Top Five Induction Roars (according to us!)
Possibly the most subjective thing we’ve ever written! Purely based on the noise. Emotive it may be, so please do let us know what should be featured in the comments below. Are naturally aspirated engines generally more exciting to listen to? Perhaps, but only when they’re bouncing off a rev-limit that’s set for the stars.
1 BMW E30 Prodrive Rally car
There’s something uniquely unhinged about the chain saw induction noise that this particular N/A four made. In fact, it’s fair to say, there’s generally something brilliant about all naturally aspirated engines that rev to 9000rpm. In a number of rallies as well as touring car races all over the planet the M3 became the go-to, angry, wasp-like engine of choice. If you put top intake noises into Youtube and search for a user by the name of Belgian Motorsport the first car that comes down the straight will define how all racecars should sound forever and ever. The screaming throttle bodied intake roar of the 2.3-litre, four- cylinder M-sport engine reputedly made around 300hp in race guise, but figures like that pale into insignificance against the all-out sonic savagery of the absolutely bonkers, air tearing, cacophony from the carbon intake. Check out the Autocar video on Youtube as well when they get to test the ProDrive racer in all of its glory.
2 Group B Audi Quattro
A true legend. In every way. Ripping through the Welsh vallies as the distinctive, off-beat, five-cylinder crescendo of induction roar, turbo flutter, wastegate actuation and barking exhaust made the Quattro a true spectacle to topple most. Fans would know for miles what was approaching as the crack and pop of anti-lag and the flames that lit the forest up in the night left no doubt as to what was smashing through the forests. Some will say that all of the group B cars sounded incredible, which they did, but none more so than the SWB Evolution Quattro that has to possess one of the most complex intake roars ever. Vicious is probably the word for the savage spool of what became increasingly bigger turbos over the years and obscene, untamable power over the years.
3 Judd V8 BMW E36 – Georg Plasa
Anyone who’s ever hear of the Berg Cup will know that every car competing in the German hill climb series sounds like it’s about detonate at in excess of 10,000rpm. It’s almost a mandatory requirement for competing we think, but one car above all others stands out – the F1 / Le Mans derived JUDD V8 that could be found in Georg Plasa’s constantly evolving BMW E36 racecar. Not only did it sounds absolutely unhinged, but Georg could really drive it as well – shooting sparks, scarping across the tarmac, making every second count. Never heard it before? What are you waiting for? It’s insane. This might be the most famous Hillciimb car of all-time, and when it’s reaching for that 12,000rpm limit, is it any wonder it sounds nuts?
4 Holden XVR8 Bathurst
Sure, it’s only a road car, but have you ever heard one at full chat? It’s incredible. The Walkinshaw racing tuned version of Australia’s brawniest super saloon packs a monstrous 6.2-litre LSA V8 beneath the bonnet, but with the added aggression of a roots style supercharger for good measure. 576bhp was the reported figure direct from the factory, but by the time it left Walkinshaw Performance it could have anything up to 780hp trying to rip the back tyres apart. The noise of the supercharger perfectly complements the V8 rumble, and the lazy, American V8 burble at idle reminds you that you’re not driving a boring car. Flat out these practical, comfortable, generous saloons are limited to 155mph, but there’s any guess as to their top speed once the rev limiter is removed. Most importantly, though, they sound epic and can tear tyres apart in a matter of seconds if the driver happens to be up on car control and rear wheel drive antics.
5. 4 Rotor Mazda 787b
A simply orgasmic sounding motor. The 4 rotor Mazda rotary is a normally aspirated, 2.6 litre engine that’s capable of producing 700hp at 9000rpm (930hp at 10,500rpm), but engineers wanted to keep power levels sensible to maintain reliability. A thirst for revs, but mainly a thirst for fuel made it seem slightly less attractive, but nonetheless if competed at Le Mans in 1991 before the FIA banned rotary engines. It literally sounds like it wants to remove body parts so savage and fierce is the idle of this relatively tiny capacity N/A monster. The car weighed around 830kg thanks to carbon kevlar construction throughout and it went on to dominate the 1991 event, despite the admittedly shocking MPG.