Sound is the make or break factor for a sports car. What may be hysterical combustion to one person’s ears is the sweetest symphony to another’s. Audi is on a three-year development plan to create a sound that suits the e-tron electric cars; however, this one is to alert pedestrians rather than your muse.
It is quite simple to create electric cars with a big battery pack, motor and wiring harness. However, it is nearly impossible for pedestrians to hear this car approaching. Audi is launching the R8 e-tron supercar this year and it will feature what Audi calls fake engine noises. The system will feature harmonious engine roar that works in proportion with the electric motors rev. Sound is generated by the millisecond using data gleaned from the car’s activities– including vehicle speed, load and motor speed. The e-Tron then uses a 40-watt loudspeaker attached to the undercarriage to play the electronic sound.
Creating textbook noise for the grand electric car is rather a complex process involving building hardware and software out of scratch. In addition, the sound had to be distinctively for electric cars and yet sound like the mainstream cars. Audi engineer Rudolf Halbmeir works on the development of the imitating motor sound design. Audi’s e-sound function is created loud enough to be heard by pedestrians, however it adds to the noise pollution.
Further, Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics Audi suggested, that they are only ensuring the car is audible at speeds up to 30 kmph, above which, the car tyres generate enough noise. The German auto-giant also claims that the sound of different range of cars will be different. Interestingly, this means the sports coupe EV will sound more brutal than the hatch EV.