Malcolm Flynn | Apr 12, 2012

Audi has employed acoustic engineers to develop ‘new sound signatures’ for its future e-tron models. The project comes in response to fears that the almost silent operation of electric vehicles (EV) presents a hazard for pedestrians.

The development of synthetic sounds for EVs is nothing new. Nissan’s Leaf and Volkwagen’s Golf Blue-e-Motion electric models emit pedestrian-warning noises and Lotus has also explored similar technologies.

For its e-tron cars, Audi has gone to great lengths to create a sound which it describes as sporting in character, yet distinctly electronic.

"Good sound design is a complex endeavour," explains Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics at Audi.

"We have gathered a lot of expertise over the years. We have also learned how to amplify pleasant frequencies and to suppress unpleasant noises."

In its current form, the e-tron prototype ‘sound signature’ varies according to throttle position, and is emitted through a 40W speaker attached to the underside of the car.

Children of the 80s might find the noise emitted by the e-tron prototype reminiscent of KITT from the TV series Knight Rider.

Audi is yet to confirm an on-sale date for the production R8 e-tron, but has committed to a limited-release launch before the end of 2012.

Get the best deal on this car!
Get a great deal from our national accredited supply network. Fill in the form or call 1300 438 639
Name required
Last Name should be a hidden field. Please delete if you are a real person.
Valid Phone required
Valid Postcode required
Valid Email required
Thank you for your enquiry.
One of our accredited supply network will be in touch in the next 24 hours.