Dodge stirred up controversy a few months ago when it revealed its first electric vehicle concept, the Charger Daytona SRT EV. It has some interesting design features and even a transmission, but those things aren’t what people were concerned about. It was the car’s “exhaust.” AKA, speakers in a resonance chamber at the back of the vehicle.
Speaking to Motor Trend at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, Kuniskis said that the sound of the system wasn’t well-represented at the reveal event. The Fratzonic system uses an amplifier that plays synthesized sounds created by Dodge through a “tuning chamber” to increase volume and modify the tone. In an interview with CNBC after the reveal, Kuniskis compared the system to a pipe organ. He now tells Motor Trend that the sound is hard to record, so the car has to be heard in person.
Kuniskis says the initial reactions were “super negative.” Looking into it more, though, he claims that most people were actually OK with the idea of a fake exhaust note for EVs, they just didn’t like how the Charger Daytona’s sounded, especially at wide open “throttle.”
The idle is easy, he claims. Just copy the tempo of a rumbling cross-plane V8 and make it sound futuristic. A noise that represents a muscle car and also an electric motor at full power is a little tougher to nail down. Kunkiskis refers to this as “wide-open motors.”
In the search to get the right wide-open motors sound, the CEO says Dodge has already experimented with more than 1,000 different notes. He insists that, by the time the cars hit the streets in about two years’ time, the automaker will get it right. For now, though, just know that what you’ve heard likely won’t be what you get.
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