Sound has played a vital role in the driving experience since the inception of the internal combustion engine, but it's disappearing with electric cars. It's a point of complaint with enthusiasts who deride EVs for their lack of auditory soul. However, there is a solution. Tesla offers external speakers on some models, and a new video from DragTimes shows how you can use any sound for the Tesla's soundtrack.
Brooks Weisblat's Tesla Model S Plaid is plenty quick, but it lacks the sounds many people often associate with speed. He fixed that by opting to upload a very specific engine sound to the Tesla – the sound of a cammed Dodge Hellcat engine. It sounds otherworldly coming from the sleek, red electric saloon, though it falls short of being a worthy stand-in for a real exhaust note. The car plays the sound's track on loop, detached from what the car is doing.
Tesla began installing external speakers on its model starting on 1 September 2019, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US required silent EVs to omit some sort of sound as a way of alerting pedestrians. Tesla decided to open up access to the feature to anyone. All one has to do is connect a USB device to the car, and you can save up to five bespoke sounds.
Sound, or the lack of it, will be something automakers contend with in the coming years. For one, regulations required EVs to make a sound for safety reasons, and the digital nature of it all gives automakers new freedoms in crafting unique vehicle sound signatures. It's unlikely many imagined our electrified future would sound so similar to the cars we drive today, but technology has a way of helping us hold onto our past, even if it radically changes the driving experience of the future.