Listen to the sound of BMW's first electric M car

Brought to you by Hans Zimmer

11w ago

I've had the opportunity to drive several EVs and I've always maintained that, when all is said and done, the one thing we'll truly, really miss about ICEs is sound. Everything else, in my opinion, is just a matter of time and adjusting to a new type of technology but you can't really replace the growl of a V8 or the bellow of a V12.

BMW has been working to fix that problem and when the all-new BMW i4 M50 arrives later this year, it'll come with its own soundtrack. They're serious about it. Serious enough to admit and acknowledge that soundless sportscars don't resonate (pun intended) with petrolheads, and serious enough to hire none other than Hans Zimmer, one of the most accomplished Hollywood composers of our time, to produce a unique and distinctive sound for the i4 M50. And I gotta say I find quite intriguing. If you can't be bothered to watch the whole video and just want to hear the sound, skip ahead to 1:35 to listen to it.

BMW said the intensity and the note will adjust accordingly depending on speed and driving mode. In Comfort mode, for example, the sound will be more "immersive and pleasant", whereas in Sport mode it becomes more "dominant and powerful". In Eco Pro mode, the car is completely silent.

They call it the "IconicSounds Electric". It is an optional extra for the i4 and it will be fitted as standard in the iX and i4 M50. They also said that the iX will sound slightly different, "more harmonious", while it is going to use an "engagingly rousing and technical sonic profile" in the i4 M50. By which they probably mean it is going to sound more aggressive.

Zimmer said "every BMW has its own character, which is reflected in the sound it makes, so for the electrically driven BMW M models we have developed a driving sound which accentuates their emotional driving experience particularly vividly and ensures their performance can be felt with even greater intensity."

It sounds good on video but I don't know what it's gonna sound like in person. All I know is that BMW realised this was going to be a problem before every other manufacturer did, and they're least trying to see if they can do something about it. Kudos to them.

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Comments (19)

  • ICE will be sorely missed when it’s gone. EVs are just too soulless. Perhaps synthetic fuels will work out, but who knows for sure at this point.

      2 months ago
  • So we’re gonna ditch the sound of thousands of harmonious explosions leaving the exhaust in orderly fashion and rely on computer generated sound effects to give us driving pleasure?? What’s next, they’re gonna hire DJ Khaled to produce the sound of the next AMG??

    Just leave EVs the way they are, soulless, boring, and overrated.

      2 months ago
  • And here I thought nothing would trump the looks in the SUCKS department...

      2 months ago
  • EVs need to sound like Podracers from Star Wars.

      2 months ago
  • This is just sad. BMW has had a very long history of awesome sports cars. Now they go do something dumb like this. It’s bad enough a m car is electric, but replacing the ICE engines with a made up sound is just plain dumb. Bimmers have great engines and sounds, just bad launch control haha. I also know the BMW fanboys will be furious.

      2 months ago