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.
The subject of this list is the 10-Cylinder motor. In all honesty, V10s are my favorite cylinder arrangement. This is mainly for two reasons. First, the rarity. A new V10 car is pretty much once in a blue moon event. Second, the sound. V10s grumble down low, howl while climbing, and shriek at the top of the rev range. Though that may sound displeasing, it isn’t.
So with that said, lets start this list off with the…
Audi R8 V10
The Audi R8 will forever be ingrained into history as the car that got Audi back on the radar. Based heavily off the Rosemeyer concept car of the early 2000s, the original R8 is arguably the best thing to come out of Audi…ever. Initially powered by the glorious 4.2L V8, the R8 shifted to a 10 banger about a year after it’s initial release. That 5.2L monstrosity that resided in the rear of the chassis ended up becoming one of the most praised motor ever, thanks mainly to its maniacal amount of refinement, high power tolerance, and glorious soundtrack.
BMW M5 e60
The e60 M5 was the last generation M5, and considered by many to be one of the best M Cars ever. Though it looked like a car a dentist would drive, the e60 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Under the rather mundane looking exterior was a F1 based powertrain. The 5.0L V10 had a noise that no other car could ever replicate. When an M5 flew by, wetting one’s self in terror/excitement/joy was totally understandable.
Lamborghini Gallardo (1st Generation)
Most people assume that the Gallardo had always been an R8 V10 with a Lambo exterior. That is false. The 1st Generation Gallardo was a mechanically more Lamborghini than the later, more well know models. One major difference was in the motor. The 2nd generation shared the wonderful 5.2L V10 engine with the Audi R8. The 1st generation features a 5.0L V10. That .2L difference in displacement may not seem like much on paper, in person there is a distinct difference. Even though the 5.0L is down on power when compared to the 5.2L, the sound is arguably better. Not as smooth as the 5.2L, but a lot more emotional.
The only major V10 car to ever come out of the USA, the Dodge viper is iconic as the Corvette and Mustang…though it may not be as popular. When it was first conceived the Viper featured a massive 8.4L V10, however as times changed and fuel economy became a concern, Dodge decided to lower the displacement a tad bit. Specifically, to a relatively modest 8.0L. Jokes aside, the Viper is a truly awesome car that also sounds the part.
Ask any F1 fan what their favorite engine configuration is, and more than likely a V10 will be the answer. Ferrari, like most F1 teams, used V10s in their F1 cars during the early to mid 2000s. They were scary powerful, and scary loud. When somebody asks what a F1 car sounds like, a V10 is probably what comes to mind.
The Huracan is the car that replaced the Gallardo, and indeed what a car it is. Though many have called it soft looking, mechanically the Huracan is far from soft. Powered this is best is a 5.2L V10 that is capable of well over 600hp. Also, it snaps, crackles, and pops more than Rice Krispies over cold milk.
Porsche Carrera GT
Yes, Paul Walker was killed driving this car. That doesn’t detract from how awesome the Porsche Carrera GT is. This is the only V10 Porsche ever. It only came with a manual, had drive to the rear, and an exhaust note that would wake the dead. No other car in the history of cars ever came close to sounding as terrifyingly awesome as the Carrera GT.
This is the most slept on supercar ever in my opinion; and that’s all because it’s a Lexus. The LFA was an engineering exercise that turned into one of the best cars ever to come out of Japan. The 4.8L V10 was developed specifically for the LFA, and made in a hermetically controlled factory somewhere in Japan. It revved so fast, analogue gauges couldn’t be keep up. The sound it made, inside and out, was pretty much a first of it’s kind. A shame that it never got more attention.