Audi e-sound transforms silent supercar into a symphony on wheels

Audi-e-tron_e-sound

Love the powerful sound of your engine roaring, but hate your cars insatiable thirst for gas? If the thought of missing out on the dulcet purr of your motor is keeping you from making the switch to an electric car, then Audi may have a solution for you.

One of our favorite things about electric cars — apart from being better for the environment and saving money on gas — is how virtually silent they are when running. But while it might seem strange, there are those out there that would prefer their cars to sing loud and proud.

One electric vehicle that will soon be given a voice is the Audi R8 e-tron. Audi recently shared with Inhabitat the development of an audio system attached to the Audi R8 e-tron and designed to mimic — in many ways and more — the traditional sound of a gasoline-powered motor.  Since it’s going to pack a hefty sticker price (think in the region of $120,000 – $160,000+) the fine German engineers at Audi thought it best the e-tron not only walk the walk, but talk the talk. What that translates to is an ultra high-tech green machine that will sound more spaceship than supercar, thanks to Audi’s e-sound system.

While you might think that Audi’s new auto auditory system simply broadcasts prerecorded engine sounds. That isn’t the case. Instead, the e-sound system actually generates sound in real-time, taking into account numerous factors like the motor’s rotational speed and overall vehicle speed, to name but a few. The system calculates and transmits all the data collected while driving and the result is played through a loudspeaker attached to the underpinnings of the electric vehicle. According to Audi, no two Audi R8 e-trons will sound the same, with each e-tron model exhibiting a unique sound of its own.

Initially, the idea of artificially generating sound for an electric car seems rather self-indulgent. But it wasn’t until we scoped out the video below – highlighting the whole process and what it sounded like – that we really appreciate where Audi is going with this.

And while we already mentioned our appreciation for the quiet nature of EVs, Audi seems to understand and appreciate this quality too, which is why a lot of effort has gone to minimizing additional levels of noise from entering the vehicle’s interior . According to Audi, they wanted to generate an impressive and powerful sound, while at the same time preserving the quieter atmosphere of the traditional electric driving experience.

Better yet, despite being sonically pleasing, the e-sound system being developed for the e-tron will, at the very least, allow pedestrians and cyclist to hear the car coming. Although, we imagine it’s going to be pretty hard to miss this machine traveling down the high street.

Cars

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.
Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.
Cars

James Bond may ditch his V12 Aston Martin for electric power, report says

James Bond may take the wheel of an electric car in the next 007 movie, reports British newspaper The Sun. The car in question would be the Aston Martin Rapide E, the British automaker's first all-electric model.
Cars

Nuro’s awesome robot delivery pods are tootling into Texas

Robo-delivery startup Nuro is taking its cool-looking autonomous delivery pods to Texas. The pods will deliver Kroger groceries to customers' doors in Houston following a successful pilot program in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.
Cars

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Cars

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.