Mercedes-AMG is working hard to produce a unique and “very profound” engine sound that will distinguish its future electric cars from all rivals, according to Philipp Schiemer, the high performance division’s new boss.
The EV sound project is part of a detailed rethink at Affalterbach over the past year, designed to steer the transformation of AMG’s models, whose ICE engines’ sound and performance has traditionally dominated their character, into the electrification age.
Schiemer, promoted to the top job a year ago when the company’s long-time head, Tobias Moers, moved to Aston Martin, says the first AMG EVs — typified by his company’s version of the Mercedes EQS luxury saloon — will have “an electric sound, quite closely related to what you hear in science fiction films” but the company believes it has identified a particular sound character that can be all its own.
This will develop, says Schiemer, as the number of AMG electric models multiplies. Some traditional buyers won’t like it, he acknowledges, but he is also confident that the new sound may well attract new customers.
AMG’s research shows that a uniquely emotional sound is one of three powerful motivators for customers; the others are high performance and excellence in driving dynamics. The importance of an emotional sound is one key reason why AMG’s V8 engines will survive for “quite a long time”, Scheimer says.
He won’t put a date on their demise, claiming only that they will be around “as long as we have customers”. Present V8 demand is high, and increasing in some markets.