With all the hype surrounding alternative fuel sources and maximum mileage, it’s important to remember one of the most evocative features of the internal-combustion motor vehicle: the sound it makes. Exhaust noises are right up there with burnouts and tailpipe fireballs when it comes to the glories of inefficient chemical reactions, and now, the UK-based auto nerds over at XCAR have compiled what they consider some of the best exhaust notes of 2014.

The car choices aren’t limited to releases from this year, which means we get a little bit of old and a little bit of new sprinkled throughout. First, we have the Ferrari F40. This makes perfect sense, as the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-8 from Maranello is a true hair-raiser. The revs just never seem to end. Next, taking the spot for requisite ‘Merican muscle-machine, there’s the Shelby Mustang GT S/C, which bellows with a baritone that hits you harder than a spinning roundhouse from Chuck Norris. Unsurprisingly, a third V-8 makes it to the list of honorable mentions, this one hailing from Britain in the form of the 5.0-liter supercharged Jaguar F-Type R. It pops, it spits, and it sounds just lovely. Stepping up the cylinder count, we have the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. With 6.0-liters of pure thunder, it’s the kind of noise that makes you want to flee for the hills. Finally, there’s the Saleen-tuned Tesla Model S, dubbed the ST. This one, XCAR concedes, is “a controversial selection”. We think it sounds like a blender.

None of the cars listed above was chosen as winner, and we won’t spoil which car made it to the top. However, we will mention that we find XCAR’s choice slightly odd, but hey, to each their own. We get it; it’s a taste thing. Just so long as we all agree that the Tesla, for all its technology and speed, does not sound “good." Long live petrol power!


Jonathan Lopez
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