Here are the 7 best-sounding race cars ever
Listen to the almighty sounds of these iconic racing machines!
Sound plays a massive part in making racing more exciting, and whether it be a screaming V10 or a thundering V8, we can all appreciate the various noises that they make. And whilst most race cars are pretty good in this department, some sound absolutely incredible. These seven cars are the best of the lot.
Audi Sport Quattro S1
Although short-lived, Group B has acquired a legendary status among rally fans. As restrictions were relaxed over the years, manufacturers tried everything they could to gain an advantage over their opponents. One such car was the Audi Quattro, a mighty beast that won the WRC title in both 1982 and 1984. Group B was banned in 1986, following the death of Henri Toivonen in his Lancia Delta S4, which produced 'up to 550 horsepower' whilst weighing just 890 kilograms.
As a racing version of the ordinary Quattro, the humble but beautiful 2.1-litre inline-5 was retained, albeit with a new KKK turbocharger to boost power from 197hp to about 300. In 1984, with the introduction of Group B, a road-going homologation of the Audi Sport Quattro S1 was sold, detuned for more usability and reliability. By the end of 1986, the factory competition-spec Quattro, dubbed the S1 E2, was able to reach an insane figure 'close to 600 horsepower'.
Credit: BMW M
BMW M1 Procar
The M1 Procar started life in the late 1970s as a production racing car built for homologation by BMW and Lamborghini, but when the Italian manufacturer's financial situation worsened, the Germans took full control over the project after seven prototypes had been built. In 1978, the BMW M1 was born. Only a handful were made until 1981 - 399 for the road and 53 for racing - but meeting the homologation requirements meant that they could finally race the M1.
The one-make race series known as the 'BMW M1 Procar Championship', or just 'Procar', lasted just two seasons, from 1979 to 1980. Professional racing drivers from the likes of Formula 1 and beyond would compete with each other in identically-modified M1s, the mid-mounted, inline-6 powerplant upped to a mighty 470 horsepower, with all six cylinders working together, revving all the way to an astonishing 9,000RPM and making a fantastic sound whilst doing so. Incredible.
Credit: Wallpaper Cave
Lancia Stratos HF
The beloved Stratos was the first-ever car produced specifically for use in rally sports. Bertone designed the Lancia Stratos Zero in 1970, a futuristic wedge-shaped concept that would form the basis for their new racing machine. Twelve months later, Lancia had it figured out: a stunning car with a short wheelbase to be more nimble and, eventually, a charming V6 engine taken from the Ferrari Dino. The whole package weighed just 980 kilograms in road form.
For the Group 4 car, weight was reduced by 100 kilograms, making this already agile motor even better at taking the corners. The output of the loud and proud Italian engine was able to rise up to between 275 and 320 horsepower, up from 190 in the HF Stradale. In 1974, '75, and '76, Lancia was able to claim the WRC title with their incredible Stratos HF, along with their drivers, Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård. Between 1973 and 1978, a total of 492 great cars were made.
Credit: Car Body Design
The Wankel engine has one of the most unique, interesting and enticing sounds of all, and the 4-rotor powerplant used in Mazda's 1991 Le Mans-winning 787B is no different. This would be the last vehicle in a long line of rotary-powered Mazda racers - dating back to 1983 - but it would also be the greatest. Although the 787B was not the quickest car on the grid, it was great for endurance racing, due to better reliability winning over just speed and power.
The two 787s that entered Le Mans in 1990, having previously raced in the JSPC season, ran well for most of the race alongside a lone 767B until problems with both new cars forced them out of the race. The 767B survived, finishing in 20th position. For the rest of the year, the 787 raced reasonably well. Next up was 1991. Mazda's 787B was even more reliable and competitive than before and won at Le Mans, cementing itself in history as a rotary-powered racing legend.
Bruce McLaren, a driver in Formula 1 from 1959 and founder of the McLaren F1 team in 1965, decided to enter his team for the 1967 Can-Am series. The first evolution of McLaren's mighty Can-Am racers, known as the M6A, won 5 out of 6 races in the series. For 1968, the completely new M8A came to take four races, and the M8B after it won all eleven of the races in 1969. Bruce was tragically killed in an accident when testing his new M8D, ready for the 1970 season.
Nevertheless, the team overcame this tragic loss to win nine of ten races in 1970. The final evolution of Bruce McLaren's M8A design raced and won the season in 1971, and was known as the M8F. The displacement of the mighty Chevrolet V8 engine came all the way up to 8 litres. Its brutal, ground-shaking noise and power, combined with ever-improving aerodynamics, made the McLaren M8F one of the greatest Can-Am race cars to ever compete. Just listen to it roar!
The technically advanced 905 made its debut in the final two races of 1990's World Sportscar Championship season, at Montréal and Mexico. The following year, the initial version was off the pace of the leading car, Jaguar's XJR-14, but managed to place second after some mid-season changes to aerodynamics and the engine led to the introduction of the 905B. Carrying over the 3.5-litre N/A V10 which pumped out 641 horsepower, the 905B raised the bar to about 715bhp.
In 1992, the 905 evolved once again into the 905B Evo, also called the 'Evo 1B'. They won and dominated the final series of the World Sportscar Championship, and despite the fact that competition was more fierce when it came to Le Mans, the Peugeot managed to take the crown. When the championship was cancelled in 1993, the 905 Evo 2 'Supercopter' was never finished, leaving the shouty, smooth, V10-powered Evo 1B to win at Le Mans a second time.
Bringing the first two of Porsche's nineteen outright wins at Le Mans home was the flat-12 powered 917K, developed from the original car of 1969. Initially, the 917 and its long-tail counterpart, the 917L, struggled with stability, which was quickly solved by a shorter, more upswept tail with fins to maintain downforce. Therefore, there was a reduction in drag and an increase in top speed, whilst also improving drivability. The resulting model was named '917K'.
Powered by one of the greatest-sounding engines of all time, a 4.5L flat-12, it had 630bhp on tap. In 1970, a total of nine 917s were entered at Le Mans. Some were the 'K' model, whilst the rest of them were a new longtail design, dubbed 'LH'. Top speed was improved by about 15mph for the 917LH, but it was the 917K that took the victory. Next year, it won again before moving on to Can-Am, with the open-top 917/30 becoming a 1,100 horsepower turbocharged monster.