Can a performance EV have a soul and how do you even define this? Well, going for an internal and especially external soundtrack, the vibration and gearshift feel of an ICE car should cover most of it. The vibration seems like too much to replicate, at least for now. As for transmissions, carmakers like Porsche and Dodge understand the value of adding more than a single ratio. What about that outside soundtrack, though? Teslas used to be entertaining, but after the company was forced to cut the audio, owners now have to take the matter into their own hands. Case in point with a YouTuber’s Model Y, which now sounds like a C8 Corvette Z06 and then some.
Back in September 2019, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) required all hybrids and EVs to emit sounds below 19 mph for pedestrian safety reasons. Tesla saw an opportunity there and fitted an external speaker to its cars, allowing owners to play custom sounds this way. However, the NHTSA banned this feature, citing the confusion this could cause for pedestrians, among others. Thus, Tesla was forced to issue a recall for disabling the Boombox feature on 579,000 cars back in February and April 2022.
Of course, some Tesla drivers feel they don’t want to return to enjoying the silence. And Brooks Weisblat of the Drag Times social media label is one of them, especially after his video on the man’s Model S playing an idling Hellcat sound via Boombox went viral last year, racking up millions of views across different platforms.
Well, the aftermarket also saw an opportunity here, which is how Brooks now got his hands on a system that promises to work even better than Tesla’s now-out feature.
How to add a V8 sound to your Tesla after the Boombox recall
The offering consists of a frunk-destined sound system, so while this can impress those outside the vehicle, it’s still placed inside the car. The offering incorporates a pair of speakers, an amplifier, and a Bluetooth receiver, along with a dedicated rechargeable battery. Next, we have a phone app that doesn’t just play a single sound. Instead, this allows the user to upload sounds for the start-up, idling, acceleration, and “in-gear” deceleration.
The app gets data from the driver’s smartphone via a dedicated Bluetooth adapter, as well as from a piece of hardware that reads what the car is doing via the vehicle’s OBD port.
Brooks got the piece from Glydesphere—their website states that the product was designed and assembled by Space Gravity in Germany. And, in the video below, the vlogger demonstrates the aftermarket Tesla “external” soundtrack feature on his Model Y.
Given that the C8 Corvette Z06 is all the rage these days—and for good Italian exotic-rivaling reasons—Brooks kicks things off by showcasing the Chevy’s soundtrack on his Model Y.
Does it work? Sort of. As the man admits at the end of the clip, tinkering with the audio files loaded into the app can make a massive difference. And it didn’t exactly help that his audio file had been captured while drag racing a C8 Z06, with its flat-plane crank V8 screaming and going through the gears as the Tesla was barely moving away from his house. Still, the stunt is hilarious, with The Jetsons soundtrack, which is an embedded feature of the app, feeling more natural.
Speaking of The Jetsons, if right now you’re wondering whether bubble tops are coming next, well, they’re already here. So, on this partially related topic, check out this American-modded 1999 Porsche Boxster I recently found on Instagram (the Tesla article continues below).
Even with perfectly tweaked sound pieces, I don’t believe this EV sound system can be perfect. After all, ICE models have offered speaker augmentation for years now and you can still feel the synthetic sound, despite the OEM integration.
Then again, I remember having a ton of fun using a… Jetsons soundtrack inside a Renault Clip RS a couple of years ago, as this is a factory feature on the hot hatch. So, if you ask me, there’s certainly some value in such gimmicks.