- Hyundai gave its sporty new electric SUV fake engine and exhaust sounds.
- It uses interior and exterior speakers to mimic the feel — and noise — of a gas car.
One of the most entertaining parts of driving fast cars may be going extinct as whisper-quiet electric motors slowly displace roaring engines.
But not if Hyundai has anything to say about it.
The Korean brand on Thursday unveiled a raucous, high-performance version of its popular Ioniq 5 EV complete with fake engine sounds noisy enough to wake the neighbors.
The Ioniq 5 N’s “N Active Sound+” feature uses 10 interior speakers and two exterior ones to simulate the rumble of a gas engine and exhaust both inside and outside the vehicle. There are a few different sound profiles available, including a “Supersonic” theme that Hyundai said was inspired by fighter jets.
Hyundai also equipped the Ioniq 5 N with a system that mimics the gear shifts of a gas car. (Electric cars generally have just one speed, not several.) So as the SUV accelerates, the artificial sound alternately swells and drops off just like you’d expect. You can see — and more importantly, hear — the system in action here:
The souped-up SUV has two motors and can produce a whopping 641 horsepower in short bursts, Hyundai says. It hits 60 mph from a stop in a claimed 3.4 seconds. The Ioniq 5 N will hit streets in early 2024.
Electric cars are inherently nearly silent in their operation, but many pump futuristic sounds into the cabin as you press the throttle. EVs are so effortlessly quick and quiet that it can be useful to have some auditory cues remind you when it’s time let off the accelerator.
The idea behind the sound and shifting features, according to the Hyundai, was to create a more “engaging and exciting sensory experience for the driver.” Dodge, known for its deafening muscle cars, showed off a similar feature in a recent concept car.
Personally, I prefer the quiet, so it’s nice to hear that “N Active Sound+” can be turned off. Still, I’m eager to test it out.
What do you think? Do you want engine noise in your EV or not? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.