What you may be hearing is what Honda calls "Active Sound Control".
According to an online review, this system GENERATES engine sounds when you push the accelerator past the resistance at about 3/4 of the distance to the floorboard. It will also create sounds when the engine is in direct drive to the wheels at high speeds. The reviewer called it stupid, and in need of removal at the next model refresh. I did a test drive in an EX 2 weeks ago, found these sounds (during acceleration) silly and distracting, in an otherwise VERY quiet car.
Below are excerpts from Honda's technical Press Kit on this:
"Insight drivers can also choose ECON or SPORT modes. ECON alters throttle inputs to help optimize fuel efficiency. SPORT provides more aggressive throttle inputs while drawing more on the battery for a more energetic acceleration feel. Additionally, SPORT alters the Active Sound Control (ASC) for a more aggressive engine note."
"Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC)
Key contributors to Insight's quiet, refined interior are Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC). The two systems are comprised of dual overhead microphones, an ANC/ASC electronic processor, and the audio system's speakers. ASC/ANC operates whenever Insight is running, even if the audio system is turned off.
ANC is designed to reduce low frequency sound in the cabin caused mainly by the roughness of the road surface. The overhead microphones pick up sound waves and send them to the ANC/ASC processor, which then creates and sends a precisely timed "reverse phase" audio signal to a special amplifier. In turn, the amplifier drives the speakers to cancel the original noise signal.
"ASC is a related technology designed to improve the engine sound quality by making the sound pressure level more linear as the engine revs increase. Typically, engine noise doesn't increase in a linear way with rising revs; instead there can be many resonances that create peaks and valleys in the sound pressure level and an uneven sound. From idle to redline, ASC helps smooth out the engine sound by reforming the sound signal as needed and sending it to the speakers. In SPORT mode, ASC provides Insight with a more dynamic engine sound profile.
Principles supporting my driving style for even higher EX mpg:
Have the engine operate as little as possible, especially when standing still or moving slowly; while also meeting my demands for power and maneuvering. This means most battery charging while cruising city streets and rural roads, max regen from slowing down and downgrades, and only using heater or A/C when the engine is on for other purposes.
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