Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer develops drive sounds for electrified BMW M models

Electric vehicles are the future. But those who love the sound of sporty cars with ICE engines can only be disappointed. That is why BMW M GmbH is working with Hans Zimmer to develop drivetrain sounds for their M sports cars.

Whether it’s Batman, The Da Vinci Code or Cool Runnings – Hans Zimmer is one of Hollywood’s most respected composers.But the 63-year-old likes to think outside the box – be it video games or even ringtones.

Meanwhile, the rise of e-mobility has opened up a new field for the Frankfurt native. Together with Renzo Vitale, the BMW Group’s Creative Director Sound, he is now composing drive sounds for electrically powered cars from the Munich-based automaker.


“Every BMW has its own character, which is reflected in the sound,” said Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, adding, “For the electrically powered BMW M automobiles, we have therefore developed a drive sound that particularly emphasizes the emotional driving experience and ensures that the performance is felt even more intensely.”

The drive sound of the BMW i4 is said to sound particularly energetic. In addition, he said, the differentiation between COMFORT and SPORT mode is particularly perceptible. In addition, the drive sound generally develops a less harmonious, but challengingly animating and technical sound image. In the course of acceleration maneuvers, the sound development intensifies intensively to reflect the performance character.

“The moment a BMW M automobile accelerates generates pure goosebumps,” commented sound designer Renzo Vitale. “We translated this feeling into a driving sound that expresses a blend of superior power and flowing energy.”

The current collaboration includes powertrain sounds for the BMW iX, the BMW i4 and a differentiated sound for the BMW i4 in M trim. Customers will be able to experience these over the course of the next year. In vehicles produced at an earlier date, the new sounds will be retrofitted at the customer’s request by means of a remote software upgrade. The new range of sounds includes a drive-ready sound, a stop sound and a drive sound.