The car world was blown away when it first heard Ford was finally bringing the GT name back. It was less blown away once people learned it wouldn't be getting a big V8, but rather a twin-turbo Ecoboost V6. The GT is still a great car to drive, but its sound leaves something to be desired.
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Honda Civic Type R
The Civic Type R is a great driver's car, but unlike Type Rs of old, it doesn't have a high-revving, naturally aspirated engine powering the wheels. Instead, owners are treated to a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which sounds just about as bland as every other 2.0-liter turbo-four on the market, despite that cool three-tip exhaust setup.
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The BMW i8 is famous for its ultra-futuristic looks and cool swing-up doors, but no one ever talks about its engine note—mainly because it's not that great. BMW pumps fake noise into the cabin through the speakers to compensate for the car's muffled exhaust, which should tell you everything you need to know.
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The ATS-V is a prime example of a great vehicle held back by its engine note. It has a fantastic chassis and immense performance, but instead of dropping a Corvette V8 in the engine bay, Cadillac went with an excellent turbo-V6 that sounds the opposite of excellent.
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Infiniti Q50s Red Sport 400
Infiniti's latest Q50 is actually a fun car. Its comfortable, good looking, and pretty quick. Thanks to its V6, however, it's not that fun to listen to. It is, of course, turbocharged, silencing any great sounds the motor could make.
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We've all been secretly wishing Mercedes would bring the G65 AMG to the U.S. Finally, our wishes have been granted. But the auditory experience can be lackluster. Sure, it has a twin-turbo V12 with 603 horsepower, but if it sounds like a tractor, where's the fun in that? What happened to the smooth music that normally emanates from a V12?
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The GT-R is known for its impeccable speed and performance, but not often mentioned when referring to sound. The twin-turbo V6 may be a wonder of technological engineering, but exhaust note certainly wasn't what the designers focused on.
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Porsche's switch to turbo-four cylinder engines for the 718 Boxster and Cayman has been good for torque numbers but hasn't been very beneficial to the car's sound. Instead of the sweet naturally aspirated flat-six note we're accustomed to, the mid-engine sports cars now spit out a half-baked Subaru WRX STi noise that hasn't earned the most praise.
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The new WRX might be the best all-rounder you can buy for less than $30,000, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. With the loss of its unequal-length headers, the unique Subaru burble has gone away, leaving a raspy generic tone in its place.