As if 1,500 horsepower, a $2.6 million price tag, and two metric tons of carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, glass, and leather weren’t enough to set the Bugatti Chiron apart, this new supercar also comes with speaker tweeters made out of diamonds. Each of the four tweeters in the car features a one-carat diamond membrane for what’s supposed to be unsurpassed precision and aural fidelity. The company recruited by Bugatti to provide these ultra exclusive speakers is Accuton, and it has a helpful explainer of the benefits of using diamond as a material for reproducing high-frequency sound.
It’s an established fact that traditional loudspeaker cones suffer from distortion when pushed to their limits, which has led companies to experimenting with either exotic materials or entirely different technologies, such as with planar magnetic headphones. But diamonds? What were the alternatives considered when designing these tweeters, unobtainium and kryptonite?
A 20-page press release accompanies the first images of Bugatti’s Veyron successor, and the biggest surprise about it have to be these otherworldly speakers. Accuton’s development was prompted by a Fraunhofer Institute research paper investigating the acoustic advantages of diamonds, whose conclusion was that “membranes made of CVD diamond enable audio frequencies of up to 100kHz to be transmitted, values that are not achievable with any other material.” Human hearing doesn’t extend above 20kHz, but diamonds evidently do have qualities that are desirable for achieving superior reproduction of sound. So yes, this opulent choice might actually adhere to Bugatti’s motto of “form follows performance.”