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New Abarth 500e : more than 6,000 hours to recreate the perfect “roar”

New Abarth 500e : more than 6,000 hours to recreate the perfect “roar”
Nouvelle Abarth 500e : plus de 6 000 heures pour recréer le " rugissement " parfait

New Abarth 500e: more than 6,000 hours to recreate the perfect “roar”

  • Thanks to a sound generator designed by the Stellantis Sound Design Studio teams, the Abarth 500e loses none of its legendary sound,

  • The sound generator transforms the Abarth 500e into an irreverent and playful electric racing car, whose unexpected roar of a combustion engine combines perfectly with the dynamic driving and performance experience

  • With this exclusive feature, the Abarth 500e is one of a kind in its segment. It is at the same level as the higher category cars, and pays homage to 75 years of adrenaline in the field of motor racing.

With the new Abarth 500e and its unique sound generator in the electric sports city car segment, Abarth continues to amaze and arouse the emotion of Abarth enthusiasts around the world. The brand’s new 100% electric model incorporates an exclusive acoustic system, developed by a dedicated sound design team, in collaboration with Sound Design Studios. Its design, development and integration was carried out by the Italian NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness) department of Stellantis, the same entity that validated the sound of Abarth’s historic exhaust system, the Record Monza.

Nouvelle Abarth 500e

The project took approximately two years to complete, including approximately six months of continuous work. The team involved in the project spent more than 6,000 hours analyzing and creating the ideal sound for each phase of the driving experience. The technical director took care of the automotive part and focused on coordinating the different stakeholders. NVH specialists took it upon themselves to perfect the sound, focusing on both the creative and technological aspects of the sound production process. They worked on the development of the sound and the model, as well as on the different stages of editing the sound loop, from the development of the software to the creation of the sound itself. Part of the sound testing and studies was carried out in a semi-anechoic chamber – a room specially designed to have extremely low noise levels inside, and a high degree of sound insulation from the outside – in order to carry out precise and reliable noise measurements. Thanks to the room flooring, it is possible to recreate an acoustically reflective surface, like a road. Specific elements make the semi-anechoic chamber perfectly soundproof, allowing acousticians to dissociate sound from its environment.

To achieve an optimal result, as close to the original as possible, the sound of the Abarth gasoline engine was recorded throughout the different phases of the driving experience: acceleration, deceleration, braking, fast cornering and much more . Specific acoustic calibrations were also carried out. The recordings were then carefully analyzed using dedicated technical tools and processes. This is with the aim of extracting all of Abarth’s distinctive frequencies, which in essence constitute its DNA, and thus creating a new sound in a virtual matrix enriched with additional sounds.

The matrix was tested in the studio, then on a static vehicle, following several iterations and configurations in order to obtain optimal rendering. Concretely, thanks to software, the matrix adapts the different components of the recorded sound to obtain an optimal immersive result for the driver. Other sounds have been superimposed on the matrix to combine the historic sound of Abarth with a futuristic perception, which can be found on board the new 500e.

One of the important points was to carefully balance the sound generator in order to offer the driver the most pleasant driving experience possible, even at high speed, while respecting the approval constraints in terms of noise pollution and guaranteeing a realistic acoustic rendering.

In fact, the intensity of the sound generator is directly proportional to the speed at which the car is driven, and the sound is processed differently by the exterior rear speaker. It goes from “IDLE”, when the engine is at minimum power and the sound generator reproduces the sound of the Record Monza exhaust at idle, to “SIGNATURE”, which is indexed to the speed and maintains the typical timbre Abarths with internal combustion engines. In short, “SIGNATURE” contains all the information transmitted to the amplifier – from idle to cruising speed, from starting to stopping the engine.

The new Abarth 500e is able to offer all the characteristics of a prestige car in just 3.6 meters, without giving up the irreverence inherent in the brand’s DNA. Thanks to the sound generator, it is the only sports city car capable of evoking the sound of the historic internal combustion engine. The only one to provide the acoustic power of a sports internal combustion engine reaching the limits authorized by the homologation regulations.

The Abarth “roar” of the sound generator can be deactivated by the driver when the car is stationary, using the dashboard settings.