Abarth has launched their new, all-electric 500e EV in Europe. And instead of messing around with the spaceship sounds other EV makers have installed for safety, the 500e's Sound Generator simply reproduces the sound of a gas engine. "The New Abarth 500e is the only small car," the company writes, "which provides an immersive sound experience for those who want to drive electric without giving up on the famous and unmistakable Abarth roar, which has accompanied generations of passionate drivers and always been synonymous with power and performance."
(You can hear the sound in the video below, but first read the next paragraph.)
That's all fine and good, but weirdly, they've also programmed the Sound Generator to play a freaking guitar riff every time accelerate past a certain point. "The first time you exceed 20km/h, a 'strumming guitar' reflects the transgressive and unconventional soul which is inherent in the genre and in the Scorpion's cars."
Here's what it sounds like (I've cued it up to the right spot, you'll hear it twice within seconds):
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I'm not sure if I'd want the words "tasty licks" to enter my head, unbidden, every time I get the car going, but it certainly is a novel feature.
Probably what they should've done is used a riff from a song by the Scorpions.
Perhaps in the future, savvy musicians (or let's be real, their labels) will start licensing riffs to drivers or brands. A Mustang Mach-E will blow past you in the parking lot and you'll think "Do I hear Jimmy Page?"
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