We all know what Formula One cars sound like. That aggressive, angry, adrenaline-stirring roar is unmistakable, and children playing with toy cars can easily mimic the noise. But most folks have no idea what a Formula E car sounds like.
That may be because the noise doesn't have the sonorous consistency of an internal combustion engine, and the pitches sound different depending on whether you're in the car, outside of the car, further away, and again depends on whether the car's accelerating or not. So we assembled some quick clips to give you an idea.
Amusingly, as a Formula E race begins, it sounds like a bunch of RC cars:
At speed the noise changes. In this clip the car sounds like one of the Viper starfighters in Battlestar Galactica:
The guy who posted this video said the cars "sound like X-wing fighters:"
Here it starts off sounding like you're driving a regular car in reverse—just super-fast—and then it sounds like background noise on the bridge in Star Trek:
This one sounds like a cross between a boiling tea kettle and an air-raid siren:
In this clip you can faintly hear what sounds like the noise made by regenerative braking:
Despite its relatively low profile, Formula E is rapidly growing in popularity. (Those interested should read The Verge's "Lighting on wheels: the insane electric racing of Formula E.") I am glad the sport is progressing, because the technical advances achieved there will trickle down to the consumer sector and ultimately create cars that are better for the environment. But I must admit that the noises these cars make will never send chills up my spine like this:
And since YouTube is silly, here are a bunch of Formula One drivers imitating (badly, I might add) the noises their cars make: