While the arrival of the electric car has in recent years set imaginations aflame, one of the most consistent criticisms (or compliments) surrounding the likes of such vehicles has been the distinct lack of engine sound – specifically, the gruff grunt that car lovers and petrolheads have come to love.
While BMW executives have expressed skepticism on the future of the all-electric vehicle – instead espousing hybrid petrol engines – the company’s latest concept car, the BMW Vision M NEXT, does add a little sparkle to the former scene with thanks to famed German composer Hans Zimmer.
In addition to its sleek looks, the Vision M NEXT concept includes a soundscape designed to emulate engine noise and gear whine in a futuristic format, which could ultimately come to define the sonic appeal of electric cars in the future. Listen in to the below, where BMW reveals the Vision M NEXT’s signature sound – it’s a little like something out of Blade Runner:
That sound, specifically, will be heard when a driver would accelerate in what the firm calls “Boost+ Mode.”
BMW has publicly promised that its forthcoming crop of electric and hybrid vehicles would feature similar soundscapes in a bid to liken the experience of driving such a vehicle to the more familiar feeling of piloting a conventional petrol-powered vehicle.
If nothing else, Zimmer’s work on defining the soundscapes in an electric car might prove an interesting design point in the future – though electric cars might be less obtrusive thanks to their lower (sound) profile, research indicates that electric vehicles are 40% likely to hit an unaware pedestrian compared to their conventional combustion counterparts.
By leveraging modern speaker technology piped outside the car itself, electric automotive manufacturers may be able to help minimize the risk of such incidents occurring in the future, and evoke driving pleasure for those of us who have relied on combustion engines up until now.
If you’re intrigued, you can watch the full Vision M NEXT trailer below: