Electric cars might be beautifully quiet, but they lack the aural balls of a V8 and pose a safety risk to pedestrians. That's why next year's Nissan Leaf will have a whirring sound reminiscent of a Blade Runner Police spinner.
Nissan's engineers were originally tasked to simply recreate the sound of an engine. But, says 30-year veteran noise and vibration expert, Toshiyuki Tabata:
"We decided that if we're going to do this, if we have to make sound, then we're going to make it beautiful and futuristic. We wanted something a bit different, something closer to the world of art."
The sound will kick in automatically when the car starts, and turn off at about 20km/h (when tyre noise is enough to warn pedestrians).
Of course, it's not the first time we've seen this sort of tech. Fisker Karma's electric car will use a similar system designed to sound "like something between a formula One car and a jet plane". That's cool and all, but I think I'd still take the Sci-Fi option. [Nissan via Bloomberg via LA Times]