DEBUT: November 2010
APPEARANCE: A strange one this time around, in that this concept is not a vehicle – this concept is a concept. Electric vehicles may yet prove one of the saviours of mankind, but if you’re not around to appreciate the improved air quality as a result of being run-over by a vehicle you did not hear coming it will be a bitter-sweet victory. Audi is developing a soundtrack for its future electric vehicle products such as the R8-based E-Tron, which will warn fellow road users of the vehicle’s presence and be easy on the driver’s ear.
PREDICTION: The problem posed by the near silent operation of electric vehicles is a very real one and is likely to become more of an issue as they become more prevalent, so it’s little surprise that a manufacturer has moved to do something about it and a pleasant bonus that it amounts to more than annoying buzzer. What’s strange is that it’s Audi – a manufacturer with no electric or even electric-hybrid vehicles currently on the market – that has been first to move. Kudos to them.