Question of the Day: Is This the World's Best Sounding Passenger Car Engine?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Cornering's the thing, but I am an absolute horn dog for automotive aural sex. Yes, I bought an E39 M5 for the stealth style, comfort and continent-crushing high speed stability. But it was the car's low-speed V8 burble that captured my heart. I held off from Boxsterhood until Porsche finally put some genuine aggression in its exhaust note. (I could easily understand why a pistonhead would prefer a Corvette over a Porsche based on relative exhaust notes.) Folks, I've got 47 of my favorite engine sounds on my iPod. SL55 AMG. Ford GT. Lamborghini Murcielago. And the rest. And I still think the Ferrari F355's flat-plane crank eight-cylinder engine is the world's best sounding powerplant. It's nuts, then crazy, then insane, then maniacal, then the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse leaving hoof-prints on your temporal lobe. You? [NB: Wait until the end of this video.]

Ferrari 355 on dyno - sound of magic

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4 of 65 comments
  • Martin B Martin B on Aug 15, 2008

    One evening I watched a nervous driver reverse a Ferrari roadster up a ramp into the showroom after a photoshoot. I'm not sure what model it was, but Oh Man, what a sound. This Ferrari in reverse sounded like a superbike doing 100 mph down the highway.

  • Andy D Andy D on Aug 15, 2008

    One bone chilling winter's morning in '67, just around cock crow, I heard my brother's '62 Chrysler 300G start up where it had been parked at a bar 2 miles away. Modern day 300C, I fart in your general direction

  • Esldude Esldude on Aug 15, 2008

    Well, don't know where you can here them now. But a straight eight is the best in my opinion. V-8's might be my second choice. After that inline sixes. Never heard a V6 I like though. 12's sound powerful, but somehow not satisfying to me. V10's just sound wrong.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 16, 2008

    The best sound is the one you can't hear!