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


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.


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