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7 Feb 2016

American V8 – The Burble

This is probably the most well-known V8 sound, especially in the U.S. which is the home of the muscle car. Most muscle car V8s have a cross-plane crank, which means that there are uneven gas pulses down the exhaust system – this is what gives off that characteristic burbling sound. Add in a free flowing exhaust and the sound of a muscle car V8 burbling away is one of THE iconic sounds to a petrolhead: (video)

Ferrari V8 – The Screamer

The other iconic V8 sound is of course the screaming Ferrari V8 – since the308 and its 2.9 litre V8, Ferraris have had a distinctive sound that make petrolheads the world over weak at the knees. This is mainly down to two things – firstly, they use a flat plane crank which gives even gas pulses meaning the sound is akin to two 4-cyl engines together and means that secondly, the engine can rev much higher and more freely. So you get a high revving screaming sound, the zenith of which is the 458 Speciale. Now that the 488 has gone to turbos this is the last V8 that will scream as much too: (video)

Jaguar V8 – The Angry One

Now this is a bit of an interesting one – it’s a normal cross plane crank engine, but made to sound much MUCH angrier with some clever exhaust tuning (see Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage as well). Jaguar take a fairly large 5.0 litre V8 engine and add a supercharger, but the real work goes on with their exhaust, which they spent countless hours tuning. The intake and exhaust system layout was tweaked, as were the pipe diameters, crossover locations and baffle positions. This gives the F-Type’s V8 its characteristic hard edged rasp, while some tweaking in the ECU means some unburned fuel is passed into the exhaust system which is what gives those naughty sounding pops and bangs on the overrun: (video)