This electric car will boast ‘neo-futuristic’ engine noise thanks to a Roland synthesizer


Getting behind the wheel of a car — especially one with some performance vigor — attacks nearly all of your senses. You see the scenery flying by, you feel the g-forces in your stomach, all while the unmistakable scent of exploding petrol and burning rubber fills your nostrils.

Sound is obviously a huge part of the adventure as well, but it’s one that’s lost on most electric cars. EVs are nearly silent save for a slight mechanical whine and basic road noise, but a Japanese carmaker and a musical equipment manufacturer have teamed up to change that.

Roland, along with GLM, maker of the ZZ electric sports car you see above, has developed a unique in-car synthesizer to give ZZ owners something to listen to besides music. We’re not sure exactly what it’ll sound like yet, but the company promises “ingenious neo-futuristic sounds that will give sports car enthusiasts the experience of driving a space ship on the road.” Our best guess is a blend of TIE fighter and the Jetson’s bubble-top aerocar, but whatever the soundtrack may be, it’s bound to be unlike anything else on the road.

Roland sound kit

The product utilizes Roland’s SuperNATURAL synthesizer technology to produce studio-quality sounds based on vehicle acceleration, deceleration, and motor load variances. Buyers will be able to choose between a variety of different tones when the product arrives this fall.

As for the ZZ itself, it looks like a cross between a Lotus Elise and a Tesla Roadster, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Performance is right in line with the Roadster as well, as the ZZ will sprint up to 60 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds. The car weighs just 1,874 pounds and produces around 300 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque.