2019 BMW i8
Automakers are seemingly supporting the idea that the future of the automobile is, indeed, electric. Some makes will have it easier than others, but for BMW's M division, it will work to solve the issue of sound.
Since electric cars are nearly silent, M division's head Frank van Meel, told CarBuzz in a report published Sunday that silence won't be an option. Although he doesn't have an answer today, he was adamant that future electric cars won't be completely quiet.
There's truth to this outside the realm of pleasant snarling exhaust notes and burly engine tones. By September 2020, electric cars in the U.S. must adhere to new regulations for electric vehicles to make noise at speeds slower than 18.6 mph. So, no matter what, electric cars will make some noise. Nissan already released the tone it plans to use, which it calls "Canto."
Performance vehicles are different, however. Whatever tone BMW's M or other performance brands adopt, it will become a standard one day, van Meel said. He likened the eventual acceptance to "Star Wars" and pod racers.
He explained the sound is completely artificial, but fans accept that sound as true to form.
"So with electric cars there will be sound also. I don’t know exactly what it will sound like, but we will find a solution as always," he said. "They will come to the mind as completely natural one day.”