"PEUGEOT FRACTAL is the fruit of collaboration between artists exploring new horizons. We worked with the designers to pool our resources of inspiration."
StelLab, a PSA PEUGEOT CITROËN research unit, and FOCAL have designed an innovative 9.1.2 sound system and related software to provide a completely immersive experience. This digital sound technology simulates the human ear. Sound sources are created virtually and their location projected to enhance the information conveyed to the driver. When the navigation system is in use, the synthesised voice appears to come from some distance in front of the car. As the vehicle travels along, the source moves toward the cabin and shifts to the side to which the car needs to turn. At intersections, it is positioned in close proximity, inside the car, to alert the driver to an immediate change of direction. Spatialisation ensures that the sound matches the morphology and path of the vehicle. The system developed by StelLab configures the different sound sources separately for the PEUGEOT FRACTAL's coupé and cabriolet modes.
To tap its full potential, the ‘9.1.2’ installation features a 9.1 system comprising, in the front, three mid/high-range speakers, two tweeters, two woofers and a subwoofer, and, in the back, two mid-range speakers, two tweeters and a woofer. In addition, the PEUGEOT FRACTAL features a world premiere by incorporating a two-channel tactile bass system into the back of each seat. This revolutionary set-up is reflected in the name: 9.1.2. Developed by SubPac, an American start-up, the tactile bass system offers a new sensory experience, which allows the bass to travel through a solid medium rather than through the air, meaning the sound waves reach the inner ear through the listener's body. This gives the seat occupant a more intense and exclusive bass experience, without causing unwanted interference in the surrounding environment.
Leading French high-end audio specialist FOCAL also created the linen-fibre membrane for the speakers to render sound faithfully. The technology, called FLAX, is characterised by a very natural sound without colouration, a richness in the mid-range reproduction and robust sound in the bass. The spatial restitution in the passenger compartment is provided by seven FLAX speakers and four inverted dome aluminum magnesium tweeters, while two subwoofers take care of the bass register. This assembly is driven by four highly compact FD amplifiers, consisting of a total of fourteen amplification channels and a total of 1600 available watts.
PEUGEOT FRACTAL also imbues the electric drive train with its own acoustic identity, a world away from any associations with internal combustion engines. PEUGEOT brought in Brazilian sound designer Amon Tobin to rise to this specific challenge. The PEUGEOT FRACTAL's external sound signature keeps it in sync with other road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, who are alerted to the car's presence by different sounds specific to the vehicle's status: acceleration, deceleration and cruising speed. The interior conveys the PEUGEOT identity through an original audio design that gives ‘voice’ to functions such as the ignition, indicators, hazards, lights and various navigation features.