BMW and Hans Zimmer develop the driving sound for electrified BMW M vehicles

Shane McGlaun - May 12, 2021, 5:24am CDT
BMW and Hans Zimmer develop the driving sound for electrified BMW M vehicles

Anyone who loves cars and trucks knows that the sound vehicles make is as appealing as their performance and styling. One of the challenges with electrified vehicles in the future will be that, by nature, they don’t produce the same sort of sound traditional vehicles produce. BMW is working with legendary composer Hans Zimmer to create the sound that future electrified BMW M vehicles will produce.

Zimmer is working with Renzo Vitale, the Creative Director Sound at the BMW group, to create the distinctive driving sound that customers will experience in future electric BMW M vehicles. Zimmer says that every BMW has its own character that is reflected in the sound it makes. For electric BMW models, Zimmer says he and the automaker have developed a driving sound that accentuates their emotional driving experience particularly vividly.

Zimmer says the sound ensures their performance can be “felt with even greater intensity.” Electrified BMW M vehicles will have onboard driving modes selectable with the press of a button with the sound produced by the vehicle taking cues from the driving situation. In the basic setting, BMW IconicSounds Electric “employs a strikingly transparent timbre with spherical components to convey the basic character of an electrically driven BMW brand model.”

BMW promises an “immersive and pleasant atmosphere” in the BMW i4 in Comfort mode. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the relationship between how the car is being driven and the sound it makes is revealed with the sound experience deepening as load and speed increases. In Sport mode, the car’s aural spectrum is more dominant and powerful. BMW will offer an Eco Pro mode with acoustic feedback reduced to nothing.

Sounds will be developed specifically for BMW M models that are “charged with extra energy.” In these M models, the difference between Comfort and Sport mode will be particularly strong. BMW notes that overall the drive system sound displays a less harmonious but “engagingly arousing and technical sonic profile.” The new sounds would be featured in the BMW i4 and iX during 2022.


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