Among the many features available in the upcoming GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 electric pickup truck – already confirmed to include Terrain Mode with one-pedal driving, an Extreme Off-Road Package and nearly 200 accessories – will be a system called Bose Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement Technology.
The system was first announced by Aaron Pfau, GMC Hummer EV lead development engineer, in a keynote presentation at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). “How do you create the sensory explosion to accompany motors turned up to 11?” Pfau asked.
The problem will be familiar to anyone who has ever driven a really powerful electric vehicle. Acceleration from a standing start is both instantaneous and, one might say, electrifying. This will be true even of the least powerful Hummer EV so far announced. The EV2, scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2024, will have two electric motors with a combined output of 625 horsepower, and will get off the line very rapidly.
The Edition 1, due to arrive in the fall of 2021, has three motors producing 1,000 horsepower. No concrete performance figures have been revealed, but GMC says the 0-60 mph time will be “approximately three seconds”.
That’s not enough to quicken the pulse of a Top Fuel or Funny Car dragster driver, but it will be quite the experience for the rest of us. The downside is that, in most EVs, there would be no auditory sensation to match it – a distant whine accompanied by rapidly increasing wind and road noise, yes, but nothing apart from that.
This is where the newly developed Bose system comes in. Pfau explains that it provides a “truly immersive sensory experience that brings you in direct contact with your vehicle” incorporating “guitar riffs, high-frequency feedback and sounds inspired by Formula E motorsport to create the sensation of power and torque that you’ve unlocked”, without specifying if they are all produced at the same time. Pfau also doesn’t he say whether the sounds vary in proportion to the speed of the supertruck, but it seems very likely that this will be the case.
Confirmation will come soon enough. After describing the system to the extent he did, Pfau concluded, “We can’t wait to share it with your later this year.”