It is already a requirement that electric cars make a certain noise, but only when the speed is 20 km / h or slower. This is to avoid dangerous situations with walking and cycling. The sound is often reminiscent of electronic humming, but some electric cars have simulated petrol engine sounds. More sporty electric cars, including the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron GT, make something reminiscent of engine roar when you accelerate properly.
All car manufacturers are sadly aware of this, and several are working on what is called a rich sound experience. It is not necessarily about copying old engine roars, but about creating a similar experience of power and energy transfer - which at the same time can also become part of the car's DNA.
BMW is among the car manufacturers that have put the challenge on the agenda. And there is no one anywhere they have engaged to develop the driving sound in the BMWs of the future: the German composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer is perhaps the world's most renowned composer of film music and is widely known for his ability to create musical expressions that make the hair on his arms stand up in the most intense scenes. Zimmer has already put his signature on the driving sounds in the upcoming BMW iX and i4, and right now he is working on the sounds in the BMW M version.
Which sounds are played while driving depends on, among other things, driving mode, speed and driving style. For example, if you select comfort mode in a BMW iX, the sounds should reflect a pleasant atmosphere. Crushing the accelerator pedal creates a deeper sound that follows the acceleration. And if you choose sport mode, the sound spectrum becomes more dominant and powerful. Only when you drive in eco mode is the acoustic response reduced to what we associate with normal electric car sounds.
The IconicSounds Electric sound packages will come as standard on the BMW iX during 2022. For the i4 and M version, it will be available as an option. The packages will also be available on other models through software updates.