Ford has patented a new tech, which will allow for artificially produced noise to make an engine sound like there are more cylinders at work. It’s not for “go-faster” purposes but to provide enhanced fuel efficiency.

As an example, a three-cylinder unit could produce sounds similar to an inline-six. The reason behind this, according to Ford, is that the tech would improve fuel efficiency by encouraging drivers to shift gears at lower revs – a solution which addresses real-world efficiency for downsized engines.

Theoretically, Ford claims that drivers usually shift by ear. In the case of a 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine, for example, higher revs are held to gain more power from the tiny displacement. Unfortunately, this style lowers fuel economy, hence the need for a noise-based solution.

By recording the sound produced by the engine and playing it at the optimum mark in the combustion cycle, it will sound as if there are more cylinders working. As a result, Ford believes that drivers will then move on to a higher gear sooner, which in turn enhances efficiency.

On another note, the application of this tech will also help the environment as well. With that being said, there’s no promise that the patented technology will ever feature in Ford models at all.

Elsewhere, models such as the Ford Mustang with the 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine and the new Focus RS already have artificial sound producing capabilities. Being performance models however, such sounds are of course meant to make the drive more exhilarating instead.