Zimmer, whose award-winning scores include The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, The Lion King, and 12 Years a Slave, worked with Renzo Vitale, an acoustic engineer at the German carmaker, to make “drive sounds” and “sound signs” for BMW’s Vision M Next.
The concept car debuted this week in Munich at the new NEXTGen event. Zimmer’s sound became a part of “BMW IconicSounds Electric,” a sound offering for future electric cars as they don’t produce any engine noise.
“As the range of electrified models increases, a gap in the emotionality of the driving experience arises in the driver’s seat,” the carmaker said this week, noting that “IconicSounds Electric” aims to fill that gap.
The sound of the Vision M Next aims to create harmony between the driver and the electrically driven vehicle, achieved through the inspiration of art.
"When the driver interacts with the accelerator pedal it is not only a mechanical touchpoint but also a performative element,” said Zimmer. "Accelerating becomes an experience during which the driver moves through a series of gradually morphing sound textures.”
The vehicle itself, not fully-operational now, aims to show where the automaker is headed in terms of design, electric vehicle plans and technology like its next-generation adaptive cruise control system, which will be able to detect and automatically stop at red lights. The automaker also announced at the NEXTGen event that it’s running ahead of schedule in its efforts to produce at least 25 electrified vehicles. BMW, which had been aiming for 2025, now says that it will offer these 25 vehicles by 2023.