the Phantom before releasing it for public consumption. To determine the parameters in which to tune the system. Here's what they listened to:

  • Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here [1975]
  • From Here to Eternity – Giorgio Moroder, From Here to Eternity [1977]
  • Across the Lines – Tracy Chapman, self-titled [1988]
  • Sad But True – Metallica, self-titled [1991]
  • Bembe / Abakwa – Terry Bozzio, Solo Drum Music II [1992]
  • Klangfarben Melodie – Terry Bozzio, Solo Drum Music II [1992]
  • Know Your Enemy – Rage Against the Machine, self-titled [1992]
  • Fistful of Steel – Rage Against the Machine, self-titled [1992]
  • Passion - Gat Décor (Naked Edit) [1992]
  • Where Did You Sleep Last Night? – Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York (Live) [1993]
  • Stimela (The Coal Train) – Hugh Masekela, Hope (Live) [1994]
  • Hotel California – The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over (Live) [1994]
  • Paranoid Android – Radiohead, OK Computer [1997]
  • Lyric Lickin – Del The Funky Homosapien, Future Development [1997]
  • Insomnia – Faithless, Insomnia [1995]
  • Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows, Across a Wire: Live in New York City (Live) [1998]
  • Safe in New York City – AC/DC, Stiff Upper Lip [Deluxe Edition] [2000]
  • Scrappy – Wookie, Wookie (Deluxe Edition) [2000]
  • Marionette – Matthew Jonson [2004]
  • Intro – Nemesea, Pure: Live @ P3 (Remixed & Remastered) [2012]
  • Bass Solo – Nemesea, Pure: Live @ P3 (Remixed & Remastered) [2012]
  • Drum Solo – Nemesea, Pure: Live @ P3 (Remixed & Remastered) [2012]

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is handcrafted upon order in England and on sale now.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Langen Two Stroke will debut at Salon Privé.

Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

Langen Motorcycles, a new British company, is set to launch its first bike, the Two Stroke, at Salon Privé this week. The Two Stroke is a road-legal bike that, according to the company, "will attack your senses through the sound, smell and sheer thrill that only a lightweight, two-stroke can deliver."

Intrigued yet? The new model is powered by a two-stroke 250cc V-twin engine that relies at 14,500 rpm. The heart is produced for Langen by Vins, which is based in Maranello, Italy. It makes 75 brake horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque. Lagen describes its development: "Born from an 'extra-curricular' passion project from members of the Ferrari research and development department, the CNC-machined engine has been developed over the last five years."

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each Langen Two Stroke is handmade.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The motorcycle's chassis is made from large-diameter, laser cut aluminum tubing with bonded and machined connection points and has Ohlins front forks and British K-Tech rear shocks. Hel Performance brakes, Dunlop tires, and a K-tech suspension also take residence on the motorcycle. The Langen Two Stroke weighs just 251 pounds and has a power-to-weight ratio that is better than most supercars.

Each Two Stroke is a handmade, bespoke creation. The bodywork, including the fuel tank is made from hand-laid carbon fiber, as is the gold leaf detailing. Buyers can customize their moto's paint color, chassis finish, suspension type, and wheels. Ergonomics can be customized to the buyer's preference.

The Two Stroke has been designed and engineered in England. Each model will be built in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The motorcycle's ergonomics can be adjusted to best fit the driver.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

'The company has been founded with the aim of producing motorcycles with a simplicity and purity of days gone by, like the 'Ton-up boys' and their Caf racers – yet pushing the limits of modern technology," said Chris Ratcliffe, creator of Langen and designer of the Two Stroke. "My dream has always been to create a small piece of British motorcycling history. To be able to launch this special motorcycle under a completely new brand really is a dream come true. The aim is to continue to push boundaries and create more interesting bikes, which we hope will really please people"

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The company is new to the retail landscape.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The first round of builds will be limited to 100 individually numbered models. Production is targeted to begin in summer 2021.

A further 150 motorcycles will be produced starting 2022, which will be available in homologated form for road use in other countries around the world. The total number of builds will be strictly limited to 250 bikes, each of them built to order.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each motorcycle's suspension is customizable.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The Two Stroke is priced from £28,000 plus VAT where applicable. Pre-orders are now being taken with a £1000 refundable deposit to secure one of the 100 initial bikes.

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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