Many petrolheads love supercars for the sound that they make. A great sounding car can turn a lot of heads. It’s one of the main reasons people dislike electric cars. But this leaves many prospective owners, and those just curious, wondering which supercars sound the best.
The 10 best sounding supercars are:
- Porsche Carrera GT
- Lexus LFA
- Pagani Zonda Revolucion
- Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
- Dodge Viper ACR
- Jaguar F-Type
- Aston Martin Vulcan
- Maserati Granturismo
- Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
- Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R
All cars sound different, but some definitely sound much better than others. It’s not always down to the size of the engine, although that does make a difference. Below, we explore exactly why supercars sound so good, and which ones sound the best.
What Makes A Supercar Sound Good?
The short answer is the engine and the exhaust. The engine combusts fuel in air and sends pressure waves through the intakes and the exhaust. This is ultimately what determines what the car sounds like overall.
Where Does The Sound Come From?
The engine’s internal combustion process produces the sound. The combustion takes place inside of the cylinders, and the motion of the cylinders also impact the noise that the car generates. That’s why the car gets louder the higher it revs.
Pistons come in different shapes and sizes, and they are often built from different materials between different manufacturers. This is why each car has a distinctive sound. For example, a V8 engine built by Ford for a Mustang will sound distinctively different to a V8 engine built by Mercedes-Benz.
Each piston essentially pushes out a pulse of air pressure which, when sent through the exhaust creates a sound. Think of the exhaust as a kind of harmonica that plays a different note depending on the amount of air pressure that is sent through it.
In this way, manufacturers can alter the way their car sounds by changing the exhaust. Nowadays, some manufacturers even record engine sounds and play them through the car’s speakers to make the car sound louder than it actually is.
Why Are Faster Cars Louder?
Modern cars have to adhere to noise restrictions. This means that your average daily drive car needs to be fairly quiet. You may have noticed that modern cars are significantly quieter than older cars. Manufacturers use mufflers, sometimes known as silencers, on the exhaust in order to reduce the noise from the engine.
The problem is that mufflers and silencing systems can be heavy. The extra weight increases the total weight of the car which in turn will affect its performance. One of the most important factors for manufacturers when making their cars faster is making the car lighter.
This is why faster cars, and racing cars in particular, are much louder than normal everyday cars, as they don’t use mufflers that would otherwise impact their performance. In addition, muffling increases back pressure which affects the overall power output of the engine itself. So, a car with a muffler is naturally slower than it could be without it.
Are Bigger Engines Louder?
While many people believe that bigger engines mean more noise, it’s not always true. Smaller engines can sometimes be louder. For example, a superbike engine, despite being smaller than a car engine, will be louder than most cars.
The only way that smaller engines can produce more noise than larger ones is if they are able to rev higher. Higher revs put out much higher frequencies that the human ear is more sensitive to, making it sound significantly louder than a deeper sounding engine.
The sound of an engine can change based on its configuration or tuning. For example, when Audi tunes the engine of an A4 to create an RS4, the sound of the engine is different and sometimes even louder despite it being the same engine.
How To Tell The Difference Between V6, V8, V10, And V12
For petrolheads it might be easy to tell the difference between these four types of engines. However, in some cases it can be difficult to judge what type of engine is in a car. The reason why they all sound different is because of they all have different numbers of cylinders.
In reality it is difficult to tell the difference between different engine configurations. Each manufacturer has a unique engine sound, so it’s easy to mistake an engine purely based on its sound. Let’s take for example a V8 in a Ferrari California and a V8 in a Dodge Charger. The Ferrari engine will sound smoother and quieter than the Charger. The Charger is noisy even when idling.
This is down to how the engine is built. In this case, the Ferrari uses a flat-plane crank while the Dodge uses a cross-plane crank. In short, the flat-plane crank fires its cylinders in order, while the cross-plane plank fires its cylinders at differing times, almost randomly.
However, there are some general guidelines when you’re trying to distinguish the different sounds of engines:
V6 – Rough growl and slightly high pitched noise
V8 – Deep, throaty noise
V10 – Smooth, high pitched noise, with a ‘screaming’ noise at high revs
V12 – Loud, heavy, ‘exotic’ noise
10 Best Sounding Supercars
1. Porsche Carrera GT
The Porsche Carrera GT was in production from 2003 until 2007, and it was one of the most popular and best loved cars of its era. Only 1270 of these incredible machines were ever built. Even after all these years, most people agree that it is still one of the best sounding supercars ever built.
The Carrera GT features a 5.7-liter V10 engine that can put out 603 horsepower. The screaming V10 engine has one of the best sounds of all supercars. Better still, it’s available with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
This car can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds and it can hit a top speed of 208 miles per hour. This Porsche is still very much loved, and if you want one of your own, you’ll need to fork out around $1 million at the very least. These cars have more than doubled in value since being released. The Carrera GT was eventually replaced by the 918 Spyder.
2. Lexus LFA
Lexus is a luxury car brand, so you probably wouldn’t expect to see one of their cars on this list. However, just like Nissan, the Japanese manufacturer had a go at creating their very own supercar. The car was only in production for around two years between 2010 and 2012.
It features a 4.8-liter V10 engine with 563 horsepower. At the time, the LFA was packed with cutting-edge technology, and it aimed to take on some of the best supercars in the world. The V10 engine is still admired by petrol heads today.
The LFA can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and it can hit a top speed of 203 miles per hour. Despite many requests, Lexus has not yet confirmed a replacement or an update for the LFA.
These cars sold for around $400,000 when they released. However, their prices have recently risen significantly. One 2012 model sold for $808,000 at an auction, but it was in perfect condition with only 72 miles on the clock.
3. Pagani Zonda Revolucion
The Zonda is the type of car that deserves a spot on a kid’s poster wall. It’s a terrifying experience in the driver’s seat though! The Pagani offers a brutal and raw driving experience that can scare even the most experienced drivers.
One thing is certain though, and that’s the fact that the 6.0-liter V12 Mercedes-Benz AMG engine produce an incredible sound along with its 740 horsepower. The Formula 1 style exhaust system does just as well to project the sound too. Only 15 of these cars were built between 2009 and 2011, so the chances of seeing one in the flesh are extremely low.
The Zonda R has an extremely loud and throaty scream. The exhaust pops and bangs on downshifts and it’s very reminiscent of the V12 era of Formula 1. It’s a sound that will never get old, and definitely one that no road legal car can ever achieve.
The Zonda R can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds and the car can hit an incredible top speed of 233 miles per hour. The Zonda R comes with price tag of around $2.8 million.
4. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
You just can’t have a list of the best sounding cars without featuring a prancing horse. Ferrari is one of the biggest supercar manufacturers in the world. The majority of their cars sound incredible, so it’s difficult to pick one that sounds the best.
However, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is certainly one of the best sounding Ferraris ever built. The 6.3-liter V12 engine is loud, but not as brutal as the Zonda. It’s a much smoother sound, but it still has a gorgeous Ferrari growl to it.
The F12 can launch itself from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.9 seconds and it can reach a top speed of 211 miles per hour. The engine has a power output of 730 horsepower. The F12 was built between 2012 and 2017. It sold for $320,000, however, the value of these cars can rise very quickly, and it’s tough to find one for sale.
5. Dodge Viper ACR
The Dodge Viper ACR is one of the most American cars you can find. It’s also one of the best supercars ever built, featuring a mighty 8.0-liter V10 engine. The engine produces 645 horsepower and is incredibly loud.
The massive V10 engine can launch the car from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, and it can hit a top speed of 177 miles per hour. It’s not the fastest car on the list, but the screaming V10 engine makes this car a worthy contender for being the best sounding.
The Dodge Viper ACR will set you back only around $120,000, making it one of the most affordable cars on this list. Unfortunately, the Viper was discontinued in 2017 after 26 years in production. Despite that though, Dodge still sold 4 of these Vipers in 2020.
6. Jaguar F-Type
When the F-Type was first released in 2013, it was immediately praised for being one of the best sounding cars in the world. That still remains true today, with the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 being able to produce an incredibly deep and menacing growl, and it produces 575 horsepower.
The F-Type can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds and it can hit a top speed of 200 miles per hour. The Jaguar F-Type recently got a redesign and can be bought for just $103,000, making it the most affordable supercar on this list.
7. Aston Martin Vulcan
The Aston Martin Vulcan is a track-only supercar that features a massive 7.0-liter V12 engine. The car was launched in 2015 with a price tag of $2.3 million, and only 24 of these incredible machines were ever built.
The V12 has a high-pitched scream that could comfortably draw attention from a mile away while putting out 820 horsepower. The Vulcan can propel itself from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3 seconds, and it’ll go on to hit a top speed of 225 miles per hour.
8. Maserati Granturismo
Maserati is well known for building cars that produce an incredible sound. The Granturismo is no exception. The engine is a 4.7-liter Maserati V8, however, it is essentially a Ferrari engine. Somehow, it just sounds better when it’s built into a Maserati!
The Granturismo was in production from 2007 until 2019. The V8 engine produces 454 horsepower along with a very smooth and deep sounding note. Maserati engines are considered by many to be the best sounding engines of all cars.
The Granturismo will go from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 187 miles per hour. You can have your own Maserati Granturismo for just $150,000. However, since they have been discontinued, you may see their value appreciate over time.
9. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
The Lamborghini Aventador is one of the most desirable cars in the world and it has been ever since it was introduced in 2011. The 6.5-liter V12 has a brutal yet high-pitched scream at high revs and it’s incredibly loud.
The SVJ is a special edition and one of 15 different Aventador variants. The engine produces 759 horsepower, and it can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds and it will hit a top speed of 219 miles per hour.
The Aventador was introduced as the replacement for the Murcielago and is also the flagship model for the Italian supercar giants. The Aventador SVJ will set you back around $573,000.
10. Mercedes-Benz AMG GTR
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GTR is the spiritual successor of the much-loved SLS. The GTR has the classic deep, brutal, and throaty sound that AMG cars are famous for. The AMG GTR was released in 2014 and is still going strong.
The AMG GTR has a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 577 horsepower. The car can launch itself from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds and it will hit a top speed of 198 miles per hour. A Mercedes-Benz AMG GTR will cost you $163,000.
There are plenty of supercars out there that have incredible sounding engines. Above are 10 of the best sounding supercars, and while everyone’s opinions differ, the majority of people can’t disagree with these being at least amongst the best there is!