Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Gets “Sonorous Purring” Sound While Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Gets Huskier Tone


Smart Fortwo ED Purrs

Smart Fortwo ED Purrs

Should an electric vehicles pedestrian warning system emit a sound that’s more or less in tune with the performance of the vehicle?

I Get a Huskier Tone

I Get a Huskier Tone

Daimler seems to think so and, as such, fitted the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive with a pleasant “sonorous purring” sound, while electing to give the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive a huskier tone.

Christoph Meier, a sound engineer at Daimler, is the man responsible for choosing the EV sounds.  Meier says the Smart ED has a higher pitched noise, which he likens to “sonorous purring.”  Meanwhile, the brutally powerful AMG ED gets a huskier tone.

Daimler is on the side of the fence that thinks EVs need noise.  As Meier stated:

“People expect some exterior noise from a vehicle, because we all grew up with the ‘vroom vroom’ of combustion engines.”

Like it or not, regulators across the globe are expected to make these pedestrian warning sounds mandatory, so what kind of sound would you prefer?  A gentle, soothing one?  Or something more robust?

Source: Newsday

Categories: Mercedes, Smart

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Gets “Sonorous Purring” Sound While Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Gets Huskier Tone"

newest oldest most voted

Singling out evs is pathetic.

If any noise is added to a vehicle, it should be to those which stay below a certain threshold.
There are some loud evs, especially when accelerating, and there are some very quite ices.

I have experience ices passing me by, and all I heard were the tires. One car was so quite at the traffic lights that I thought the engine was off until the driver drove off with no engine starting noise.

I agree 100%. I avoid running the fan in my Volt sometimes because I don’t want to hear it. When I do that, I can hear road noise. It makes me want to levitate the whole car to eliminate that too! But you are right about nice ICE cars. They are far quieter than that irritating VSP.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Michelin Primacy MXVs are rather quieter than the stock Goodyears on a Volt. Something to think about when it comes time to get new ones..

Just about all comparable Michelin tires are quiter than Goodyears….

But they generally cost at least 25% more. But they also last way longer than Goodyears…

The factory Goodyear Fuel max tires on the Volt have an unbeatable combination of dry and wet grip plus low rolling resistance. When mine wear out I am definitely getting four more of the same Goodyears. It could be a while however, since I don’t have much wear at 31,000 miles.


I want the Jetsons car sound on my Imiev!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

So when cars took over for horses, did cars have to go “neighhhhh”?


That’s it! Clippity-clop, neigh-whinny. That’s the sound we need. Or they should let us upload our own mp3. As long as they stick with high frequency sounds, wrapping the VSP speaker with fiberglass insulation will effectively silence it.

Just get a couple guys from Monty Python, to follow you around with a couple of coconuts. 😉


Instead you had to have someone with a flag walk ahead of the automobile to warn the horse owners that one of those noisy horse-spooking contraptions was coming. Look it up.


Meep, meep, like the roadrunner. The clip clop idea is funny too. How about with a range of sounds or ring tones like you get on your phone.

I like Star Trek-like Warp Drive and UFO Hovering sounds… 😉

Regionalisation would be nice. Your New York ev could say: “Oi I’m driving here.”

“Outta mah way, peds! *Beep!* Outta mah way, Peds! *Beep!*” 😉

I disabled the sound box generator on my ED so now its almost completely silent except for the motor wine which sounds like a spaceship taking off and isnt that loud and sounds cool.

It should a downloadable app that you can swith the sound to match your driving mood….

Final word on this… I think the majority of EV owners will agree, and non-EV owners won’t care unless they are “inspired” to care by some complete whack job with phony statistics. It should be nothing at all. They should shut the idea down, and pass the materials and R&D savings along to the customers.