Fake ‘V8-vibrations’ to entice petrolheads into Dodge’s Charger EV

What else must modern carmakers do to get a hardcore V8-sound-and-feel-loving petrolhead in a too-smooth-driving silent electric car? Dodge is working on packing its upcoming ‘electric muscle car,’ the Charger EV, with sensors and ‘force generators’ to mimic V8 vibrations, on top of a screaming Hellcat sound. This tactile feedback is something BMW is experimenting with for its sporty M EVs, too.

Earlier, when Dodge presented the Charger Daytona SRT Concept last year, it said the production model that is to be launched in late 2024 will feature a ‘Fratazonic Chambered Exhaust’ that fakes the sound of a raw V8 engine. But faking the old ICE’s vibrations must add tactile sensations to the driving experience.

Patents filed worldwide

Dodge’s parent company, Stellantis, has filed patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for what it calls Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) and Active Vibration System Enhancement (AVE).

ASE combines several sensors monitoring motor speed, acceleration, wheel speed, and torque with a central controller that tailors the sounds of a combustion engine to the driving conditions. Stellantis argues that the near-silent operation of an EV can pose safety challenges for pedestrians. But Dodge is instead blowing them away.

Screaming Hellcat sound

Dodge does this with its ‘Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust system’ by moving air through a speaker box with chambers, pipes, and an exhaust outlet at the back of the car. And for those who hate the ethereal silence of an electric vehicle, it can do that loud – up to 126 decibels – like on a Hellcat-powered Dodge Charger SRT.

To give you an idea, 126 dB equates to the pain threshold in humans, which tends to vary from 120 dB in adults to 130 dB in teenagers, according to scientists. “Prolonged and repeated exposure to that level causes cumulative and permanent hearing loss. Anything above 80 dB can do that.”

Adding tactile feedback

Implementing sound simulation systems alone may feel unnatural due to the lack of tactile feedback experienced with ICE engines. Dodge argues that, like the sound of a revolving engine going through its gears, the vibrations in muscle cars can be critical safety indicators for the drivers of how the car is reacting.

That’s why it wants to add a tactile experience of driving a sports car for the driver by ‘vibrating’ the car on crucial points like the steering wheel or the driver’s seat using a force generator and sensors.

BMW is looking into it, too

An idea shared by BMW engineers developing the electric M-series of the future, as BMW M-boss Frank van Meel told WhichCar.com.  “BMW is looking into simulated gears, acoustic cues, and vibration feedback as ways the M EVs could communicate with the driver.”

BMW argues its sporty models could be used on the track, where racing drivers in full action don’t have the time to look at instruments but mainly depend on their hearing and feel of the car to get an idea of the limits.





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