Lofty List: Best Sounding 5-Cylinder Cars

Engines are a wonderful thing. They take fuel and turn it into forward motion. They do this by creating millions of explosions, and harnessing the forces created. And they do this with ever varying conditions, like different fuel mixture, different displacements, different aspiration methods, etc...

As you may have figured out, we here at OhSoLofty are quite fond of engines. This is why my fellow writer Jack Lavish and I have decided to go through the thousands of engines out there in the world and create a list of the best sounding ones. And to keep things simple, these lists will be separated by engine type. There will also be a video accompanying these list to keep things nice and classy.

This week’s list is all about 5-cylinder engines. 5-cylinder engines, when you really think about it, shouldn’t work. One would expect that with an odd number of cylinders, the imbalance in forces would shake the engine apart. Well it doesn’t. You can thank engineering for that. 5-cylinder motors are often seen in VAG cars (Volkswagen Auto Group you pervs), though Ford and Volvo use them too. So without further adieu, let us begin this week’s list with the…

Ford Focus RS & RS500

The Focus RS & RS500 are very similar to the standard Ford Focus hatchback…if it were given a generous dose of methandrostenolone. The turbo inline-5 under the hood makes about 350hp, and 380 lb/ft of torque. Unlike other 5-cylinder motors, the Focus RS has a distinct, mechanical sound to it.

Audi RS3

The RS3 takes the Audi’s humble, entry level A3 and gives it a shot of adrenaline. The RS3 has Quattro all-wheel drive, aggressive styling, and a curb weight under 1.5 tons. But the star of the show is the scream of a motor. The 4-cylinder motor that is used in the base model is swapped out for a turbo charged, inline-5 motor which makes 362hp. Best part? This motor breathes through two, big oval-shaped exhaust pipes. And boy, does it breathe.

Volkswagen Jetta 2.5

The Jetta is the people’s car. They are practical, well built, and cheap. Also, they are one of the few cars that you can still get a 5-cylinder motor in. The naturally aspirated 2.5L inline-5 used in the Jetta is a joy of an engine. Though it’s not a powerhouse, the linear power delivery and torque down low give this car some pep. And with a proper exhaust modification, some growl too.

Audi RS2

The car that started it all. The Audi RS2 was outsourced to Porsche because they knew what they were doing (and also were in need of money). A stock RS2, even by todays standards, is still a formidable car. The 2.5L turbo inline-5 under the hood makes about 311hp to all for wheels. That being said, the robust quality of the motor has allowed it handle in excess of 1000hp!

Audi Sport Quattro S1

Group B gave us some many good cars, like the Audi Sport Quattro. This car is the poster child of Group B rally. Famously driven by Walter Röhrl, the Quattro S1 featured a 2.1L turbo inline-5, which reported produced 444hp. The exhaust sound, however, gives the Quattro S1 a 1000hp feeling.