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This video is cool, but it always reminds me of how big engines used to sound. Maybe it's the pushrods or something, but they used to be made to sound so much less... neutered.

It can be tough to find the right audio clips, but here's one that isn't bad.


Fascinating stuff this is!

In this case it's the 5.2L Lambo V10's uneven firing order caused by the two banks being 90 degrees apart vs. the 144 crankshaft rotational degree spacing of exhaust pulses on a given 5-cylinder bank and opposing cylinders sharing a common, non-offset journal. In effect, this is two 5-cylinder engines sharing a common crankcase and crankshaft.

The musical third is lurking in this uneven timing and the heavy high harmonic content comes about when you have two banks that are even firing unto themselves.

A cross-plane American V8 is not even-firing on each side of the vee, but a bundle-of-snakes (180-degree) exhaust like in a Ford GT40 will get you some of that octave scream too.

Possible cultural differences there - to me that clip sounds like an "American V8". Performance car manufacturers put a lot of effort into making their cars sound right - to my ears the more exotic Lambo/Ferrari/Aston engines sound much nicer - but that will just be my own cultural biases regarding what a performance car is supposed to sound like.

Lambo/Ferrari/Aston used to have the same raw quality, and it was great then too.


Engines still have pushrods, so I don't think that is it. :)

Comes down to a couple reasons - 1) the increased pollution reduction technologies (i.e the catalytic converter and muffler) used, which in the video you linked to doesn't have any of those and is just straight headers and 2) the timing of those older motors is mechanical and set to be optimal when the motor is at a peak (or near peak) performance.

> the timing of those older motors is mechanical and set to be optimal when the motor is at a peak (or near peak) performance.

Not true with mechanical variable valve phasing/timing/shifting systems, famed (and defamed) as VTEC for Honda, but available in other alternative forms (and often recently and in milder forms probably due to Honda and Toyota patents gradually expiring), like Toyota: VVT-i (famous as VVT in AE86's 4A-GE engine), Suzuki: VVT (e.g on Swift Sport M16A engine), Ford: VCT...

Or it can be completely electronic thanks to direct injection gasoline engines, like Fiat MultiAir.

You're correct in saying that other factors define the sound of the engine, but note that his comparison is in this instance technically valid - the V10 in the Gallardo uses overhead cams, so there are no pushrods.

It still totally depends on the car, I've seen a few that still sound like the world is ending (Reventon for one), it's just often they're bowing to putting smaller, more efficient engines into them, and complying with more regulations about sound proofing and not annoying wildlife.

I get what you mean though, I heard a Ford RS200 being ragged around a track last year and it sounded amazing.

While we are on that subject, a V10 is not a Lamborghini no matter what the bull on the hood and the price tag are trying to tell you... that is an Audi aluminum engine, not an "Italian passion" V12 monster.

>that is an Audi aluminum engine, not an "Italian passion" V12 monster.

Are you really trying to discredit Lamborghini because they're now owned by Audi? The passion you're referring to comes from the design. Most people couldn't care less about the sound. The other day a Ferrari 599 GTB passed by a restaurant and my friend said it was an obnoxious sounding car.

How about Pagani? Their engines are made by Mercedes/AMG. Does that mean it's any less Italian?

Let me ask you this: is the original Porsche 924 really a Porsche for you?

If you're trying to compare this to Lamborghini and their engines you picked a bad example. The 924 was entirely designed by VW but tweaked by Porsche. It is a Porsche, but it doesn't fit in with the rest of their cars because it was a terrible performer and that's not what Porsche stands for.

Maybe this will change you stance on Lamborghini

Supercars cars that use other manufacturer's engines:

-Maserati (Ferrari engines)

-Rossion Q1 (Ford engine)

-Noble M600 (volvo engine)

-Pagani (Mercedes/AMG)

-Aston Martin (DB9 uses Ford-based engine)

-Ariel Atom (Honda and Suzuki engines)

-TVR Cerbera (originally a TVR engine, switched to Jaguar)

-Spyker (Audi engines)

-Koenigsegg CCX (Ford engines)

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