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 Bladerunner 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 12mph (when tire 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]