The 30 Best-Sounding Four-Cylinder Cars of All Time

You don't need eight or 12 cylinders for good noise.

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Davide Cironi Drive ExperienceYouTube

Sounding great isn't just for cars with V8s and V12s. Even a car with a four-cylinder engine can sound amazing. Here are some of the best.

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Porsche 356

The 356 may not have the flat-six engine note Porsche is famous for, but its flat-four is still nice to listen to. Especially if it's equipped with a Sebring-style single-exit exhaust. you can own right now.

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BMW 2002tii

The BMW 2002tii looks good and drives great. One of the things that makes it so special is the throaty exhaust noise coming out the back. in great condition, and you can buy it today.

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Ford RS200

The RS200 was a homologation special that allowed Ford to compete in Group B rally. The engine, built by Cosworth, is a real powerhouse and an aural gem.

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Opel Manta

The Manta is one of the more obscure cars on this list, but that doesn't make it sound any worse. You could get one with a six-cylinder, but the inline-four models made a lovely noise, too.

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Lotus Elan

The Elan packs Lotus's famous twin-cam engine, which, in addition to making great power, is compact, simple, and makes a wonderful sound. up for sale on eBay can be yours today.

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Toyota Corolla (AE86)

The Toyota AE86 is great in a lot of ways. Though it might just pack four cylinders under the hood, that 4AGE engine makes a symphony of fantastic noise all the way to its 8000--rpm redline. you can own now.

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Ferrari 500 Mondial

When most people think of Ferrari engines, they think V-12s. This Ferrari 500 Mondial uses a four-cylinder, but its sound still lives up to the badge.

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Nissan Silvia

The SR20 found in many of Nissan's performance cars of the '90s is a go-to choice for tuners everywhere, and it's easy to see why. It can handle tons of boost, and makes a wonderful sound while doing it. has one, and you can buy it.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

When it comes to turbo-fours, Japanese manufacturers definitely know what they're doing. The Lancer Evolution, equipped with Mitsubishi's 4G63 engine, is a great example. is for sale on eBay for $25,000.

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Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

The Cosworth-modified 2.3-liter four-cylinder in the Mercedes 190E made it a real gem to listen to.

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Brabham BT52

If you thought all the best-sounding F1 cars had V-10s and V-12s, think again. The Brabham BT52 sports a BMW-built turbo inline-four that makes over 600 horsepower and a wild noise.

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Dodge Neon SRT4

The SRT4 Neon is a fantastic front-wheel drive pocket-rocket that's tons of fun behind the wheel. What people don't really mention much is just how good it sounds. You can own for just under $20,000.

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Lancia Fulvia

Not all four-cylinder engines have inline designs—the Lancia Fulvia has a V-4. It makes an interesting noise you should hear. is up for bidding on eBay right now.

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Saab 96

Of course, the Lancia wasn't the only car to get a V-4 engine. The Saab 96's 1.5-liter V-4 engine makes a deep, raspy noise. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it sounds a bit like a Subaru boxer engine.

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Mini Cooper S

Early versions of the modern Mini Cooper came with supercharged four-cylinders from the factory, and sound as entertaining as you'd expect. can be yours for just $5495.

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Porsche 944

Porsche may be known for its iconic flat-six noises, but the 944's four-cylinder engine has a distinct sound that shouldn't be overlooked. up for bidding right now on eBay.

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MGB GT

When people get nostalgic over the light, simple roadsters of the '50s and '60s, this is the sound they remember. Full of deep rumbles and lovely backfires, these are noises no new four-pot car can replicate. You can own for $11,000 today.

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Ford Escort RS2000

There's nothing quite like hearing a high-strung, well-built engine revving all the way to redline. Cosworth is famous for making fantastic engines, the side effect of which is some seriously enjoyable soundtracks.

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Alpine A110

Most inline-fours these days are muffled and sound virtually the same. Not the new Alpine A110. It has a throaty, powerful note with tons of substance and satisfaction.

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Acura Integra Type R

In the mid 1990s, the Acura Integra GS-R was one cool little front-wheel drive coupe. Then, in 1997, Honda brought over the Acura Integra Type R, a car that even today is still considered one of the best-handling front-wheel drive cars ever made. Its 1.8-liter engine made an incredible 195 horsepower, and you could rev it all the way up to its 8,400 rpm redline. It was glorious. for sale on eBay has low mileage, and it's unmodified.

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Alfa Romeo 4C

If you're looking for a small, nimble, quick little sports car, either the Porsche Boxster or Cayman would be the rational way to go. But what if you think less about rationality and spreadsheets, instead preferring soul and passion? In that case, Alfa Romeo has you covered with the impractical-yet-amazing 4C. With that exhaust note, you'll never forget it, either. just $44,100 right now on eBay.

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Any Offenhauser-Powered Car

Fred Offenhauser sure did know how to leave a legacy. His engine design dominated Indy Car racing to the point that "Offy" engines are essentially synonymous with the sport. He built them to be both powerful and reliable, which he achieved, but one of the side effects was that they sound amazing.

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Any Twin-Cam Alfa Romeo

When an engine's in production for 40 years, it's going to find its way into more than one car, and never has that been more true than with the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam. It was quite advanced for the time when it was introduced in 1954, and over its life cycle, it found its way into more than a dozen cars. Even from the beginning, it sounded wonderful. you can own right now.

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BMW E30 M3

BMW says it developed the original M3 to sit at the intersection of road car and race car. The M3 of today is much more powerful and significantly faster, but there's still something about the E30. It had an engine that would rev and rev and rev, and the longer you kept your foot down, the better it sounded. pretty clean, and it can be yours for under $40,000.

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Fiat 500 Abarth

Reliability issues aside, the Fiat 500 is a great little city car. It also happens to come in a performance trim that's an absolute blast around town. Yes, the Ford Fiesta ST is the better all-around car, but the Fiat 500 Abarth has an ace up its sleeve, and that's how it sounds. Say it sounds like half a Ferrari or like a Jaguar F-Type R for the masses, but man does it sound good. You can own on eBay for just under $8000.

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Ford Focus RS

The Ford Focus RS has a lot going for it in the performance department. It makes 350 horsepower, only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and puts that power to the ground through a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system (that also has a drift mode). Its exhaust was also designed to eliminate the central muffler, giving it "an angry, raspy, spitting sound that is unique to the RS." There's right now for under $30,000.

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Honda S800

The Honda S800, Honda's follow-up to the S600, got a slightly larger engine that made 13 more horsepower and a 10-mph higher top speed. The fact that those increases measured up to a grand total of 70 horsepower and a top speed of 100 mph don't sound impressive compared to today's cars, but who cares? The S800 sounds wonderful all the way up to its 8000-rpm redline. Oh, and there was a racing version that could rev even higher.

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Honda S2000

Carrying on the spirit of the S800, when the Honda S2000 was introduced in 1999, it had only slightly less horsepower than the Ford Mustang GT. Somehow, it managed to make that much power despite having half the number of cylinders and less than half the displacement. The S2000 was light, balanced, had an amazing manual transmission, and its 2.0-liter engine sounded better than any four-cylinder at the time. can be yours for just under $25,000.

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Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

Porsche's successor to the 718 was the 904 Carrera GTS, a car that allowed the company to break back into sports car racing after withdrawing from Formula One. It had a timeless design and an advanced chassis for the time, but the best thing about it was probably its engine. It made 70 horsepower per liter, an amazing figure for the time. Plus it sounded far better than any four-cylinder engine has the right to.

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Subaru WRX STI

There aren't many automakers that would decide an engine is good enough in 2004 and keep it around, mostly unchanged, for more than 10 years. Subaru did, leaving the EJ257 largely the same in the STI for the last three generations. Still, when you hear a WRX STI's exhaust note, it has the kind of distinctive sound that you won't confuse with any other car. is just $14,500 on eBay right now.

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