Ferrari plan for authentic ‘engine noise’ in electric cars revealed

External speaker means Italian brand's machinery could still offer a soul-stirring soundtrack, even in the EV era

Ferrari patent image engine sound

A patent filed by Italian sports car brand Ferrari has revealed plans for an external speaker system that will emit an authentic soundtrack linked directly to the propulsion system of the firm's future all-electric models, the first of which is set to arrive in 2025.

Ferrari is targeting 40 per cent EV sales by 2030, but its iconic engine sounds – from V6s, to V8s and spine-tingling V12s – risk becoming a thing of the past in the shift towards electric propulsion. While the patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office doesn't look to replicate a combustion engine's sound signature, it does show Ferrari is thinking about how its future models will be perceived, their link to Ferrari heritage and how they will make owners feel about driving them.

The filing, first spotted by Carbuzz, shows plans for a “road vehicle equipped with a reproduction device for the realization of a sound that can be associated with an electric motor”. From the looks of the accompanied drawing, Ferrari will record the sound from a part, or parts, of future models' electric motors – potentially even the transmission and differential too – amplifying this through a “sound reproduction device” mounted on the rear axle to emit an authentic sound.

It's thought that this sound will therefore be proportional to the vehicle's speed – potentially even throttle inputs – so while it might not be wholly natural, it is augmentation of a real sound and related directly to vehicle dynamics, rather than a fully synthesised noise available on some EVs today.

It's an increasing area of development on new cars, with Abarth equipping its new hot 500e with a speaker that generates a combustion-engine like sound - a deep, bassy rumble that gives the car plenty of presence - as we heard at the vehicle's launch.

The newly unearthed plans tie in with what Ferrari's chief R&D officer, Ernesto Lasalandra told us last year. He confirmed to Auto Express that his team is working on a “sound signature” for EVs, as with combustion engines. “They will have different signatures but they will both stir up feelings and emotions,” he said.

Are car manufacturers wasting their time trying to make electric cars sound good? Tell us your thoughts in the comments...

Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

Recommended

Ferrari’s next hypercar spied testing with hybrid power and big aero
Ferrari 'F250' hypercar - front
News

Ferrari’s next hypercar spied testing with hybrid power and big aero

The next chapter in Ferrari’s hypercar story is about to open, following on from LaFerrari, Enzo, F50 and F40…
24 Nov 2023
New Ferrari 499P Modificata is a £4.6m track-only Le Mans tribute
Ferrari 499P Modificata - front 3/4
News

New Ferrari 499P Modificata is a £4.6m track-only Le Mans tribute

This is your chance to live out your dreams of winning the famous 24-hour endurance race, in a super-exclusive Ferrari
30 Oct 2023
New Ferrari SP-8 is the latest one-off you can’t buy
Ferrari SP-8 - front
News

New Ferrari SP-8 is the latest one-off you can’t buy

Feast your eyes on this bold Ferrari - created for just one special customer
24 Oct 2023
Top 10 most expensive cars ever sold at auction
Mercedes 300 SLR
Features

Top 10 most expensive cars ever sold at auction

What is the most expensive car ever sold at auction? We list the most valuable cars ever to go under the hammer
21 Aug 2023

Most Popular

New 2024 Dacia Duster: third generation of Europe’s best-selling SUV revealed
Dacia Duster - front
News

New 2024 Dacia Duster: third generation of Europe’s best-selling SUV revealed

Dacia has taken the wraps off the latest Duster, which arrives with a new look and fresh technology
29 Nov 2023
New BMW X3 replacement to grow in size and feature a minimalist dash
BMW Neue Klasse SUV exclusive image - front
News

New BMW X3 replacement to grow in size and feature a minimalist dash

BMW’s first Neue Klasse electric SUV could carry the iX3 nameplate and our exclusive images preview how it might look
30 Nov 2023
New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates
Renault 5 EV concept at 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed
News

New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates

Renault’s reborn Renault 5 will start from €25,000 in Europe, suggesting a circa-£30k price in the UK. It's due on sale in the summer of 2024. Here's …
1 Dec 2023