We are halfway through the summer and depending on what part of the world you’re in, that means that the roads have gotten a little… louder. With more and more people coming out of their homes as COVID related legislation becomes more lax and businesses open up again the world’s most audibly exhilarating cars are emerging from their annual hibernation in droves.
If you’re like us and you’re worried about giving yourself whiplash the next time a set of straight pipes announces themselves to the whole block, then this article is for you. We have combined a list of what we believe to be the Top 20 Best Sounding Cars in the world right now in the hopes of sharing our love for some of the mind blowing engines in production today. Who knows? Perhaps after reading about our top 5 contenders you may change your mind about that dream car you’ve been looking at.
20. Porsche Macan GTS
For our first entry we take a look eastward to the meticulous, high-quality world of German automobiles. This particular Porsche has a 2.9L V6 engine built to accommodate the needs of both a sport and every day utility car. Although being relatively quiet compared to the other cars on this list, its muffled sound gives it a stable rising rev sound which is surprisingly loud despite “only” producing 375 hp and 519Nm of torque.
19. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
A beautifully designed SUV made to adapt to all types of terrain but particularly for the speed loving demons of the world. Boasting 707 bhp and over 800 NM of torque it’s not surprising that it sounds like a drag racer’s fantasy. Then again, that might be because of the brilliant 6.2L supercharged V8 Hellcat engine beneath its hood. It revs at a lower frequency which gives it a slightly controlled, authoritative sound guaranteed to wake up the neighbours. And hey, you can never go wrong with the whine of a supercharged engine no matter what the car.
18. Tesla Model S
So right now you may be thinking: this is a list for the best sounding cars, why is a Tesla here when it makes virtually no sound? Well you wouldn’t be wrong to be a little sceptical. Its 3 phase AC induction motor generates up to 825 bhp and about 1300 Nm of torque (when both front and rear motors are activated) and yet it sounds as if you never turned it on. It should come as no surprise that any list like this is naturally going to have a degree of subjectivity and for many car enthusiasts sometimes no sound is the best kind of sound. This car will have you moving stealthily as a panther in the night but at the speeds of a cheetah giving chase. What’s not to love about that?
17. Bentley Continental GT
Speaking of luxury sports cars, it is tough to find something as well rounded as the Bentley Continental GT. A car built for speed (reaching break-neck speeds of over 180 mph) and world-class levels comfort that will cost you well over CAN$200,000. It makes sense then that it sounds as good as it looks. Its standing rev is deep and low like the regal roar of a male lion, capable of making the 2 ton car shake. This it owes to its colossal 6.2L W12 BiTurbo engine which – when accelerating – produces its own smooth, composed variation of the infamous flutter that turbochargers are known for.
Aston Martin Vanquish S
Aston Martin Vanquish S
Alright, it’s another luxury sports car but hear us out for a second! British car manufacturers Aston Martin really pushed the envelope when it comes to bridging the gap between opulence and performance with the Vanquish S and this carries on beautifully to the sound it produces. At a standstill rev its naturally aspirated 5.9 V12 engine doesn’t roar, it purrs. A borderline therapeutic sound that could have you spending far too many minutes behind the wheel parked at home with your eyes closed, soaking it in. When it leaps into action, however, the purr transforms into a deep, angry growl that startles all within earshot. A truly threatening sound.
Range Rover Sport SVR
Range Rover Sport SVR
Make no mistake the SVR isn’t just fast, its really fast. One of the fastest SUV’s in the world today, it sports a 5L supercharged V8 engine giving it its signature, throaty rumble. Even at full throttle (travelling up to 170 mph) it maintains the integrity of that window shaking grumble that would have most passerbys wondering if they had stumbled across an American drag race.
14. Ferrari F430
This – quite literal – blast from the past contains a naturally aspirated, 4.3L V8 engine that generates 506 hp and 465 Nm of torque. With all that power it sounds like every racer’s dream. That sustained, iconic low to high pitched whir as it picks up speed is certainly very close to, if not the actual, sound that comes to the average person’s mind when they imagine a high performance racing car speeding down a track. Put simply its a Ferrari doing what Ferrari does best, announcing its presence and being the loudest thing on the road.
13. Nissan GT-R
Now we look to the far east to a car that is world renowned for its tenacious dominance on race tracks. The 3.8L twin-turbo V6 produces a high-pitched, airy whir above an angry, slightly muffled roar when it accelerates that is more akin to a jet taking off than a car climbing gears. This is the kind of car that tears past you on the freeway and is gone before you can ask the person in the passenger seat to take a photo.
12. BMW M8
This next entry really is something special, despite being the only BMW on this list. Here we have yet another V8 (4.4 L) that stuns all in the immediate vicinity with its deep percussive blasts. BMW, however, refines this sound to produce a rich, sustained grumbling noise that gives off short bursts during deceleration that sound like a cracking whip. It’s BMW’s monster of 2020 capable of producing 617 hp and 750Nm of torque. A fanboys dream and a competitors nightmare.
- Porsche 911 Carerra 4S
Oh I can hear them now: “why on earth is the 911 so low on the list?” Despite not making the top 10 the 911 has been credited as being one of the fastest cars on the market period, with its Turbo S variations credited with putting Lamborghinis in their rear view mirror. Its classic twin-turbo, 3.0L flat 6 engine creates a smooth, deep whir that’s unique to Porsche boxer engine. Easily one of the most identifiable sounds on the road, it is as if Porsche found the perfect pitch for a super car that isn’t at all annoying despite being rather loud.
10. Ferrari F12
Starting off our top 10 list is this absolute beast of a Ferrari, its massive 6.3L F140 V12 engine is also one of the loudest, but then again you knew that, it’s a Ferrari. Despite sending you flying down the open road at speeds that are guaranteed to land you straight in jail, the patrol cars are bound to hear you before they see you. Another naturally aspirated vehicle, it picks up from a low, menacing rumble to a high-pitch whir in the blink of an eye, turning heads and setting off car alarms like a V12 is supposed to and at full pelt it sounds strikingly similar to an F1 car.
9. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
You knew the muscle cars were coming. The first one on the list conceals a 650hp, supercharged V8 engine underneath its stylish hood. This drag racing regular, quite literally, booms as it flies down the road leaving in its wake dazed and confused pedestrians and paralyzed drivers, not quite sure what just happened. As it accelerates to insane speeds of up to 200 mph the explosive snarl amplifies to a sound resembling one thousand curtains being torn apart simultaneously. So yeah, it’s loud.
8. Mercedes AMG C63S Coupe
Put a Biturbo V8 engine in the hands of some German car makers and what do you get? A majestic, muffled roar that does not impose but demands reverence. It also helps that the car goes from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds and up to a staggering 180mph. Its decelerating gargle is difficult to describe any other way than immensely satisfying. It’s perfect for anyone that wants a beautifully sounding car that’s not invasive.
7. McClaren 720S Spyder
This juggernaut of a supercar is arguably the best McClaren you can buy today (if you’ve got $315,000 USD lying around) and it sure sounds like it. Capable of going from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds with 710 hp and 770Nm of torque its 4.0L V8 engine produces a loud but refined high pitched whir that is surprisingly very pleasant to the ear. In a world where supercars are starting to sound more and more like giant mosquitoes, the Spyder rises above its competition and manages to avoid that piercing shrillness. Thank goodness for that since its exhaust pipes are conveniently placed 46 inches off the ground.
6. Lamborghini Murcialago
The Aventadore’s deafening older brother, the Murcialago is the loudest Lamborghini ever made. With a similar 6.5L V12 engine it can reach speeds of up to 205 mph. At that kind of velocity it screams down the tarmac, a sound that supercar lovers know all too well. Stepping behind the wheel of one of those is like getting into the cockpit of a fighter jet, and Lamborghini made sure that it sounded like it too.
5. Mustang GT 350 Shelby
The Shelby is the second muscle car on our list and what a car it is. Its 5.2L V8 engine produces 526hp and 582Nm and a sound that makes the very ground shake. Revved up it’s hard to describe the sound as anything else but thunderingly angry and aggressive. It immediately drowns out all other sounds in the area. It’s the kind of car that knows it’s powerful and isn’t too shy to make sure everyone else does too.
4. Audi R8 V10 Performance
While being the fastest production car Audi has ever made the R8 V10 Performance, we believe, is the best sounding one as well. Packed with a ludicrous 5.2L, naturally aspirated, V10 engine it has 620 hp and 580Nm of torque. How this car is street legal is anyone’s guess but, hey, we’re not complaining. Remember how we mentioned that the Vanquish S purrs? Well, next to the R8 the Aston Martin sounds like a catfight on chalkboard. Revved up it is simply MESMERIZING. Even when it shoots forward on the open road it always seems to maintain control over its sonic output, keeping it nice and low. One of our personal favourites.
3. The Dodge Challenger Demon SRT
We’re just going to say it: this is the best sounding muscle car in the world right now. Every drag racers fantasy and the most accurately named car on this list, the Demon produces a mind bending 840hp and 972 Nm of torque and can explode from 0-60 in just 2.3 seconds. That makes it the quickest production car ever made. Period. Revved up it produces a medley of hundreds of deep detonations coming from the exhaust and at full pelt this thing both moves and sounds like lightning. It’s the kind of sound that makes you duck for cover and silences all of its contenders and driving it is a surefire way to piss off a lot of people. But then again, the Dodge Demon wasn’t designed to be loved but to be feared.
2. Lamborghini Aventadore
730hp, 687Nm of torque, 6.5L V12 engine. Is there really more you need to know? It’s loud and in your face. Producing that signature high-pitched muffled scream that Lamborghini is known for. The Aventadore, however, takes it a step further and purifies it giving it a deeper hum, as it begins to accelerate, that rises in pitch but remains under control. Where the Murcielago sounds like an untameable, wild animal, the Aventadore masks it’s ferocity beneath a smoother but equally audible roar. Making it an easy 2nd place on this list.
1. Porsche Carrera GT
And finally at number 1, probably not surprising to many of you, is Porsche’s supercar crowning jewel. Originally intended to be raced in the 2000 La Mans, the Carrera GTs naturally aspirated, V10, monster of an engine produces 650 hp and 590Nm of torque. While slower than some others on the list its sound is just magical and completely sets it aside from all others. Revved up, this car produces a high pitched ‘zing’ that is so well composed that from the time you start the engine and to when you switch it off, no sound produced seems out of place or out of control. Put simply, for car lovers, it’s a symphony, guaranteed to give you goosebumps and we believe the best sounding car out there.
Now just to clarify the cars on this list have been selected as they exist in their respective production designs.
Needless to say there are tons of modifications one can do to change and redesign the sound of their car. Anything from installing straight pipes, adding a cat-back exhaust, changing the exhaust size and shape can make your car sound different. Or you could try upgrading the intake in your engine, get it sounding louder. I would recommend seeking professional help before attempting to do any of this yourself, however, these options are certainly much cheaper than buying any of the cars on this list. Part prices vary between a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars depending.
Whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoyed our list and are a little more confident in your ability to identify some of the truly special cars out there.