As time goes on, cars are becoming somewhat boring thanks to ever more rigorous emissions and noise regulations. As such, even most performance cars nowadays are equipped with rev limiters, particulate filters, and start-stop systems.
Even though these systems are essential when it comes to emission efficiency, they are not so efficient when it comes to power loss and lack of excitement. Other systems like cylinder deactivation increase your fuel efficiency while keeping the engine sound intact.
We as car enthusiasts tend to think a bit differently. We appreciate cars in ways the general public does not, as such, we are the only ones that might even consider making a car louder. If the car is equipped with a lovely sounding engine, a V8 for example, opening it up is only logical.
That being said, there are a few ways one can make a car louder. The most extreme method of them all is to straight pipe the car, the most popular way is a cat-back system or a set of new headers. Some people just punch a hole inside the exhaust, others invest in high-quality speaker non-sense.
Straight-pipe exhaust – The Racey option
Straight piping is fairly self-explanatory as it entails getting rid of your cats and everything else, leaving only a single non-interrupted tube from your engine to your exhaust. Of course, there are lots of ramifications to this method as this is even illegal in some countries.
A straight-piped exhaust is not something you’d want to drive every day because of the unsophisticated and rather droning sound. Even though it may sound exciting to drive a car that sounds like an F1 car or an airplane, it’s just way too loud and obnoxious.
Another huge issue with this method is that your car is likely not going to pass emissions testing. The levels of Co2 an uninterrupted exhaust system emits are way higher than anything legal. There are ways one can bypass these and pass emissions, but such methods are illegal as well.
It is highly recommendable for you to skip straight-piping as it’s not nearly the best option to go for. It may be cheap and in some cases make your car literally spit flames out the exhaust, it’s often illegal and way too antisocial.
A cat-back system – The best way of making your car louder
A cat-back system changes out your entire exhaust system from your catalytic converters towards the exhaust exits. Such systems are also fairly cheap and easy to do, and they don’t mess up your emissions ratings, nor do they make an awful droning sound like straight pipes do.
A big issue with straight piping is that you’ll often have to do an ECU remap which is basically a tune carried out on your car’s electronic brain. Such wizardry is not necessary if you opt for a cat-back system which means that your engine electronics are intact.
Besides the practicality, a cat-back system offers a deeper, more pronounced sound that can often be controlled using a set of dedicated flaps inside the pipes. In some instances, you can even take full control over your exhaust system loudness with just a press of a button.
There are loads of competitive exhaust system manufacturers out there for pretty much every car worthy of an aftermarket exhaust system. A cat-back system is the best way to make your car louder because you can control when and how loud your car is going to be.
Sports headers system – Gives you sound and power
Headers are the initial part of the exhaust system that is connected to the engine block. These metal tubes are somewhat reminiscent of an octopus and they are the ones directly in contact with the engine. As such, these metal tubes can sometimes hold quite a bit of resistance.
Such resistance results in power loss because the flow in your headers might be overly intense. If you replace those headers with a sports headers set, you are likely going to make the entire exhaust system more free-flowing which should even increase your car’s power output.
Besides giving you’re a few extra ponies, such systems will also improve your car’s loudness. However, replacing the headers is usually way more expensive than everything else on this list, but, most people do headers after they’ve done a cat-back system or every other exhaust mod.
What is the cheapest and fastest way of making your car louder?
Just punch a hole in your exhaust system, literally. If you truly do punch a hole in your exhaust system, or you’ve done it unintentionally, the exhaust will leave the system without being dampened and quietened by the muffler or the cats.
To do this, just drill out a hole in your muffler, but be aware that this is rather stupid. If that’s not obvious already. Most muffler holes are unintentional, but there are people out there that genuinely do this.
Do electric cars have any driving sounds?
Currently, most EVs are silent, but some sort of sounds are being emitted when the car is driving at lower speeds or going in reverse. This is done to alert the pedestrians around the car that the car is indeed moving even though the loudness of such a sound is sometimes barely noticeable.
Some manufacturers such as Porsche or Audi are even keen on developing special futuristic driving sounds to cater to car enthusiasts and exhaust lovers.
What are the best-sounding big engines currently on sale?
At this very moment, V12 engines are at the brink of extinction, and the Lamborghini Aventador Ultima is the last Lamborghini naturally aspired 6.5L V12 engine, and it sounds phenomenal. Besides the Aventador, the Ferrari 812 Competizione also uses a glorious-sounding 6.5 N/A V12 monster.
The best sounding V10 engine right now is the one found in the Lamborghini Huracan (the only V10 currently on sale). As far as current V8s are concerned, the Ford Mustang GT, Jaguar Project 8, and the Dodge Demon are the best ones without a doubt.