The Art of Sound – Aural Automotive Pleasure

Editorial : February 2, 2009

There are some sounds that just hit people the right way. Whether it be the sharp, raucous bark of a Porsche flat 6, the whine of a ported Eaton, or the low thrum of an STi, there’s a sound for everyone. Here’s a list of my favorites, but please note I didn’t do this just for fun. We want to hear back from our readers with their choices as well. Note: yes, I know that some of these cars may or may not be modded.

A personal favorite of mine is the exhaust note of a Terminator Cobra. The 4.6 liter DOHC topped with an Eaton sounds mighty fine in my book. With enough bite to back up the bark, termie Cobras always give me aural pleasure (get your mind out of the gutter, sickos — I said AURAL, not oral).

Next up is one of the only cars that you can throw a cat-back on and actually have it sound good — the Subaru Impreza. The unique exhaust note is considered to be caused by the unequal length header design. Either way, no matter how it’s created, it always sounds damn good to me. You’ve gotta love the way they rumble. Videos never seem to do the sound justice, but give this one a shot.

Coming up next is something off the wall for most people. The Mazda 26B 4-rotor. I’ve always been impressed by the way that the 26B sounds. Think of a cammed, big block loping at idle, and then think of that same big block revving to 10k in a second, sounding like a streetbike or F1 car. Mazda essentially put two 13B’s together and came up with this 700hp monstrosity. The 26B was used in Mazda’s legendary 787B racecar.

Rounding out the list is an Italian V12 that can turn to 8500RPM! Regardless of what you just muttered behind your screen, I say the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 sounds good enough to be on this list. The original Italian bull was quick enough with 571 Horsepower, but Lamborghini decided to step it up a notch and increase displacement from 6.2 to 6.5 liters, raising power to a stout 640. Emitting pure emotion out of the center tailpipes like only an Italian machine can, the LP640 is good enough to be here.

I could probably list 20 more cars that I want to be on this list, but alas, I have no more room. Instead I’d rather hear what makes all of our readers tingle, so be sure to respond with what engine sounds give you aural pleasure (keep it clean folks, my mom reads these blogs).