Ask most audiophiles and they’ll tell you that loudspeakers work best when there is nothing in front of their mass to obscure the sonic delivery, but they’ll also tell you that grilles are a necessary evil, needed to protect the driver units from any mishap.

This is even more so in the automotive environment, where speaker components have to fight for acreage with other elements and design constraints in a limited space. The midrange driver usually ends up being placed on the lower front end of a door card, where it is most susceptible to a wrongly placed foot during ingress and egress. As such, they need to be protected from physical damage, as well as securely fixed for best sonic results.

Generally, assemblies have their speakers and grille incorporated as part of the door card, but more complex designs can need a novel approach in how they are crafted. Such is the case with the McLaren Senna – its loudspeaker assembly is integrated in a single grille/enclosure housing and mounted on the car’s door.

Malaysian engineer awarded a patent for his novel speaker enclosure installed in the McLaren Senna

The flush unit, which holds a two-way speaker array that is part of a seven-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system available as an option for the car, looks simple enough, but the manner in how it is attached to the door that is novel, and patented. The particular highlight is that a Malaysian came up with the design.

The 25 mm diamond dome tweeter and 10 cm Kevlar cone midrange unit is packaged in a pre-impregnated CF enclosure and grille, and this eschews traditional fasteners in how it is attached to the door. Conceptualised by Ruslin Tamsir, it has what its designer calls an invisible locking feature, which holds the assembly in place securely without the need for fasteners.

Ruslin came up with the design when he was working in Garching, Germany as an engineering project leader at Harman Becker Automotive Systems. The patent for the design was filed in 2019 through the company and was finally published by the European Patent Office on October 21 last year.

Malaysian engineer awarded a patent for his novel speaker enclosure installed in the McLaren Senna

In a Facebook post, the inventor said he was skeptical at the beginning that his invention would not even go through to the patent office. He said that due to the project’s quick delivery timeline, he had about three months to develop the concept, attempting to do so without utilising any fasteners.

Ruslin said he failed many times with the prototypes, and was at one point about to give up on the idea and start over by adopting a conventional approach. However, his persistence paid off, and a final design was eventually secured for validation and testing, and the patent is the reward for his hard work.

In his post, Ruslin, who is now back in Malaysia, said the message he was trying to convey was that one should never give up and always push one’s self to the limit. “You will not succeed without trying and failing, and you will only be able to see your true potential after you succeed,” he wrote. Well done, Ruslin.

GALLERY: McLaren Senna

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