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Wednesday 10th October 2012

Silent SLS gives us the creeps

How do you want your SLS - electric or with side exhausts and a 6.3 V8 installed by Bernd Schneider?



Going by reactions to the M5/M6 and new Clio 200 it’d seem we’re pretty much agreed that fake engine noise isn’t what we want. But what about no noise at all? That’s the spooky electric reality played out in this video of the SLS AMG Electric Drive lapping Ascari Race Resort in – sshhh – absolute silence.

 

Sure, it’d help track day organisers battling troublesome NIMBYs. Like the ones that moaned when the ‘proper’ SLS launched at Laguna Seca and was apparently tripping the drive-by at over 100 decibels! You’d have thought those living nearby would be used to this kind of thing but apparently it ruffled a few feathers.

And that’s partly the problem. Any other car could pull off this trick of high-speed silent lapping and we’d probably be quietly (natch) impressed. But the fact it’s being done by a car whose petrol-powered equivalent is one of the finest sounding cars ever built only makes an electric future seem even more depressing.

Phew, that's more like it...
Phew, that's more like it...
Ho hum. We know it’s coming. And, as seen at Paris, you’ll even be able to buy an electric SLS of your own soon. But, really, why would you want to when there are few more glorious ways of burning the earth’s remaining fossil-based resources?

And just to underline that AMG has also announced a 45th anniversary special edition SLS GT3. With a V8. And side exhausts.

OK, it’ll cost you nearly half a million euros and they’re only making five. Oh, and it’s not road legal either. But it does come with a suitably menacing matt grey paintjob, a bit of 45th anniversary chintz and a handover ceremony with none other than DTM/AMG hero Bernd Schneider. Who’s also helping fit the engines to the five special cars. Best hope he’s as good with the spanners as he is with the driving, eh?

Teasingly this was also photographed at Ascari. Can we have a video of that too please?

Dan Trent
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PascalBuyens

Original Poster:

2,868 posts

169 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
An AMG without sound... not right !!!

kambites

41,307 posts

108 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Seems like a great thing to me, as long as they also continue to make the V8s.

One day the choice may be between something like this and a Nissan Leaf; and then we'll be glad that someone was putting money into high performance electric car research now.

r7ehw

121 posts

124 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I love the paint job on the electric car!

Not sure thats what its all about though is it.

chrisironside

176 posts

49 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Not keen on the grill, but the paintjob is quite sexy!

Side exhaust for me though.

Watchman

3,196 posts

132 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I'd have an electric car if they were more practical (range, fill-up time, performance, price). I can see one of those and a V8 in my "stable" to suit different occasions.
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The Crack Fox

10,093 posts

79 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
PascalBuyens said:
An AMG without sound... not an AMG!!!
EFT

Sexual Chocolate

1,583 posts

31 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Thats a very sexy paint job on the electric car. Love it. Don't love that AMG now do silent cars though.

Krikkit

5,189 posts

68 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Nevermind the motorised pencil sharpener, give us a GT3 driveby please!

rehab71

2,420 posts

77 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
It's just wrong!

Dave^

4,230 posts

140 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all


Pic of the Week?

garypotter

823 posts

37 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Had to check my speakers were plugged in....

Fastest milk float on the planet?

Twincam16

27,646 posts

145 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I don't understand why silence is seen as a virtue in electric cars. It makes a mockery of the Green Cross Code for starters - Stop and Look, yes, but if you can't hear it coming, surely it's dangerous?

I'm all for electric cars sounding like electric cars. Why can't they put out a Scalextric-style whizz and whine? If I was driving a car like that, I'd want it to sound like an electric jet engine.

marcosgt

7,605 posts

63 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Having followed an SLS down the M40 last week, I'm in love with the 6.3's sound, but I also find myself oddly attracted to the silent car too.

Imagine crossing Europe in a car which is virtually silent? It might not appeal to the Petrolhead in you, but in reality you'd be a lot more relaxed on arrival, I'm certain.

I'd agree, though, that silent cars aren't particularly safe around town, but then a lot of the sound is tyre noise and break 'squeal', so I'm not so sure electric cars would be that much quieter in such scenarios.

On balance, something like an SLS probably should sound like the 6.3, but imagine a CLS with this running gear?

M.

UltimaCH

2,588 posts

76 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Despite the lack of noise (I love the sound of a V8, which is why i have an AMG), you drive with the seat of your pants and not the noise. It will take some time to adapt as this is one solution for the future IMHO
Check out David Couthard's comments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoGudJg8VxE

Edited to add link

Edited by UltimaCH on Wednesday 10th October 12:10

dapearson

2,157 posts

111 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
I don't understand why silence is seen as a virtue in electric cars. It makes a mockery of the Green Cross Code for starters - Stop and Look, yes, but if you can't hear it coming, surely it's dangerous?

I'm all for electric cars sounding like electric cars. Why can't they put out a Scalextric-style whizz and whine? If I was driving a car like that, I'd want it to sound like an electric jet engine.
Rubbish. With the exception of very, very low speed, most of the noise generated by road cars is tyre noise. You stand and listen to a car approaching and try to guess whether it's petrol or diesel. You can't.

The tyre noise is only drowned out by engine noise on certain cars, normally accompanied by a big exhaust or dump valve.

Clarkson's argument that electric cars are a danger to pedestrians is (surprisingly) utter bks.

I agree with Leno, we need electric cars (or something similar) to preserve resources that could otherwise be used to fuel exciting cars!

kambites

41,307 posts

108 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
I don't understand why silence is seen as a virtue in electric cars. It makes a mockery of the Green Cross Code for starters - Stop and Look, yes, but if you can't hear it coming, surely it's dangerous?

I'm all for electric cars sounding like electric cars. Why can't they put out a Scalextric-style whizz and whine? If I was driving a car like that, I'd want it to sound like an electric jet engine.
I'm sure they can make it make whatever noise is required - that's what speakers are for.

Personally though, I fail to understand the problem with a silent drive train. Modern petrol engines are so well insulated that you can't hear them over tyre and aerodynamic noise at low loads anyway. I suppose you could argue that it would make roads slightly more dangerous for blind people, but then there are already silent vehicles on the road.

M@1975

548 posts

114 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Hmm, it's just a bit odd. Probably the future though.

norty

17 posts

36 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
An SLS isn't intended for cities(although London has its share), but in the real world most cars spend much of their time in towns and traffic jams where the rattle of all those economical diesel engines is plain terrible. Anyone living in town near a busy road should be a big supporter of electric vehicles.

bass2rez

442 posts

79 months

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Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Is there not a fundamental flaw in the electric car arguement anyway? An electric car still requires power and that power needs to be generated somehow. All this is doing is moving the source of the power from petrol within a petrol tank stored locally on the vehicle to power generated in a power station.

An electric car will help with emissions issues within city centres, but does not generally affect the overall power consumption the eco-warriors are concerned about.

kambites

41,307 posts

108 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
bass2rez said:
Is there not a fundamental flaw in the electric car arguement anyway? An electric car still requires power and that power needs to be generated somehow. All this is doing is moving the source of the power from petrol within a petrol tank stored locally on the vehicle to power generated in a power station.
In the sort term, that's pretty much the whole point - to move nasty air pollution away from major centres of population. In the long term, we're meant to be switching to generating electricity in other ways.
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