Amidst all the talks of electrification of cars, the one issue that rose is the aspect of sound. That is of particular importance for performance cars, in which the bass-ridden throaty roar of engines play a crucial deciding factor for customers. With even performance cars slated to go fully electric, car makers are working on different ways to retain the auditory experience of such cars as against the rather silent hum of electric motors. One such case here is in Mercedes-AMG's stables.
Speaking to Wheels Magazine, AMG CEO Tobias Moers stated that the makers of high performance sports cars are taking the help of American band Linkin Park, to develop the sound of future electric cars. The band is also dubbed as AMG's 'Partners in Performance', and will join a number of other experts from varied fields in lending a note to how an electric car will eventually sound like. See what we did there?
Moers revealed that AMG has been "really close" to Linkin Park over the years, and will contribute to AMG's development of electric cars with their "interpretation of electrified sound". Mercedes-AMG already has an established team that is working on the auditory aspect of electric performance cars, which includes sound artists from the gaming and film-making fraternities. Exactly how Linkin Park will contribute to this venture is unclear as yet, but the input will form a small part of the eventual outcome.
Sound plays a crucial part in expensive, high performance luxury car. AMG's customer base happen to be discerning buyers of sports cars, who are presumably picky about the raw throaty grunt of, say, a turbocharged V8 engine. Such engines are now slated to be replaced in the near future with all-electric drivetrains, and while the power factor can be maintained, such cars work in near silence. This is being seen as an aesthetic deterrent for potential buyers, thereby reducing the appeal of an equivalent electric car in comparison to a traditional sports car like the Mercedes-AMG GT-R. The other factor that sound plays in cars is in the safety aspect, where the sound of the engine itself works as a tertiary alert system for the car's immediate environment. "We sell emotions and sound is really a crucial part of emotion so what we do is work on artificial sounds because you have to," stated Moers.
Whether the sound in question will mimic that of a traditional combustion engine or be a completely different tune altogether remains to be answered, as of now. But, these sounds will play an increasingly important role with the electrification of cars in Mercedes' stable, beginning with the PHEV models in Mercedes-Benz's portfolio, followed by the more niche-oriented Mercedes-AMG cars under the company's EQ Power branding. There is ample time to work on it, as we do not expect to see any of these cars at least till 2020.
As of now, though, we can only imagine what an all-electric all-wheel-drive supercar from AMG (say, AMG GT-e?) would sound like. It would be rather intriguing if it ends up being a mix between a replicated engine noise with a few raps thrown in.