Next Big Thing – e-sound for electric cars

Audi is throwing itself into creating a unique sound on electric models that are required, for pedestrian safety, to make noise

Audi is doing what to engine noise?

It’s making it. Right now electric models are too quiet – and silent cars could lead to pedestrian deaths up and down the future country. While the US is making engine noise in electric cars a legal requirement, Audi is working on its e-sound for future R8 e-trons.

What’s an e-sound?

Audi reckons, if it’s going to be pumping out a virtual sound, it might as well be a relevant one that is recognisably Audi. That’s why R8 e-tron electric cars won’t just pump out recorded engine sounds – instead they'll generate a synthetic engine sound that takes into account motor speed, car speed, vehicle load and other parameters. And it's all played at between five and eight watts via a loudspeaker attached to the undercarriage of the car. 

But I prefer silence.

And if you’re driving the car that’s exactly what you’ll get inside. Minimal noise will get into the driver’s compartment to give you that quiet ride Audi wants from its electric cars. It’s all been developed with ridiculous attention to detail in Audi's glass wool walled acoustic test bed facility. And the best news of all comes from an Audi sound engineer who says, “some science-fiction films provided inspiration suitable for certain frequency ranges.” Have a listen for yourself in the video below.

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