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Friday, August 14, 2015

The Future of Motorsports Sounds like a $20 RC Car

As reported by The VergeLet's get this out the way first: Formula E is fantastic. The cars look good, the drama is still there, and the organizers aren't afraid to try crazy new concepts (like giving cars speed boosts based on fans' votes). However, we're still not sold on the sound of the vehicle. The high-pitched whine you get from most powerful EVs certainly strikes a futuristic note, but sometimes the engines sound a little off-key or even just plain weedy.
The video below demonstrates this pretty well, showing a compilation of manufacturers' cars ready for the second season of Formula E. Unlike the first season, this time teams have been allowed to customize their powertrains — fiddling with components like the motor, inverter, and gearboxes. This makes for a more varied competition, but also gives each vehicle a unique sound and, listening to the video above, it's clear that some are a little easier on the ear than others. Let's hope that in the future, teams pay a little attention to the noises they can achieve, as well as the speed.