Mercedes-AMG Partners With Linkin Park to Produce Engine Sounds

The luxury car manufacturer is looking towards some good ol' American rockers to do some sound engineering for its future autonomous models. 

IAA Cars 2017
Gerlach Delissen - Corbis—Corbis via Getty Images

What do luxury cars and alternative music have in common? Not much, but that’s about to change. Mercedes-AMG has recruited '90s rock band, Linkin Park, to work on sound engineering for its upcoming autonomous cars.

Car engines have gotten quieter and quieter over the last five years due to insulation advancements and high-tech mufflers. Electric and hybrid cars are some of the quietest yet, so artificial engine sounds are crucial in order to help prevent accidents and to provide a more authentic experience for car enthusiasts. 

Linkin Park, the band that brought us angst-filled punk tunes like In the End and Numb, will help AMG create engine sounds for its self-driving cars such as the hyped Project One and the EQ. 

The rockers have had a longstanding partnership with AMG. The band played a concert last summer at the Mercedes-Benz arena in Berlin to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary and has helped design AMG race cars in the past. More recently, the band designed a black racing car with a flame tattoo design to honor their late lead singer, Chester Bennington, who committed suicide last summer.

Bennington, a car lover, purchased an AMG GT-S sports coupe shortly before his passing. Bennington also frequently drove a Honda Insight and his first car was a 1996 Hyundai Accent

“We sell emotions and sound is really a crucial part of emotion so what we do is work on artificial sounds because you have to,” AMG CEO Tobias Moers told Wheels in a recent interview.

Linkin Park will no doubt be able to add its own emotions to the sounds.

AMG is not the first car manufacturer to produce artificial engine sounds. Japanese company GLM partnered with synthesizer company Roland in 2015 to create neo-futuristic synth sounds, and Ford made an “active noise control” system to amplify the roar of the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost engine.

AMG currently boasts turbo-engine models like the V-8 and the C43, which produce loud and intense sounds, so it will be interesting to see if Linkin Park continues these signature race-inspired beats in their engineering.

According to Moers, AMG’s electric cars won’t be available until at least 2020. While you wait, you can check out Linkin Park’s album One More Light, which features live recordings of the band’s final tour with Bennington.