What are the best sounding cars in the world? Well, in an attempt to answer that, we’ve compiled a selection of our favorite exhaust notes.

It’s a debate that’s sparked heated arguments in pubs and club meets for decades, and one which will go on in online comment sections until the end of time. Everyone’s got their own favorite when it comes to the best sounding cars in the world, but we’ve done the unthinkable and decided to try and narrow it down to a select group of 15.

Check them out below, and let us know what you think – are we singing from the same hymn sheet, or is our list completely off-key…?

Best Sounding Cars

Lexus LFA

The first name that falls off the lips of most people when asked about the best sounding cars, is this; the Lexus LFA. And with good reason! The 1LR-GUE V10 engine in this Japanese supercar has a capacity of 4.8 liters and outputs 553hp at a soaring 8700rpm, before redlining 300rpm later. For many reasons, this was one of the most heralded engines of the 21st Century. For a start, it was constructed from exotic aluminum, magnesium and titanium alloys. And, despite being a V10, shared the more compact dimensions of a traditional V8. In fact, it was as light as an average V6! You can learn much more about it here, but for now all you need to know is that it sounds utterly sublime.

Lamborghini Murcielago SV

When it comes to exotic V12 supercars, there are plenty that we could’ve picked for this list. For me though, the Murcielago SV is the best of the bunch. Perhaps it’s just childhood nostalgia, but there’s something magical about its shrill, piercing tones. It’s a pretty significant car from a historical point of view too. The Murci SV was the final Lambo to be blessed with a V12 derived from Giotto Bizzarinni’s original 1963 design. So, whether you’re a scholar, or just somebody who likes shouty cars, there’s reason to love the Murcielago SV and its glorious V12.

Alfa Romeo – Any Model with a Busso V6

Sticking with Italian marques but halving the amount of cylinders involved, for me Alfa’s Busso V6 is one of the best sounding V6s ever created. Alfa have used it in all sorts of sports saloons, coupes, and even hot hatches over the years; each of them made infinitely more desirable by the Busso’s presence. If you want to understand why, simply click play and listen…

Ferrari 250 GTO

Old carbureted engines have a real charm to them, and the Colombo V12 found in the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO is a perfect example of that. There’s something greatly satisfying about the sound it makes as it winds its way up the rev range and then breathily falls into the next gear. Cars like this are a rare sight, and it’s even rarer to see them driven as above. So, sit back and enjoy.

Porsche Carrera GT

Ah, Porsche. This wonderful German marque has given us so many automotive gifts over the years. Even when it comes down to something as specific as engine notes, there are so many brilliant-sounding Porsches to choose from. In recent times the Cayman GT4 RS caused a big stir, and the 911 RSR GTE remains one of the best sounding racecars of all time. The old stuff doesn’t sound half bad either. I’m sure you’ve seen *that* video of Magnus Walker prowling the streets of L.A. in his 277. But for the sake of this shortlist, we’ve opted for the Carrera GT. Like the LFA mentioned earlier, it’s carrying a beautifully soulful V10 within it capable of more than 8000rpm.

Dodge Charger R/T

The American muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s have got their own hugely passionate fanbase, and if you’re part of that community, there will be nothing better than the sound of an old V8. When it comes to the ear test, whichever engine you prefer will largely come down to which side of the tribal divide you find yourself on. We’ve used the Dodge Charger R/T as an example in this case, but first-gen Camaro Z28s and Mustang GTs would be equally worthy contenders.

GMA T.50

If a high-revving V12 is more your cup of tea, you’ll love this next one. GMA might not be a car brand that you’re familiar with, but in its fledgling years it’s already created some beautiful machines. You see, GMA stands for Gordon Murray Automotive – yes, this marque is the brainchild of the guy who designed the McLaren F1. The GMA T.50 is essentially his modern day reinterpretation of that near-mythical ’90s hypercar, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint. The headline is of course its novel fan-based aero, but its powertrain is pretty special too. Murray entrusted legendary British engine tuners Cosworth with the task of building the T.50’s engine, and what they’ve come up with is a 4.0-liter V12 that redlines at an utterly insane 12,100rpm!

BMW M3 E46

As far as six cylinder engines go, I’ll always prefer the sound of a straight-six over a V6, despite my love for Alfa’s Busso. Of all the straight sixes around though, nothing beats the 3.2-liter S54 found in the greatest M car of all time; the E46 M3. Actually, I take that back – the straight six found in the E46 S2000 touring car is even better. But that’s a full-on race car, so it’s not allowed on this list.

Ferrari 458 Italia

When people ask what a ‘European’ V8 sounds like, the car which always pops into my mind is the Ferrari 458 Italia. Whereas grizzly American V8s rumble and grumble, the V8s found in Europe’s top supercars do nothing but sing. For about half a decade, the 458 was regarded as the greatest supercar in the world, partly for its superb handling, but also in part due to the 4.5-liter F136 block placed just in front of its rear axle. In fact, people loved the F Series engines so much that Ferrari even built a whole damn car as a tribute – the aptly named F8 Tributo.

Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06

Speaking of sing-song V8s, the recently launched Corvette C8 Z06 caused quite a stir when GM revealed that it too had gone down that flat-plane crank route. In stark contrast to the blue-collar Camaro and lesser-spec C8s, Chevy’s Corvette Z06 has gone all-in on hunting down the European elite. As well as much-refined handling to genuinely elevate it from muscle car to supercar status, the Z06 bears a mid-engined V8 in the shape of its rivals’ too. And frankly, despite what the purists say, I think it’s all the better for it…

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Designed by F1 engineering god, Adrian Newey, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is – on paper at least – one of the best hypercars to emerge in the 2020s. However, an extended development period and mothballed Le Mans programme (which excitingly might be about to be un-mothballed) has meant that we’ve actually seen very little of it, nor has there been much comment on the way it drives in practice. Still, whenever it does make a public appearance, its high-revving V12 exhaust note leaves the crowds stunned.

Honda Civic Type R FD2

On the much more affordable end of the scale, we figured we’d show some love to Honda’s naturally-aspirated lineage of VTEC engines. Arguably the most characterful family of four-pots, people love to hate on these engines – despite their impressive performance credentials, the sound that they emit just isn’t for everyone. And hey, that’s ok, sound is subjective. However, those of us who enjoyed them (such as myself) were a little sad to see these N/A gems phased out in favor of turbos. Anyway, the last of the line was the K20A found in the FD2-gen Civic Type R. Listen to its 8400rpm swansong in the video above.

Mazda Rotary Sportscars

Rotary fans, we’ve not forgotten about you. If you’re a Dorito lover, it’s quite likely that the one thing that draws you to these cars is their unmistakable ‘buzzy’ exhaust note. Whether it’s the classic RX-7, black sheep RX-8, or left-field Cosmo that takes your fancy, Mazda’s rotary sports cars are an acquired taste. But once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.

Volvo 850 R

Five cylinder engines are pretty rare in the grand scheme of things. Audi have used them to great success in the past of course, and Ford has even dabbled with the five-pot in the old Mk2 Focus ST. However, we wanted to shine a light on Volvo – particularly, the 850 R. A child of the nineties, this perplexingly sporty Swedish station wagon has no right sounding as good as it does. Alright, the one in the video above is modified, but even fresh out the box these things sounded mega. There’s a gruff-ness to odd-cylinder engines, whether it be five or three, and personally I’m a fan.

Pagani Huayra R

Let’s end on another screamer, shall we? Pagani has to be one of the most exotic car brands in the world, and suitably, they’re no strangers to some pretty exotic engines. You may remember the wild Zonda R from the late 2000s. Well, this Huayra R continues its predecessor’s ear-splitting legacy. A track-only beast, the Huayra R’s V12 revs to an insane 9000rpm and creates 850hp along the way. Worth the $3.5 million price tag? We’ll let you decide…