July 4th weekend is a time to recall our incredible history and remember that much more unites us than divides us. Of course, one of those uniting factors is the sound of unchained, unrestricted liberty exploding eight cylinders at a time. Even if you’re dedicated to Euro or JDM sports cars, it’s nigh impossible to dislike the sheer rumble of a big displacement V8. To cap off an outstanding holiday weekend, let’s pay homage to the beauty of American horsepower.
Ford Mustang GT350
Mustangs generally sound good (particularly in Terminator or Coyote form). But the GT350 and GT350R take things way past 11. This glorious engine manages to have huge bass, screaming treble, great rasp and surprising depth all at the same time. It’s rare to hear a V8 make these kind of noises anywhere outside of Italy, and we’ve never heard anything quite like the vicious howl of the GT350. Just check this out:
Chevy Camaro Z/28
Until the 2017 Camaro Z/28 rolls out, the closest rival to Ford’s pony car remains the last-gen Z/28. Incredibly, even as the outgoing model, it doesn’t exactly struggle to hold its own against the GT350. In fact, if you prefer your V8s to have deeper, slightly more soulful tones without rasp, odds are you’ll like the Z/28’s 7.0 liter powerplant even more. Just a guess, but this will probably be what the sun sounds like when it explodes:
Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Even though it’s getting slightly long in the tooth, you can’t have an American horsepower contest without the baddest of them all. With a still obnoxious 707 hp, 6.2 liter V8, the ‘Cat remains as ferocious as it was when first launched. Unlike its naturally aspirated rivals, the Hellcat brings a mix of V8 thunder and days of supercharger whine. In case that wasn’t insane enough, should you remove the mufflers, you’ll probably want to notify the FAA to avoid scaring low-flying aircraft. Welcome to the apocalypse, Dodge SRT style:
Chevy Corvette Z06
Though the Z/28 and GT350 blur the line between muscle and sports car, the Z06 leaves no questions asked. This is a full-on, full-tilt supercar with an exhaust note to prove it. Cramming a 650 hp, 6.2 liter, supercharged V8 into a small chassis leaves no room for the engine note to hide. Add aftermarket exhaust components and you’ll have a Corvette that sounds awfully close to the race-spec C7.R. Forget a distinctive or refined tone. This is just sheer, unfiltered American thunder:
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