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Take a listen to the Volkswagen ID 3 and Koenigsegg Jesko

Jonathon Ramsey

What could better demonstrate our diametric vehicular future than sound clips of the Volkswagen ID 3 and the Koenigsegg Jesko? Battery-electric vehicles don't make enough noise on their own, so VW partnered with composer Leslie Mandoki for the legally-mandated Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) that warns pedestrians and cyclists of the EV's presence. Mandoki — a German-Hungarian who once played drums in a Euro disco band called Dschinghis Khan — was asked to come up with a sound for the ID 3 that VW said "defines its identity," "radiates safety and the promise of effortless mobility," and that "must also impress with its unique character." The definition of the ID 3's single-motor, 201-horsepower character is this:

[audio mp3="https://s.aolcdn.com/os/ab/_cms/2019/12/14171701/AVAS_EU_VW-ID3_Start_Fahrt_ueber30kmh_Bremsen1-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3"][/audio]

Occupants and people around the hatch can hear the sound as the car accelerates to 18.6 mph, and when reversing. At higher speeds, the sound of wind resistance and tire noise takes over.

As our library of AVAS tones grows, it's clear that EVs will provide a soundscape as varied as that of internal combustion engines. Here, for instance, is the industrial thrum used as the Karma Revero GT's pedestrian warning:

[audio mp3="https://s.aolcdn.com/os/ab/_cms/2019/12/14171855/2020ReveroGTSound1-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3"][/audio]

And here is the sci-fi soaring from the BMW Vision M Next, as composed by Hans Zimmer:

[audio mp3="https://s.aolcdn.com/os/ab/_cms/2019/12/13161556/VISION-MNEXT.mp3"][/audio]

At the other end of the aural chamber, we have the Koenigsegg Jesko. In this case, the composer is a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 running on a bio-ethanol E85 blend that's almost suitable for IndyCar, powering the engine up to 1,600 horsepower. Output on pump gas will be 'only' 1,281 hp. The Swedish automaker released a clip of the exhaust note of a car in progress inside the Angelhom factory. Here's what we can look forward to:

All these sounds have a place at the table, even if we'd prefer Karma booked some time with a producer and an Autotune session. To paraphrase Sesame Street, though, one of these sounds is definitely not like the other.