Over the last decade electric cars have really entered the zeitgeist in a big way. Something enthusiasts have been talking about—at least since Tesla proved EVs don’t have to be slow or boring—is the sound. You’ll hear many automotive fanatics poo-poo the genre for not having the throaty rumble of a tuned-to-the-hilt naturally aspirated V12 that a similarly quick supercar might have. One aftermarket supplier, Milltek, is aiming to bring the supercar sound to EVs and hybrids alike.
People in this industry have been thinking of ways to make EVs sound more dynamic for quite a while. All EVs are required by law to make at least some noise to allow pedestrians a moment of notice. But, what should an EV sound like, and how loud should it be? And more importantly, how can you get your exhaust sound fix while still driving an efficient EV?
Recently, while at the wheel of Porsche’s amazing Taycan Turbo S, I noticed the throttle-linked acceleration noise. Some have dubbed it an “angry Jetsons” tone, as it’s got a more bass-heavy tune than George’s briefcase bubble car. I like it, but it could be punched up a few decibels for proper fun driving.
The Brit YouTuber Archie meets up with racing driver Tom Onslow-Cole for a quick drive around in the tuner Model 3. The Model 3 Performance in question is kitted with a set of 21" wheels, performance rubber, a set of KW track coilovers, a gorgeous flat grey wrap, and a surprisingly nice carbon fiber accent kit. But the real story here is a pair of Milltek speakers at the back of the car to create the simulacrum of an exhaust note.
The faux exhaust note is controllable in volume and pitch from an app on your smart phone, and it can be turned on or off without even pulling your phone out, toggling something on and off again in the standard Tesla screen.
The Milltek sound package appears to be available in two different options, a single sound generator kit and a dual sound generator kit for extra punch. In the video the system is quoted to cost around 1200 British pounds, which is just shy of 1,500 greenbacks. The system apparently has eight different sound files which can be adjusted in volume, pitch, and tone.
Onslow-Cole mentions in the video that the company is working on a way to make the car sound like Star Wars space ships! I can’t wait to be able to say “Punch it, Chewie!” when I’m headed to the grocery store.
Having driven the Taycan with the sound on and the sound off, I much preferred it with the sound on. There is something soothing about hearing a sound that moves up and down through its range with your right foot’s action on the throttle. It may be artificial, but human brains respond to stimulus. What a great idea.