Gus’s Rides

What is the best sounding car? Of all time? Now? 2014?

Written by Gus Wilson

What is the best sounding car? This is a difficult topic to write about because this isn’t narrowed to just one type of car although SUV’s and trucks are not included even though there are some great sounds from those vehicles. Now people have different opinions on what is the best sounding car so as a warning this is out of my opinion which could drastically differ from what someone else. This list of cars will have a diverse range from turbo four-pot Ford Focus rally cars to “Superfast” V12 powered Ferraris and Lamborghini’s. (The Superfast in quotes was meant to be a pun since that is a Ferrari model).

The first car up on the list is the Lamborghini Murcielago with its 4-wheel drive system, V12, and optional six-speed E-Gear automatic transmission makes it a force to reckoned with on the track, street, or airport runway in some cases. The Murcielago came out in 2001 as a replacement for the Lamborghini Diablo and the Murcielago would be the first new car from the company under the ownership of Audi which is owned by Volkswagen. The Murcielago was on sale for nine years from 2001 to 2010 with about 4,100 units sold. For its final year of production, it had been given another trim called the SuperVeloce or just the SV which means superfast (literal translation). The car lived up to its name because with 661hp transmitted through a six-speed E-Gear transmission and 4WD system with the 0-60mph time being 3.1 seconds. The car is almost instantly recognizable when the V12 screams all throughout the rev range especially when close to its redline of 8,500rpm. The car can be fitted with aftermarket parts to make it faster or just louder since a car can never be too loud unless the car is in California then it can’t be too loud.

The next cars on the list are the Ford Mustang GT350R & GT500 models. There isn’t much to explain or any reason why I have to explain a lot about these cars because they are icons in their segment for their engineering and overall craziness. The GT350R Mustang sounds great because of its unique 5.2L flat-plane crankshaft V8 and unequal length exhaust headers. The flat-plane crankshaft enables the car to rev all the way up to 8,250rpm which isn’t possible in a normal Mustang and the unequal length exhaust headers still give it that American V8 burble instead of sounding like an exotic flat-plane V8 engine. The car also only came with a six-speed manual transmission which meant that the sweet sounding V8 would be heard all the time. The GT500 Mustang sounds great because of its supercharged 5.8L V8 making 662hp and the supercharger makes a whining sound as it revs up which just sounds great when combined with the furious sounding V8. The 2020 GT500 should also have that same whining noise and V8 grumble most V8 American cars have.

The next cars up are the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z models (Z06 & ZR1) with their LT4 or LT5 engines depending on which one is chosen. The ZL1, Z06, and ZR1 all have the same basic engine except the LT5 in the ZR1 is upgraded significantly to make 755hp while the LT4 cars only make do with 650hp. These engines don’t rev to 9,000rpm which would be deafening, but they make some great noises under the hood making American car gurus melt into a puddle on the ground as if they were in a Tom & Jerry episode. The ZL1 Camaro in its most track-focused trim dubbed the 1LE posted a 7:16.00 lap time and the Z06 posted a 7:13.90 lap time, both were driven around the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

The third of best sounding cars is the Nissan GT-R R35 with its twin-turbocharged 3.8 V6 which has one of the best exhaust notes down low in the rev range. The GT-R is an AWD supercar that was introduced in 2008 and was considered very technologically advanced mainly impart because it had a display screen at the top of the center control stack that read boost pressure from the turbos or the amount of g-force when going around a corner. The car has many aftermarket tuners selling parts to make it faster, wider, louder, and/or louder like AMS Performance in Illinois that hopped up a GT-R to make 2,000hp. This is one of my dream cars and it is probably the closest I could ever get to a real supercar in my whole life especially in terms of driving.

The last two cars on this very long list are both Fords, but from very different eras of rally racing though both are driven by professional rally driver Ken Block. The first of the two cars is a 1986 Ford RS200 originally built for rally racing for the factory Ford racing team in the notorious Group B rally class. (Note: The engine is from the Evolution model which was a bit stronger than a normal RS200 engine.) The car was taken in by Hoonigan Racing Division out of Park City, Utah and modified the car to make it produce a little over 700hp on regular pump gas though if race gas were to be put in then it made 800+hp from its turbocharged 2.1L 4-cylinder engine. The car is very aggressive when the throttle is mashed and the boost from the turbo kicks in making even Ken Block frightened beyond the normal human limit. The car makes all the right sounds especially from the turbo and the 4-pot which sounds like most of the high-performance 4-cylinder engines especially Honda engines. The car is a manual so downshifting has never been so rewarding and it is four-wheel drive so it is drivable when winter comes in the most radical way possible the fun can’t be stopped.

The last of the Ford rally cars is the 2016 Focus RS RX, but what about its factory counterpart’s specifications since finally after 2 generations of the Focus RS being available in Europe, it is available to Americans with a 350hp turbo four-cylinder, 3-pedal manual transmission, and an AWD system. The regular flavored RS is a great car with some great features, but nothing in this car is similar to its street-legal counterpart except for the fact that it has a 2.0L turbo engine and all-wheel drive. The RS RX is a full-blown rallycar with a very quick shifting 6-sequential transmission, 600hp turbo engine, giant handbrake sticking straight up from the floor, and being that the car only weighs around 1900lbs it can take off from 0-60mph in 1.9secs which is faster than a Formula 1 car. The car like the RS200 makes a lot of great noises especially from the wastegate after letting off the throttle. The car is really fast, slides around corners thanks to a system that disconnects the center differential to let it slide without causing wear on the transmission. The car is about as crazy as wrestling a wild alligator except the gator doesn’t cost over $500,000+ if anything happens to it, but on the plus side, the car has some protection for the driver or wrangler if there is a crash.

Should this be an article that I write periodically? Post in the comments if I should do this once or twice a month or if I should do a less opinionated article and just do relevant car news. Down below are some definitions for some of the technical terms or just different names I have used for certain car related items.

Four-Pot: Nickname for a 4-cylinder engine usually used when talking about Honda, Toyota, Ford, VW, or Audi engines.

E-gear: Electronic semi-automatic transmission where the clutch is electronically operated instead of the driver operating it. The transmission has 3 drive modes normal (automatic), sport, and Corsa (track) each making the transmission faster, one Lamborghini owner says to leave it in a sport because the automatic mode destroys the clutch.

Flat-Plane Crankshaft: for every 180 degrees the crankshaft rotates, the cylinder is thrown and the order of the cylinders are fired one-by-one following the pattern of RLRLRLRL. The flat-plane-crank can be found in most classic European cars, but the GT350 Mustang is the exception to that statement.

1LE: A track optimized package for most Chevy Camaro models which give it some better suspension components, aero bits to improve downforce in the corners (wing, canards (sharp angled bits that curve up for airflow), better brakes, and tires with a better compound which provides more grip.

Pump gas: Gas with an octane rating of a low 87 to a higher grade 93 octane rating. Cars can be tuned to run on 87 octane gas to make 550+hp or run on 93 octane fuel and make the same power but run cleaner.

Race gas: Gas with an octane rating of 100 or higher and are usually fueling race or street cars, motorcycles, and trucks.

Featured image taken by: Michael Simari Image found on: https://www.caranddriver.com/ferrari/812-superfast Article written by: K.C. Colwell

Photo taken by: Drew Philips Image found on: https://www.autoblog.com/2008/09/22/in-the-autoblog-garage-lamborghini-murcielago-lp640/#slide-384373 Article written by: Jonathon Ramsey

Photo taken by: Autocar Image found on: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/lamborghini/murcielago/first-drives/lamborghini-murcielago-sv Article written by: Steve Sutcliffe

Photo taken by: Motor Trend Group Image found on: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/mustang/2019/11-coolest-best-ford-mustang-list/ Article written by: Collin Woodard

Photo taken by: Ford Performance Image found on: https://autoweek.com/article/detroit-auto-show/2020-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-700-plus-hp-snake Article written by: Wesley Wren

Photo taken by: Chevorlet Image found on: http://www.thedrive.com/sheetmetal/14090/chevy-camaro-zl1-1le-wont-be-sold-in-europe-because-the-aerodynamics-are-too-dangerous Article written by: Eric Brandt

Photo taken by: Chevorlet Image found on: https://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2016-chevrolet-corvette-z06-drive-review-not-just-smoke-machine Article written by: Jake Lingeman

Photo taken by: Anton Watts Image found on: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a20903305/2019-chevrolet-corvette-zr1-instrumented-test-review/ Article written by: Josh Jacquot

Photo taken by: Nissan Image found on: https://www.caranddriver.com/nissan/gt-r Article written by: Don Sherman

Photo taken by: Brian Young Image found on: http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/1308-ams-alpha-omega-nissan-skyline-gt-r/ Article written by: Sean Russell

Photo taken by: Josh Bryan Image found on: http://www.thedrive.com/news/18581/an-ultra-rare-ford-rs200-is-for-sale-in-oregon Article written by: James Gilboy

Photo taken by: Hoonigan Racing Image found on: https://www.hooniganracing.com/garage/

Photo taken by: Chris Doane Image found on: https://www.caranddriver.com/ford/focus-rs Article written by: K.C. Colwell

Photo taken by: Hoonigan Racing Image found on: https://www.hooniganracing.com/garage/

About the author

Gus Wilson

Reporter and writer for the Gus car's section. I am an aspiring mechanical engineer and automotive journalist that really likes cars. This is the first car or truck oriented section of which I am happy to say that this is being written by a car fan for the community.