This man used a pipe to create the Audi E-Tron GT's sound...
Ermm, yes, your E-Tron GT does sound like a bit of pipe Sir...
We've all been a little disappointed with the AUDI soundscape recently. The RS6 sounds woefully plain compared to the Panemera and E63S, and whilst the V10 and 5-pots are loud I don't really think they actually sound very nice. Perhaps a plastic pipe really is the answer to the problem.
Whilst the E-Tron GT certainly just looks like an AUDIfied Taycan apparently it's going to sound different. According to AUDI they've gone to great lengths to “deliberately avoid imitating an internal combustion engine or a spaceship from a science fiction movie,” explains Rudolf Halbmeir, one of the Sound design bosses. “Instead, we developed a sporty, expansive and sophisticated sound that also comes across as clear and distinctive. It combines familiar sound patterns with new, futuristic elements.”
“In principle, the sound of a car has much in common with music,” says Halbmeir. “To find the basis for the sound of the e-tron GT, I tried all sorts of instruments – from the violin to the electric guitar all the way to the didgeridoo, a wind instrument from Australia. But none of them were really suitable. Then I came across a piece of plastic pipe lying in the garden, it was 3 meters (9.8 ft) long and had a cross-section of 80 millimeters (3.1 in). I attached a fan at one end and listened to the sound coming out the other end. It was a very specific, deep growl – and I knew straight away that I had discovered the foundation of the sound.”
After this "grassroots" style discovery there was some more traditional engineering work conducted both in the Audi sound laboratory and on the computer in the office. Halbmeir and his colleague Stephan Gsell continuously developed the frequency structure into a finely balanced sample of 32 sounds. These include processed synthesizer sounds and, yes, a cordless screwdriver. The repertoire also features recordings of a RC helicopter, and several variants of the plastic pipe can also be heard in the sound of the e-tron GT.
“Our sound is continuously recreated as the algorithm mixes and prioritizes the individual sounds differently,” explains Stephan Gsell. This is based on data about the rotational speed of the electric motors, the load, the vehicle speed, and other parameters supplied by the drive management. When the car is driven slowly, the e-sound is discreet, becoming fuller and more dynamic as speed increases. Although synthesized, it creates an authentic and finely nuanced impression of the work performed by the drive system.
Instead of a performance exhaust you can buy extra speakers to play your AUDI sound extra loud. Two control units and amplifiers positioned in the luggage compartment generate the exterior and interior sounds. In this configuration, the front exterior loudspeaker is joined by a counterpart in the rear end along with two loudspeakers in the rear doors for the interior sound. Their comparatively large dimensions allow them to accurately reproduce frequencies down to 65 Hz.
Personally I'd stick with the Taycan - I'm yet to experience the Porsche Electric Sport Sound, but I'm not a fan of the pink shirts, bald heads and gold signet rings that seem to come included with every Audi of this size.