Electric cars don’t snarl, parp, and pop like high-powered combustion engines, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sound cool.
Case in point, the BMW i4 and its IconicSounds designed by none other than Hans Zimmer, or as I’m going to call him from now on: Hans Bimmer.
Anyway… In a tweet earlier today, BMW gave us a sneak peek at what its BMW i4, i4M, and iX vehicles will sound like as they drive along.
Typically, I find EV sounds quite cliché. They always end up sounding like something from a low-budget sci-fi movie. When we ranked the best (and worst) EV sounds, most of them left me quite uninspired.
But if you ask me, BMW just gets this one right. It has the perfect amount of depth and drama, and doesn’t rely too heavily on sounding electronic or futuristic.
BMW says the sounds adapt depending on how the car is being driven, and the driving mode selected. In comfort mode, the vehicle will sound calm and relaxing. But throw it into sport and slam your foot to the floor, and it will become “dominant and powerful.”
SOUND ON. An unforgettable soundtrack to your drive. The all-electric BMW i4, the M version of the i4 and the BMW iX will offer IconicSounds driving sound, developed in cooperation with Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer.
— BMW Group (@BMWGroup) May 11, 2021
It’s a legal requirement in most countries for EVs to emit a pedestrian warning sound at low speed. This is to make sure people hear them coming and don’t step out into the road and get run over.
Manufacturers, however, are taking the opportunity to carefully design their sounds in such a way that it brings a bit of personality to their vehicles.
Before you go moaning and saying, it’s not the same as the natural and raw engine note of a combustion engine,” car manufacturers have been augmenting and tuning the exhaust note of their cars for ages. So don’t think what you have is “all natural.”
The only thing is now, with electric cars, audio designers start with a completely blank slate. We’re probably only just getting started with what EVs are going to sound like, but BMW’s off to a great start.
Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up?
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