No matter how hard automakers and engineers may try, it's impossible to turn an internal-combustion engine into a silent operator. However, as the auto industry shifts to battery packs and electric motors, silence ultimately wins out.
Mercedes-Benz has created a cheeky reminder in the form of a video advertisement to show consumers the future bids goodbye to noise. The video features the Generation EQ concept from the 2016 Paris auto show driving around a test track. The concept will spawn the production Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV.
Strangely, we hear engine noises coming from the battery-electric vehicle. That all comes to an end when the driver stops the futuristic crossover SUV and asks the passenger, the source of the noise, to exit. The engine impersonator is none other than human beatboxer Daniel Jovanov, an Australian native known for his sound effects and car noises.
It should be noted that electric cars won't stay entirely silent for long. Barring any unforeseen action by the Trump administration, a National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration rule will require hybrid and electric cars to produce an audible noise under 19 mph. The regulation is scheduled to take effect in less than two years.
Nissan has already revealed its solution to pending global regulations in the form of "Canto." The audible tone that will become the official sound of future Nissan electric cars sounds eerily similar to a spaceship heading into hyperdrive. The noise even builds a crescendo as the vehicle accelerates. As noted, the noise only has to be present under 19 mph to protect pedestrians who may not hear an electric car approaching.
Otherwise, Mercedes-Benz is right: the future will largely be silent—unless Mr. Jovanov is a passenger.