Audi’s upcoming e-Tron models will cover long distances motorized by almost silent electric motors. To ensure that walkers in urban settings will hear them, the brand has developed an artificial solution: Audi e-sound. Future e-Tron electric models are extremely quiet and great for the environment, but their deficiency of sound isn’t great for walkers in urban settings. To combat this issue, the car maker has been working on a noise to repeat a non-electric car’s motor. Rudolf Halbmeir’s workplace is not exactly typical of an Audi engineer.
There is a digital piano on his desk, two studio-quality loudspeakers next to his computer monitor, and a pile of music magazines off to the side. “A car’s sound,” says Halbmeir, an audibility engineer, “is similar to music.” Sound is a particularly exciting feature of a vehicle. Though it can be described in physical terms, there is no substitute for experiencing it firsthand. A car’s sound is emotional, not intellectual. All Audi models produce sound signatures which are not only well-rounded and musical, but also broadcast performance, premium quality and respectability.
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