The thumping V8 could be described as the most American thing on the Earth, after all, what would the muscle car world be without that offbeat, lumpy, chug? Since the first V8 engines rolled out of Detroit in the early 20th century, we’ve been obsessed with their character, sound, and above all, power. Some legends come to mind: the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Mustang Shelby GT500, the Dodge Demon, the Corvette ZR1, and others.
With so many V8s from so many manufacturers, they are bound to be quite different from each other, and that leads to competition between brands in all aspects of the subject. For some things, it’s quite easy to quantify which is “best”, as the numbers are right on the page. But how about subjective aspects, such as sound, and feel? Well, courtesy of Donut Media, we can definitively put a stamp on which V8 sounds the best.
To determine which engine would be crowned the winner, Donut Media consulted the opinion of an expert in the sound field: Mark Mangini, the man responsible for the engine noises and sound design of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mangini listens to 10 different engine sounds, which include startup, idle, revs, and finally the vehicle taking off. As he listens, he ranks them on a leaderboard. The vehicles used in order are the Corvette Z06, Ferrari 458, Shelby GT350, Jaguar F-Type, AMG V8, Lexus LC500, Ariel Atom, Mopar 440, 2-Stroke Detroit Diesel, and finally the Dodge Demon.
In the end, the overall winner of is the Ferrari 458 with its all-motor 4.5L V8, but second to the Ferrari and the first in our hearts went to an American icon, the angry Dodge Demon with its massive supercharger whine and baritone burble.
While the Ferrari definitely had the most excitement in its sound, the Demon definitely had a massive effect on Mangini with its perfect combination of the drama of a high-revving engine while also keeping the strength of a true muscle car, making it the best-sounding American V8. Third place also went to an American V8 icon, the Mopar 440.
It will no doubt be a point of pride for Demon owners to say that their car sounds as good as a Ferrari, and for its own special reason. In addition, there’s a reason that all the car sounds in Mad Max are supercharged American V8s and not high-revving turbocharged engines, so we think that the real winner here is obvious.