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The ten ultimate electric car sounds

  1. New electric and hybrid cars will have to be fitted with ‘sound generating devices’ by 2021 to help increase road safety, the European Parliament has said.

    Voting on a proposal to decrease overall vehicle noise on combustion engines yesterday (they’ll have to be 4dB quieter in two years time), the EU voted to increase the noise made by electric cars to “undoubtedly help avoiding road-accident injuries”.

    Though Top Gear is concerned about the decrease in combustion-engined car noise (have you heard a Ferrari F12 at full chat? Why would you want to make that quieter?), Top Gear welcomes the move for ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ - in EU parlance - to be fitted to new electric cars.

    Mainly because it affords the opportunity for some aural japes. We’ve had a deep think (read: gin-infused ramble through TG’s DVD library) and come up with ten excellent suggestions for electric car noises. Click through the gallery to count ‘em down.

    But we reckon you can do even better. What should the electric car of the future sound like? Submit your vote in the comment box below…

    Pictured: Formula E Spark Renault

  2. Predator 'clicking'

    Capable of interstellar travel, possessing bloody huge and terrifying weaponry and forcing Arnold Schwarzenegger to reel off one of the greatest lines in cinema history, Mr Predator is unquestionably a bad apple. So bad in fact, its ‘clicking’ sound can bring a shiver of fear to anyone who has seen the film. The perfect electric car sound. The sound of fear.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Finding an Alien perched on your roof. Or an Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  3. Ghostbusters proton pack

    What could sound better than an unlicensed nuclear accelerator being switched on, and used to take out an ancient entity from another dimension intent on bringing down New York City? We are of course, talking about the proton pack from Ghostbusters. It takes out Slimer. It takes out the Marshmallow Man. It takes out Gozer the Gozarian. Imagine this in a Nissan Leaf.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Crossing the streams, causing the End Of All Things.

  4. Toyota Le Mans car

    Actually a semi-serious suggestion. The 2012 Le Mans race saw the birth of Toyota’s TS030; a V8 petrol hybrid that, when switching from electric power to petrol power, sounded like the universe’s most powerful light sabre being switched on.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Doesn’t sound quite as cool as…

  5. An actual light sabre

    A 2008 survey of 2,000 film fans voted the legendary light sabre as the most popular weapon in film history. This is because it sounds excellent. Would render a Renault Zoe at least 100 per cent safer and several thousand per cent cooler.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: temperamental accelerating to recreate that noise FOR ETERNITY.

  6. Darth Vader's mask

    Sticking with the Star Wars theme, how about the terrifying, omnipresent breathing of Lord Vader himself? Would certainly cause pedestrians to think twice before stepping out in front of your new BMW i3.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: a strange strangling sensation you just can’t explain upon questioning your car’s range.

  7. Star Trek transporter noise

    Yes, the notion of pairing electric cars to futuristic sounds is a cliché, but come on, who wouldn’t want their Lexus to sound like something out of Star Trek?

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: a transporter accident joining your hybrid Lexus to a Nissan Leaf.

  8. T-Rex roar

    Every car should sound like the roar of Jurassic Park’s most fearsome predator. This is all.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Raptors all up in your kitchen.

  9. Batman's bike/pod Thing

    The Dark Knight has some cool toys, and they don’t sound much cooler than the all-destroying Batpod.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downsides: None. He is Batman and therefore invincible.

  10. Formula One engine

    Not the muffled, humming 2014 F1 cars, of course, but the proper, screaming old ones. Why can’t all electric cars by the year 2021 sound like a Ferrari V12 from the 412 T1?

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Possibility of many retirements over the course of ownership, guaranteed tinnitus.

  11. Wilhelm scream

    Why not pair your love of eco-ism and electricity with one of Hollywood’s most celebrated movie sound effects, the classic ‘Wilhelm Scream’? It’s been used in more than 200 movies, originating from 1953 western The Charge at Feather River.

    Listen to it here

    Potential downside: Strong possibility of being shot with an arrow. Or eaten by an alligator. Or being shot by a blaster gun. Or…

What do you think?

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