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Daimler electric cars get fake vroom to thwart silent threat

02 January 2014 | Washington Post

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Christoph Meier, a sound engineer at Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, typically spends time making engine noise less jarring. For the automaker’s new electric models, he’s had to do the opposite — create sound. For Daimler’s e-Smart city car, Meier and his team invented a “sonorous purring” that was pitched higher than conventional vehicles, while Mercedes’s $569,600 SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive gets huskier tones to reflect its power. Daimler isn’t alone in adding noise to electric cars. Renault offers a choice of car tones — pure, glam and sport — on the Zoe hatchback, while Nissan Motor’s Leaf, the best-selling electric car, also comes with artificial sound.


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