LISTEN: Oscar Winner Creates Sound For BMW’s Electric Car

For many petrol heads, one of the many shortcomings of an electric car is the missing roar and rev of a combustion engine. But, if you look at the positive side of things, this means that you can create ANY sound to go with your electric car. And that is exactly what BMW is doing.

BMW revealed that it will release 25 electric vehicles by 2023, meanwhile teasing us with its Vision M NEXT sports car. The concept car looks like something out of a sci-fi movie and who better to create a sound to accompany it than famed composer, Hans Zimmer.

The European Union recently mandated that as of 1 July, electric vehicles must have an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS), meaning that they are to be fitted with an electronic sound emitter. This is intended to address the concern that electric vehicles are too silent and, therefore, deadly. This also means that automakers can get creative and create a distinct sound for their brand, much like smartphone brands have identifying ringtones.


Hans Zimmer (left) worked with Renzo Vitale (right), BMW’s sound engineer.

Zimmer’s repertoire of work includes the soundtrack for sci-fi films, such as Interstellar, Inception and the Blade Runner sequel, so he would arguably be the perfect person to compose a distinct sound for the Vision M Next.

Working with BMW’s own sound engineer, Renzo Vitale, Zimmer conceived the following track. Click play and close your eyes:


The slow and incremental increase in pitch is an aural interpretation of smooth powering up and acceleration (to this writer’s ears). It is quite pleasing and…strangely familiar. Hmm.

Oh. Here’s why:

So, in a few years, we could be walking down the road, hear this sound approaching and be confused as to whether a car is about to plough into us or we had inadvertently wandered into a cinema.

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