When cruising at 15.53 miles per hour or slower, an electric car runs virtually silent. Once over that speed, road noise and air moving over the car begin to become prevalent and the car can be "heard" as it travels down the road. That silent running is an intriguing part of the electric car world, but it's problematic, mostly because those speeds are generally reserved for traffic-clogged cities, parking lots and other areas where pedestrian foot traffic meets automotive. If you are hard of hearing, you might not know that an electric car is heading your way as you step out into the street. Audi is working to prevent this, by incorporating an exterior sound system into its e-tron.
A team of acousticians is hard at work behind Ingolstadt's closed doors. Their goal is to develop a sound that reflects the brand's core values. But what does Audi sound like?
According to Christian Schüller, Head of Brand Development/Corporate Identity:
Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics at Audi AG, has a different idea:"The obvious approach would be to work on the basis of the familiar sound of a combustion engine. On the other hand, we want to underscore that an electric or hybrid Audi is an innovative product. We also want to make our Vorsprung durch Technik audible in the era of electric mobility."
Kunkel goes on to say that, although it's unlikely we will see Audis that sound like jets or spaceships, we will hear something unique and "distinctively Audi." He says to picture the Audi RSQ from the film I, Robot and we should get a good idea of what to expect. Follow the jump for the official press blast."The sounds used for space ships in films are reminiscent of car sounds, yet are also very different, making this a rather interesting approach."