My Car Quest

June 20, 2024

Editorial: The Coming Death (and Re-Birth) of Varoom

by Wallace Wyss –

Back when I was a wet behind the ears copywriter on the Chevrolet account, in the Sixties, one headline I wrote was selected for an ad. Not sure if it was for a Camaro or Corvette but the key word was the one word headline “Varoom”. Even as a wee tyke I had liked making that engine sound and here I was some 20 years out of my pedal car helping move some tin out the door for Chevy by appealing to adults who wanted a car that made that noise.

Now I know the Greenies will flip out when it becomes more widely known that Ford, in the 2024 Mustang has contrived an option where you can start your engine remotely. Say you are sitting with your buddies in an outdoor restaurant table and you take out your key fob and start your engine up. According to Ford it will go through a sequence, at times revving to a heady amount (for a pushrod engine).

Naturally all those exhaust particulates will waft into the air for no good reason as you aren’t in the car yet. I figure guys like cars that go VAROOM because it is akin to a lion roaring–establishing his presence so to speak (some wild animals also pee on trees to mark their territory but that’s a different story).

Chevrolet Camaro advertisement

I think the Ford schtick will be particularly popular with hot rodders but they even plan on offering it on non-high performance engines which I think is false pretenses. Like some weenie buying a wig for his chest so he can say he has chest hair.

On Car Buzz writer Jarrad Neves describes how remote rev works:

The remote rev function is operated with the Mustang’s key fob and is available on 5.0-liter V8 models with an automatic transmission and 2.3-liter EcoBoost models fitted with the Ford Active Exhaust. You can either manually start the engine or use the fob’s remote start function, and once the engine has reached the optimal operating temperature, you can remotely rev to your heart’s content – or until the neighbors call the cops.

To activate the feature, you’ll need to press the lock and unlock buttons sequentially within three seconds to activate the feature. The car will respond by revving the engine to 2,000 rpm, indicating that the feature is engaged. Press those two buttons again, and let the fun begin.

Ford says the engine will now rev three times in a row, gradually increasing until it peaks at 5,000 rpm. However, this can be programmed to the owner’s tastes, allowing you to tailor your remote rev system to your tastes. The system remains on standby should you want to remotely rev the engine again, simply requiring the driver to press the unlock and lock buttons once again to activate the feature.

I can see this happening at gatherings all around the country. Maybe once a day I will like a guttural engine noise but envisioning a whole row of cars doing their thing while the owners sit at a café sounds awful. And then of course the other automakers will chime in with their version.

Ford is even considering offering it on electric cars, as a recorded sound. And hell, if it’s a recording, who says it has to be a ICE engine? Why not a jet engine? Or an electric car sound, performance ICE cars can mask themselves as Greenie-mobiles.

Ford is even considering offering a bit of a light show to go with i–, turn signals, headlamps all joining in, though not as elaborate as the Cadillac Lyriq which practically does a Broadway light show with the grille lights to welcome the owner’s return. But you get the idea—the car does a song and dance for you.

Meanwhile I still roll down the window when a Mustang with a flat plane crank goes by and revs its engine, I know that natural sound won’t be around on new cars past 2030 or maybe 2035 in the USA, but if it will move cars out the door, the varoom will be generated artificially.

What say you?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss has written 18 books on performance cars. Now he paints portraits of them. For a list of artwork write


Chevrolet Camaro advertisement

Editorial: The Coming Death (and Re-Birth) of Varoom
Article Name
Editorial: The Coming Death (and Re-Birth) of Varoom
Back when I was a wet behind the ears copywriter on the Chevrolet account, in the Sixties, one headline I wrote was selected for an ad. Not sure if it was for a Camaro or Corvette but the key word was "Varoom".


  1. Rob Krantz says

    Nothing (IMO) can beat the beautiful sound of a V8 engine (non Italian V8). The burble is like music to my ears. It will be a sad day when the idiots that run world governments make electric cars mandatory, A recorded V8 sound coming from an electric car is blasphemy. I even love the sound of a Porsche flat six or BMW (70’s and 80’s) six. Still, the V8 burble and Vroom are the best. I feel bad for the next generation of car buffs who may never know the joy of what we, of an older generation, have experienced.

  2. Rob, I never heard anyone suggest that ICE cars would be banned, just that new cars would only be non fossil fuel.

    I would like to see EV’s emanating sort of sound, announcing their presence. Living in a city they can sometimes take you by surprise.

    And the 69 Camaro had head light washers?

    • Philip,

      ICE cars will not likely be banned anytime soon but if gas stations go the way of the horse trough in town then it will be difficult to drive an ICE car.

      I did not know the ’69 Camaro had head light washers either.

    • Rob Krantz says

      Philip, I too don’t think that existing ICE cars will be banned anytime soon. However, the writing is on the wall pretty much that all new cars either in 2030 or 2035 will be electric only. At least, that’s what I believe the case to be. Eventually, ICE cars on the road now until the time only electrics are produced will eventually dwindle down to virtually nothing. This will be down the road a ways. I’m not sure how an all electric fleet of vehicles in the future will be supported as the electrical infrastructure does not exist now and I don’t see how it will be sufficient in the future. The environmental lobby will not be in favor of coal fired power plants, and solar, hydroelectric and wind power would have to somehow be expanded significantly to deal with the ability to charge all electric cars and still power our buildings etc. Perhaps nuclear powered power plants will come into vogue again.

  3. wallace wyss says

    On a website called Politico article said “Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged as many as 14 new reactors would be built as part of a “renaissance” of the atomic energy industry, which generates around 70 percent of the country’s electricity. Barre’s team is now working on the construction of six advanced EPR2 reactors, to be built between 2035 and 2042 — ensuring that gas and coal-fired electricity doesn’t surge when old reactors are shut down.

    But France’s nuclear push is raising hackles with other EU countries — led by Germany — that want the power source eliminated.

    That’s leading to frequent showdowns between the pro and anti-nuclear camps; March saw two such scraps.

    One was over the EU’s flagship Net-Zero Industry Act, setting targets for technologies deemed necessary to decarbonize the bloc’s economy. The spat over nuclear delayed the proposal and the end result was a fudge, with atomic power not included in a list of “strategic net-zero technologies” while elsewhere in the text, the definition of net-zero technologies included “advanced technologies to produce energy from nuclear processes with minimal waste from the fuel cycle” and “small modular reactors.”

    • Rob Krantz says

      Nuclear power would be the way to go if at all possible and can be done safely. We can’t afford to have a Three Mile Island or Chernobyl however. This type of power plant may be what is needed to assure sufficient capacity to power the nations of the world. If somehow the nuclear fusion process can be harnessed, then that would be ideal of course. I read recently of a success in a fusion reaction test, so perhaps some day…..

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