Ben Parker
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BMW and Hans Zimmer Want You to Feel More Emotions in Your EV

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Hans Zimmer Composer BMW IconicSounds Electric
Hans Zimmer is responsible for creating the music for many award-winning films
Photo: BMW

You may not know his face, but you definitely know his music. Hans Zimmer is the man behind some of the world’s most beloved film scores. Just a handful of his compositions include The Lion King, Gladiator, A League of Their Own, The Dark Knight, and Inception. The music for these films invoke emotion in every scene, and that’s exactly why BMW is partnering with the Academy Award-winning Zimmer for its upcoming new electric vehicle series.

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Back in June, BMW unveiled its Vision M NEXT concept, for which Hans Zimmer and BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale created the model’s e-sound, or startup noise. The idea was that the pair could produce sounds and music that would conjure more feeling and emotion during the electric driving experience. Zimmer also produced the soundtrack to the Vision M NEXT official launch film.

Filling a gap with sound

While most automakers are focusing on the benefit of silence from driving EVs, BMW believes there is a gap in the emotionality of driving these vehicles. As such, the brand created “BMW IconicSounds Electric,” a project that includes Hans Zimmer making sounds for concepts, production vehicles, and much more.

“Over the years, the sound of our vehicles has enthused and accompanied millions of people. We are very excited about the exceptional chance of creating the sounds for BMW’s electric mobility together with Hans Zimmer. Thereby we can charge future emotions of our customers worldwide anew and redefine sheer driving pleasure,” said BMW Brand Experience VP Stefan Ponikva.

BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale Vision M NEXT
Sound Designer Renzo Vitale intently listens to the Vision M NEXT in an anechoic chamber at the BMW test facilities
Photo: BMW

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It should be noted that BMW has been developing sound for electric mobility for more than 10 years — long before Zimmer joined the team — since the introduction of the MINI E test fleet. BMW acoustic engineers added artificially generated sounds to help pedestrians be more aware of electric vehicles as they approach, as they are often undetected because of their near-silent drivetrains. After the launch of the BMW i3, buyers now have the option to add acoustic pedestrian protection to their vehicle. Maybe sometime in the future, we’ll be able to choose a Hans Zimmer masterpiece to play as we approach crosswalks in our EVs!

In the meantime, enjoy this Hans Zimmer classic: