Electric vehicles are continually making headlines across the globe with some spectacular designs, including Automobili Pininfarina with its Battista GT. While many of the EV range issues may soon be in our rearview, if there’s one thing EVs lack, especially sporty versions, is the engine noise or lack thereof. However, thanks to more than 2000 hours spent on research and development, Automobili Pininfarina has created a unique voice for the impressive Battista GT EV.
Who Is Automobili Pininfarina?
Automobili Pininfarina is an Italian vehicle design company best-known for its tremendous work with some of the best brands, including Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo and Cadillac. In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra acquired Automobili Pininfarina with the aim of developing a series of hyper electric cars starting with the Battista.
This electric hypercar was publicly unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and pays tribute to the company’s founder, Battista Pininfarina. It would be the first car in the company’s history that they have made for themselves and it sure is a showstopper.
Developing The Soundscape For The Battista Hyper GT
Following a significant amount of intensive research, conceptualisation and development, Automobili Pininfarina has created a unique sound for the Battista. The process behind its creation included studio compositions with sound experts, Novo Sonic.
They spent hours doing laboratory tests in a sound-insulated anechoic chamber and extensive tweaking on the road with the help of customer feedback. As a result, they’ve achieved what Automobili Pininfarina’s engineers refer to as ‘SUONO PURO’, or ‘the sound of sustainable luxury’.
This is unique to the Italian brand and enhances the connection to the jaw-dropping 1,900 hp Battista for those inside and passers-by. It provides near-instant feedback to the driver from the moment they start the vehicle through each of the five drive modes.
The sound is authentic and doesn’t try to compete with a traditional combustion engine sports cars. Instead, it takes the pure-electric experience to whole new level as they managed to capture the natural sound of all that power under the bonnet. And, since it’s a legal requirement for all EVs, they’ve also added an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) for pedestrians.
Frequency In Its Purest Form
Legendary composers Verdi and Mozart used 432 Hz frequency that is widely regarded as an authentic, uplifting frequency. SUONO PURO focuses on delivering the same feeling by delivering a frequency of 54 Hz at idle speed. This base note has been identified as pure with a positive impact on the driver’s wellbeing.
To see the incredible effect of this frequency, look at how it impacts water. Sound waves from this frequency creates a unique and beautiful ripple effect and is perfectly symmetrical. Since the human body is made up of around 70% water, this frequency could also have a positive impact on passengers and the driver.
Paolo Dellachà, Chief Product and Engineering Officer for Automobili Pininfarina, said: “The SUONO PURO sound strategy delivers both emotional and essential benefits to the driver. Our aim has been to enhance the enjoyment for occupants by channelling natural vehicle architecture sound through an innovative software arrangement, which ensures unwanted noises are omitted and the frequency at which sound is transmitted supports the comfort and wellbeing of the driver.”
Using Advanced Software And Synthesisers For SUONO PURO
Using cutting edge technology and bespoke software created exclusively for SUONO PURO, they’ve created the natural sounds of the powertrain through the different drive modes.
The special software delivers sound through synthesisers which were exclusively made for the Battista. To transmit the icnredible sound, the Battista uses 12 internal and external speakers from their luxury brand partner Naim Audio. Along with the synthesisers, 432 Hz frequency-tuned samples respond in real time to the vehicle speed, torque and steering inputs, among many others.
All of these elements are in the sound software called the ‘sound heart’. This unique control module enables them to create a stunningly immersive sound experience for the driver. Better yet, the sound and driving experience can be modified to suit the driver’s personal preferences through five manually selectable drive modes.
- The standard driving mode is Calma which provides the natural sound of the electric motors. It is also repeated on the outside for pedestrian safety purposes
- Pura adds more character by introducing the 54 Hz base note which is audible while the car is at ‘idle speed’.
- Energica increases the intensity of the base note in line with the enhanced dynamic performance of the vehicle
- Furiosa provides an entirely unique sound with greater intensity and power
- Carattere allows drivers to select their choice of sound from any of the other four modes,
along with personalised vehicle dynamics settings
Why Automobili Pininfarina Used An Anechoic Chamber
After engineers worked in the studio, the sound creation process moved to a dedicated anechoic chamber. This room is entirely echo-free and absorbs all unwanted sounds and vibrations which helped Automobili Pininfarina engineers and sound designers to fine-tune the sound even further. From there, they could start reviewing the sound to gain feedback and remove imperfections.
They used equipment that measures the frequency produced by the Battista from all angles, even on the inside. Engineers listened intently for any imperfections by using advanced audio recording equipment to ensure a pure sound. Such a process often takes up to five years in a conventional production vehicle but Automobili Pininfarina completed this in just 24 months. This was only possible with a dedicated and passionate team, more than 2000 hours spent in the studio, road testing and simulation tests.
“Today we have many clients looking forward to taking delivery of their unique Battista. In addition to an unprecedented 1,900 hp dynamic experience, they will also enjoy a unique ‘voice’ of this pure-electric hyper GT, enhanced by an equally thrilling 1,300W sound system developed specifically for Battista by our luxury brand partner Naim Audio,” said Dellachà.
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