'Cars have to be less loud, less loud and less loud unfortunately, so we are working with artificial sounds and also thinking of what sounds should electric cars do' – Gorden Wagener.
Mercedes-Benz says that it is actively working on artificial sounds for the exhaust and the engine sounds, as it becomes tougher and tougher to create vehicles with naturally loud exhaust notes due to ever-tightening laws.
Speaking to media at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, chief designer for Mercedes-Benz, Gorden Wagener, said that he personally loves driving his AMG GT on German autobahns, but admitted the noise from the V8 might not always be around.
“I love the sound of the V8 more than anything else, definitely more than the electric ‘bzzz,” Wagener said.
“[But with] the legislations for sound and so on, cars have to be less loud, less loud and less loud unfortunately, so we are working with artificial sounds and also thinking of what sounds should electric cars do.”
According to Wagener, the lack of noise in electric vehicles will create some challenges, as the possibility of creating all new noises both inside and outside the car requires a new way of thinking.
“Inside I think the cars become more and more intelligent, they get chips, AI and learn with algorithms, so they become alive. It’s important that sounds are communication and feedback so we also have UX department thinking about sounds as well.”
Mercedes is working on creating atmospheres inside its noiseless cars so that it can set the mood for a certain type of drive.
“There's a really cool app we developed - with nature sounds rain and wind, mountains and you can set it up, it’s phenomenal. It will get you in the mood and enjoy the electric car. [It’s called] nature connect,” he said.
The brilliant sound of the previous-generation 6.2-litre V8 was replaced with the still rather healthy exhaust note of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in current AMG vehicles, but only time will tell if that engine can sustain its sound and aggression into the future.
“With all the hybrid, autonomous and electric cars coming, we must not forget that driving is [supposed to be] fun.”
We agree, Mr Wagener. We agree.