But thankfully, this idea was scrapped.
We've been waiting for Mercedes-Benz to unveil the electric EQS, consuming the teasers supplied in little bite-size chunks, but yesterday, the reveal of the interior finally happened, complete with that astonishing new 56-inch Hyperscreen. With that announcement, we learned a lot more about the car and its features, including what kinds of sounds it will produce while driving.
At launch, drivers of the EQS can pick from Silver Waves, Vivid Flux, or Roaring Pulse as "soundscapes". These sounds will mimic the sound of some sort of futuristic propulsion device, but without any real relation to the sounds that a combustion engine develops. However, this was almost not the case, and Mercedes-Benz did toy with the idea of a fake engine note.
In an interview with The Drive, Mercedes-Benz sound design engineer Dr. Thomas Kuppers said, "We discussed the topic of 'artificial combustion sound' intense and often, the implementation of an iconic engine sound like the AMG V8 into our EV family, is no easy task (sic)."
He continues, "Our customers' expectations linked to AMG and the unique AMG sound are high. 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." He's right. As much as the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo have shifted our perceptions of how realistic video games can be, the one area that is almost always inaccurate is noise.
But it's not just recreating the sounds of an engine that would be challenging. "The driving dynamics from an electric vehicle differ too much from [a] combustion engine, you miss characteristic changes in the gearbox." Kuppers also mentions that keeping clients happy involves ensuring that each type of product carries its own trademark sound, and those who want a unique AMG experience would want such a noise to come from an AMG car. Those who want to experience a new way of transportation by embracing electric car offerings are specifically looking for a unique sound from EVs. Whatever the reasons, we're happy that Merc decided against falsified engine noises.