You can recognise a Porsche with your eyes closed – the noise is what gives it away. The Taycan has a completely different sound to all other electric cars. Our acoustic engineers have taken years to perfect the sound. The result is typically Porsche.
Does the Taycan purr at traffic lights, or does it roar? “We’ve developed a stationary noise which is powerful but won’t disturb people on an acoustic level,” emphasises Tobias Hillers. With modern internal combustion engines, the automatic start-stop function switches the engine off when the car comes to a standstill. But passers-by notice how the engine springs back into life before the car moves off again. An electric car moves off immediately. “We’re not making the environment louder, we’re simply ensuring that the car is more perceptible,” he explains.
Electric cars have to be heard.
Tobias Hillers joined Porsche in 2012 to build up this field at EGA, working with Porsche Engineering initially and then moving to AG in 2014. He’s continued working with this field ever since. “We’ve known for a long time that electric cars have to be heard, specifically for safety reasons.” A minimum noise has been mandatory for electric cars since 1 July 2019. An EU regulation prescribes an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) for the protection of other road users up to speeds of 20 km/h, alerting other road users to approaching electric cars. To ensure this works in real-life situations, the sound laboratory in Weissach uses a dummy fitted with special microphones to enable binaural hearing, a tool that helps the specialists understand how the sounds from the Taycan are perceived by the people in the car or in the environment around the car, depending on the driving situation.
There’s just one question left to ask the experts: can you recognise the sound of a Taycan out on the road, even with your eyes closed? “I certainly hope so!” says Hillers with a grin. He knows that the Taycan is very different to all other electric cars, and this applies to its sound as well. So much so that even passers-by who haven’t been trained in what to listen for will turn their heads when they hear a Taycan go by.
Where does the sound come from? Where does it go? And how quickly? Here, the fact that humans have two ears is helpful, because that the ear nearer to the source perceives the sound more quickly than the other ear, and hears it more loudly. Time delays of up to 0.00001 seconds and sound pressure differences of one decibel (at frequencies above 500 Hertz) can be perceived as a result. These pulses are then computed accordingly by the brain. The ear itself also plays a part: depending on the direction the sound is coming from, it causes distortions which are also computed by the brain. This allows us to perceive whether a noise is coming from ahead or behind, or from above or below.
*Data determined in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) as required by law. You can find more information on WLTP at www.porsche.com/wltp . For Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) range and Equivalent All Electric Range (EAER) figures are determined with the battery fully charged, using a combination of both battery power and fuel.
Values are provided for comparison only. To the extent that fuel and energy consumption or CO₂ values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. Optional features and accessories can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics which may result in a change in fuel or energy consumption and CO₂ values. Vehicle loading, topography, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual driving styles, can all affect the actual fuel consumption, energy consumption, electrical range, and CO₂ emissions of a car.
** Important information about the all-electric Porsche models can be found here