3 Best Sounding Cars We Can Buy Today Before EVs Take Over The World

3 Best Sounding Cars We Can Buy Today Before EVs Take Over The World

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
29 Sep 2022

There was understandable apprehension from car enthusiasts when performance car manufacturers shifted research and development efforts to electrification. While EVs have no problem racking up jaw-dropping figures on paper (0-100km/h sprint times in particular), we often wonder if piped-in sounds through speakers could satisfy purists who have gotten so used to intoxicating, unfiltered soundtracks of high-revving internal combustion engines.

Just like how the quartz crisis in the 70s shook the watchmaking industry, when we observe this situation holistically it stirred raw emotions of horophiles, which in turn kept the mechanical watch industry thriving till today. The same can be said for exquisitely-engineered cars - we are already experiencing a period where pre-owned examples are listing at prices previously unimaginable.

Will the value of these cars continue to spike? We reckon that it can depend on one factor: do they sound good? Sure, EVs are capable of covering ground at neck-strapping pace. Do they possess sufficient emotional appeal? Perhaps not yet, until engineers solve the seemingly impossible task of making EVs sound good, or plot alternative means of entertainment other than raw pace. We concur that the definition of good sounding cars might vary even when we welcome EVs with piped-in sounds in the mix, but there will still be a niche group of petrolheads who will still crave for the voices of high-revving combustion motors. These are the three best sounding cars we can buy today before EVs silence us with instantaneous battery-powered velocity:

Porsche GT3 RS

We usually list the desired generation when it comes to our shortlists. But when the subject points towards soundtracks of Porsche’s GT3 RS clan, we have to admire this breed of cult cars in its entirety. Sure, newer-gen RS examples might have “matured” from a drivetrain perspective (latest 2 generations were PDK-only), but the sensational flat 6 motor continues to provoke you to wring it till redline. You need to work hard for it to gain substantial pace and you need to be (literally) on your toes - it can demand a sizeable portion of concentration when you gun it down your favourite stretch of tarmac, but you’ll soon realise that you’re in something special with that accompanying race-bred soundtrack on full chat.

Maserati GranTurismo

Some might opine that there is no replacement for displacement, and from a soundtrack perspective this holds true for Maserati. With 4.2-litres of V8 displacement at the driver’s disposal, the GranTurismo chugs along with unadulterated aural triumph. Road testers have lamented its dynamic ability primarily due to its 1,880kg heft, but it was somehow a blessing in disguise as it allows the V8 to toil for its speed, starting from a deep baritone at crawling speeds, working its way up to a tighter, less bellowy top-end rush. Ease off the pedal and let the motor settle into a drony burble - this is when we know there is a big, angry V8 lurking under the hood. It’s a far cry from the higher-pitched, zingy V8 expression of BMW’s E90/E92 M3, which in itself delivers a distinctive voice but only when revs climb nearer to redline.

Honda Civic Type R (FD2R)

All eyes are on the latest-gen FL5 Civic Type R now, unveiled on the Type R’s 25th year anniversary. This made us eager to refresh our memory of past Type Rs, each with its own “generational” strength. But a monumental leap from naturally aspirated engines to a turbocharged motor was arguably the most striking (yet controversial) headliner back in 2007. That made some of us appreciate the linearity and urgency of the FD2R’s 2.0-litre K20A. We have to mention though that while the track-focused engine encourages you to pile on the revs, the FD2R’s rock solid suspension means you’ll have a tendency to ease off the throttle over the slightest of undulations, hindering the achievement of pure VTEC dosage. But on a buttery smooth stretch of tarmac there is nothing quite like this in this price bracket - they are going for approximately S$20k - S$25k depreciation per year. A meaty figure we know, but we’d continue to assert that this is one of the best sounding 4-cylinder motors on planet earth. Another consolation perhaps will be that there are still a good number of them in the used car market, and that other JDM machines like Evos are going for twice the annual depreciation!

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