Conveying emotions through sound, taking inspiration from nature. It was with this approach that the CUPRA team of designers and engineers defined the sound of the new 100% electric Born.
In a melody, notes combine to convey emotion; the same thing happens in nature. Wood crackling, stones rubbing against each other or the wind rushing over a copper surface are all sensations that can now be found in the CUPRA Born: CUPRA's team of designers and engineers have turned the music of nature into the sound of the 100% electric Born.
Holistic sound experience
In creating the perfect sound for the Born, CUPRA's approach was trying to create a whole that goes beyond the sum of its parts to generate a unique emotion. Thus, the design team created a whole sensory universe.
“CUPRA's design is inspired by nature. Not in its romantic version, but in its most authentic, unrefined one: stones, wood, minerals... This inspiration shaped its design, materials, colours and even sound. We created a holistic experience, where everything tells the same story”, says Francesca Sangalli, Head of CUPRA's Color&Trim team.
Listening to emotions
CUPRA's sound engineers combined the inspiration of nature with state-of-the-art technology in their search for those emotions. The musical notes were defined and the score had to be written with them.
“In many ways the creative process was similar to music production, using a dynamic combination of recorded natural sounds and electronically synthesised ones. It was quite a fascinating journey and we believe the result will be equally thrilling, both for those who will drive the car and for onlookers as it drives past”, adds CUPRA sound engineer Adrián Mateo.
Nature in motion
As in the wild, the sound of the CUPRA Born is not static, but transforms and evolves. “Working closely with the engineers, we developed the three pillars that we rely on to generate these emotions: mystery, tension and expression” explains Sangalli. The dynamic sound created flows between these three concepts. “We wanted the sound to convey different emotions dynamically, depending on how the car is being driven at any given moment. It can evolve more or less quickly depending on the acceleration, producing different sensations associated with these three concepts”, Adrián adds.
The sound developed for the CUPRA Born will also become the hallmark of the Spanish brand's new electric models. “I think we have achieved an amazing sound, with metallic but not harsh tones and the warmth of wood, which is calmer and softer. And then there's the copper, which generates a lot of light. It's really a very well-orchestrated experience”, concludes Sangalli.
Electric car sound regulations
According to the rules, electric vehicles must emit a clearly audible sound at least at speeds up to 20 km/h (31 km/h in the USA). The purpose of AVAS - Acoustic Vehicle Alarm Systems - is to increase safety by alerting pedestrians and cyclists that a car is approaching. A communication that can be transmitted not only through volume, i.e. the amount of sound, but also through its shape, which changes progressively as speed increases: a necessary expedient, because the brain tends to get used very quickly to monotonous noises, classifying them as normal or background.
The sound is generated by a small speaker placed in front of the right front wheel. When the car reverses or drives faster, the volume increases. In the case of the Cupra Born, the sound is clearly perceptible even above 40 km/h.
Source: SEAT S.A.
VGI | Responsible OU: VP | Creation date: article date | Class 9.1