Mercedes-AMG earlier this week launched their first-ever fully electric performance vehicle, the EQS 53 as well as a plug-in performance hybrid model, the GT 63 S E Performance 4-door coupe. Both vehicles signify the performance brand’s transition to adopt electrification in the long- and short-term offence.
With the Mercedes-AMG’s traditionally using large displacement, multi-cylinder engines and thus a sonorous soundtrack, the focus for the next generation of electric performance models turns to sound tuning.
In an interview with Autocar UK, the lack of a combustion engine and its associated noise in the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 made the development team worked hard to produce a unique and “very profound” propulsion sound that will distinguish the brand from its key rivals.
Customers purchase the Mercedes-AMG models for their sound, as internal research have shown. As such, developing a unique, emotional and powerful soundtrack continues to be one of the key targets at Mercedes-AMG. The boss of the Mercedes-AMG, Philipp Schiemer, said the first Mercedes-AMG electric car will have “an electric sound, quite closely related to what we hear in science fiction films.” Listen to the clip here.
Expressive and forceful sound for performance electric vehicles was first developed in the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, as they were the first automakers among the German “super sedans” segment to introduce the emission-free vehicles. BMW meanwhile teamed up with Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer to energized the cabin of electric BMW M models, such as the BMW i4 M50.
In the new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53, soundtrack in accordance with the speed and throttle input is not only played into the cabin but also pumped to the outside environment via loudspeakers and shakers under the AMG Sound Experience function.
Schiemer concedes that traditional buyers won’t like the synthesised soundtrack, but is also confident that the new sound has strong potential to attract a new set of customers to the brand. He further elaborated that the visceral soundtrack of Mercedes-AMG engines and exhausts are so emotional and profound that he sees the high-performance combustion engines will continue to be on sale thanks to high demand.
Mercedes-Benz will be ready to go all-electric by 2030, where market conditions allow, leaving the lifespan of the AMG-tuned V8, straight-six and four-cylinder engines for another nine years before being removed from the line-up.