I am not wholly opposed to the largely harmless practice of pumping fake engine noises into a vehicle’s cabin. But even I have to admit that Mercedes-Benz was right not to add faux V8 noises to the EQS.
Asked by The Drive if the brand had considered giving the EQS the option of pumping sounds from an AMG V8 into the car, Dr. Thomas Küppers, Mercedes‘ head of sound design, said the idea had crossed the team’s mind. They ultimately decided against it, though.
“Our customers’ expectations linked to AMG and the unique AMG sound are high,” said Küppers. “You might know from computer games, that imitating an engine sound is a complex thing, and within the crowd not a single game has met the expectations of (re)producing sounds.”
But the difficulty goes deeper than simply getting the engine note to sound right. There are also questions of how EVs drive vs how internal combustion engines drive.
“The driving dynamics from an electric vehicle differ too much from a combustion engine: you miss the characteristic changes in the gearbox,” Küppers explained. “And we learned within our car clinics: if you want to have that unique AMG experience, you turn your head towards Affalterbach. Customers, who buy an electric vehicle, are keen on this new ‘user experience’ and search for acoustic differentiation.”
Instead, like many automakers, Mercedes is turning to abstract sounds to imply forward motion. At launch, EQS drivers will be able to pick from sounds such as Silver Waves, Vivid Flux, and Roaring Pules, none of which is trying to sound like an engine.
And that’s intentional. As Küppers points out, people who are buying an EV aren’t necessarily the same people lusting after an AMG’s engine note.