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View Poll Results: Which would you choose?
Amazing performance, substandard sound 39 62.90%
Amazing sound, substandard performance 23 37.10%
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      07-09-2021, 10:29 AM   #1
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I often see people harping on some sportscars due to their substandard sound. For sure, who doesn't want all the boxes ticked? But, I sometimes feel that we place too much emphasis on that aspect. I would've thought that the highest priority for a sportscar is performance (and, for me, that would ultimately be handling, not top speed / straight line numbers).

If you had to choose between one or the other - sound or performance - which would it be?
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      07-09-2021, 11:28 AM   #2
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Sound is important to me. You want some aural drama when you're having fun. Because lets face it... 90% of the time we aren't using the breadth of the cars abilities. Sound is the one thing i can enjoy about a car without acting like a lunatic on the street. And most high performance cars today have levels of grip that far exceed what most of us can exploit on the street. Sure my F80 is fast.. but how much of that power do i use day in and day out? not much. i'd be just as happy in a e9x... and i've thought about making the move.

the other part of this is that handling can be improved. you can always add stickier tires, bigger brakes, ohlins suspension, extra bracing.

You can't make a turbo 4/6 cylinder sound like an NA v8 or have the same level of throttle response.
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      07-09-2021, 11:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
Sound is important to me. You want some aural drama when you're having fun. Because lets face it... 90% of the time we aren't using the breadth of the cars abilities. Sound is the one thing i can enjoy about a car without acting like a lunatic on the street. And most high performance cars today have levels of grip that far exceed what most of us can exploit on the street. Sure my F80 is fast.. but how much of that power do i use day in and day out? not much. i'd be just as happy in a e9x... and i've thought about making the move.

the other part of this is that handling can be improved. you can always add stickier tires, bigger brakes, ohlins suspension, extra bracing.

You can't make a turbo 4/6 cylinder sound like an NA v8 or have the same level of throttle response.
That's exactly why ppl get Miatas, but also ironically why other ppl don't see that and get distracted by other things which imo are not exactly performance-oriented.
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      07-09-2021, 12:09 PM   #4
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Tight steering with adequate road information/feel through the wheel
Planted chassis
No turbo lag
Paddle shifters
Loud enough to flex on people without being so loud it's annoying or obnoxious
Quick enough to feel "fast" without being too fast that the fun ends immediately and you're in go-to-jail speeds.
Handsome looks in a flashy color

So basically. Porsche 911 Carrera, Boxster S, or M2.
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      07-09-2021, 12:14 PM   #5
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Sound is the cherry ontop.
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      07-09-2021, 12:14 PM   #6
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Everyone will prioritize performance over sound. The question is do you prioritize performance WITH sound over performance WITHOUT sounds - for a price.

What good is a cool looking car, that performs well, but embarrasses you when you open it up or makes you cringe? That is part of the package.

It is ALL important. I think what you hear are more people like me and Alfisti that are going to be satisfied with 350+ HP, a car that can excite me thru the twisties AND an exhaust note that brings a smile to your face every time.

I'm not going to track it (or much), I'm not going to backroad race it - I am going to drive it. And I want to drive an impractical car for one reason only - to make me happy.

The sound is part of that. That is why I love a manual. I have all 4 limbs involved (touch), the country backroad wind in my face (smell), my eye's glued to the next corner (sight) and I also want an exhaust note that adds hearing (sound) to my enjoyment - the total package.

While it is never a deal killer for me, it WOULD make me choose one car over another of equal everything else for sure.
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      07-09-2021, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unluky View Post
Everyone will prioritize performance over sound. The question is do you prioritize performance WITH sound over performance WITHOUT sounds - for a price.

What good is a cool looking car, that performs well, but embarrasses you when you open it up or makes you cringe? That is part of the package.

It is ALL important. I think what you hear are more people like me and Alfisti that are going to be satisfied with 350+ HP, a car that can excite me thru the twisties AND an exhaust note that brings a smile to your face every time.

I'm not going to track it (or much), I'm not going to backroad race it - I am going to drive it. And I want to drive an impractical car for one reason only - to make me happy.

The sound is part of that. That is why I love a manual. I have all 4 limbs involved (touch), the country backroad wind in my face (smell), my eye's glued to the next corner (sight) and I also want an exhaust note that adds hearing (sound) to my enjoyment - the total package.

While it is never a deal killer for me, it WOULD make me choose one car over another of equal everything else for sure.
Yes, ofc that is a fair comment. All I'm saying is to some ppl, they overvalue sound way too much, making it trump all, even at the expense of performance, which is ridiculous.

The worst it may sound is muted/less sonorous, right? Not as if it plays the Benny Hill soundtrack everytime one hits the gas pedal.
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      07-09-2021, 12:22 PM   #8
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Depends,

Street: Sound > Performance

Track: Performance > Sound

Performance is relative anyway, and I'm of the belief that cars are entirely too fast for public roads these days. So if we are talking about modern power levels, I'll absolutely take Sound over Performance. As an owner of possibly the worst sounding BMW from factory, the EL exhaust has completely changed the ownership experience of F8X, and has given me something to enjoy on the street since F8X's performance is almost completely inaccessible in that context legally or sanely.
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      07-09-2021, 12:24 PM   #9
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Whoa, did a mod just totally edit my OP+title? Does this happen often?
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      07-09-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
What's MOST important to you when looking for a sportscar (besides its looks)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
Ah, resort to weak insults because you're the one confused? Ok, 'Einstein'. You're the one not getting it as evidenced by your post about backseats, etc...talk about getting inundated w useless factors.
I do not want to jump into you and Alfisti mud slinging, but you did ask MOST important factor for your sports car, but only ask about sound's importance in your poll, so what is it you are really asking.

No sound is not a factor to me for sports car, something the aftermarket can easily fix so why would I put that as a priority.
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      07-09-2021, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
Yes, ofc that is a fair comment. All I'm saying is to some ppl, they overvalue sound way too much, making it trump all, even at the expense of performance, which is ridiculous.

The worst it may sound is muted/less sonorous, right? Not as if it plays the Benny Hill soundtrack everytime one hits the gas pedal.
But that is subjective - no?

For instance - if 350HP is plenty for me and they have a 400hp v6 with great sound and a 600hp quad turbo 4 that sounded like a bumble bee trapped in a soda can - I'd choose the 6. So in that instance you are right - I would be choosing sound over performance.

But only because the one with better sound ALSO has all (or more than) the performance I need.

Now change that 400 to 200 and that 600 to 400 - and I'd just have to learn to live with the sound......or mod it to my taste. Then I would be choosing performance over sound.

I don't think anyone would choose solely on sound no matter the performance - but it certainly matters. Especially in a world with so many great choices in all price ranges. If you nail everything and miss the sound - it will cost you sales, no doubt about it.

I'd even be willing to admit as an old bastard that grew up with muscle cars growling down the road - my taste in what sounds good is different from those that grew up in the fart can era. It's all subjective.

Luckily - there is options for all of us...........
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      07-09-2021, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyBro View Post
Depends,

Street: Sound > Performance

Track: Performance > Sound

Performance is relative anyway, and I'm of the belief that cars are entirely too fast for public roads these days. So if we are talking about modern power levels, I'll absolutely take Sound over Performance. As an owner of possibly the worst sounding BMW from factory, the EL exhaust has completely changed the ownership experience of F8X, and has given me something to enjoy on the street since F8X's performance is almost completely inaccessible in that context legally or sanely.
Ya, that is another interesting topic I wanted to discuss. If ppl wish to obey traffic laws and rarely go to the track, cars are already way over-powered. So when carmakers talk about their next model w over 1,000HP, etc, that is just insanity. I'd rather they just focus on the driving/handling aspects as I couldn't care less about massive HP/top speed.
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      07-09-2021, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyriian View Post
I do not want to jump into you and Alfisti mud slinging, but you did ask MOST important factor for your sports car, but only ask about sound's importance in your poll, so what is it you are really asking.

No sound is not a factor to me for sports car, something the aftermarket can easily fix so why would I put that as a priority.
Well, some mod changed my OP+title, so it perhaps confuses a bit now. Anyway, I wanted to focus on the sound factor and how important it is to some ppl, even at the expense of performance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by unluky View Post
But that is subjective - no?

For instance - if 350HP is plenty for me and they have a 400hp v6 with great sound and a 600hp quad turbo 4 that sounded like a bumble bee trapped in a soda can - I'd choose the 6. So in that instance you are right - I would be choosing sound over performance.

But only because the one with better sound ALSO has all (or more than) the performance I need.

Now change that 400 to 200 and that 600 to 400 - and I'd just have to learn to live with the sound......or mod it to my taste. Then I would be choosing performance over sound.

I don't think anyone would choose solely on sound no matter the performance - but it certainly matters. Especially in a world with so many great choices in all price ranges. If you nail everything and miss the sound - it will cost you sales, no doubt about it.

I'd even be willing to admit as an old bastard that grew up with muscle cars growling down the road - my taste in what sounds good is different from those that grew up in the fart can era. It's all subjective.

Luckily - there is options for all of us...........
Yes, again, that's a fair comment. I'm just putting out there a scenario in an absolute sense and amazingly some ppl would choose sound over performance.
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      07-09-2021, 12:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
Ya, that is another interesting topic I wanted to discuss. If ppl wish to obey traffic laws and rarely go to the track, cars are already way over-powered. So when carmakers talk about their next model w over 1,000HP, etc, that is just insanity. I'd rather they just focus on the driving/handling aspects as I couldn't care less about massive HP/top speed.
Yes exactly this - It's part of the reason why a lot of newer cars have been turning me off... they're just too fast for the road. Give me something smallish, light, short wheelbase, 6-spd, with around 250-300 hp and you've got something you can absolutely wring out and enjoy on the roads without going lunatic speeds. People are so obsessed with tangibles that they completely forget about the intangibles of driving... living in the upper rev range, listening to a glorious intake and exhaust note under load, fundamental chassis balance, power delivery/curve, etc. All of these things typically require that the car fundamentally is not overpowered for its use.

Again, it's all relative to use, so the above is specifically referencing cars that are used on roads/canyons. If we're talking track, well that's a whole 'nother story and something like a modern M3 starts to make a whole lot more sense.
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      07-09-2021, 01:14 PM   #15
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Performance over sound. All day long. Don't get me wrong, I love a great exhaust note; but, I drive to get where I am going....quickly. I prefer to move quickly and quietly through a crowd. Not trying to be flashy or draw attention to myself, this is where tickets come from. This is also how you end up with Mustangs trying to race you between lights, and ultimately getting in my way, thus costing me time.

I need speed, clear lanes and to be unnoticed. If I could be invisible, I would be.
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      07-09-2021, 01:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
The worst it may sound is muted/less sonorous, right? Not as if it plays the Benny Hill soundtrack everytime one hits the gas pedal.
May I introduce you to the GM 2.8 V6 and related engines?

Not totally irrelevant to this thread, as said engine was used in the late Pontiac Fiero.

I can't think of a worse sounding engine that I've ever heard, but at one point in time they were everywhere, like cockroaches. Even used as a base engine in F-bodies.
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      07-09-2021, 02:04 PM   #17
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From a real world experience, I actually chose sound over performance. I went from a well-tuned 2015 F82 to a 2013 E93 with an aftermarket exhaust. The F82 was much faster, but unless I was at 9/10ths and above, the sound was never provocative enough for me (complete with a full aftermarket exhaust). And, BTW, my F82 was gorgeous to my eye, lowered a bit with Tanzanite Blue paint and CCBs.

Nevertheless, someone offered me a ton of money and I sold it. And instead of replacing it with another, newer F82 (which I considered, a 2018 Competition model), I went back and got a much slower convertible V8, my E93 (sacrilegious to many).

But the smiles/mile of my E93 have been far greater than in my former F82, though I'm slower on my favorite back roads, and my auto-X times are higher. And certainly the one time I had my E93 on the track, I was working much harder, though going slower (but fully enjoying myself, even if someone passed me).

So, for me, I'm the anomaly. I'll sacrifice power for sound.

Another case in point: My dream car is a used Ferrari 458, and I'd rather have that than a newer 488 or F8 with much more HP. The 458 with an aftermarket exhaust is all about the drama of the engine coupled with that mechanical (and admittedly, imperfect) transmission. The sound is intoxicating, and the downshifts in Race mode are stuff of legend. You have to hear it. It's spine-tingling glorious.

Last example: I know the new Porsche 911 Turbo is an amazing engineering feat - blindingly quick, a beyond-capable suspension and is an amazing sports car that can be driven daily. But give me the "slower" yet loud, mechanical & melodic GT3.

I love lots of horsepower and high levels of performance too, but in most circumstances, I'd sacrifice some of it for a wondrous sound filling the cabin and the atmosphere, and I'll gladly put in some work to hear it. My E93, the 458 and the GT3, they're all fast enough.

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      07-09-2021, 02:53 PM   #18
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I would choose sound over performance. Like others have said, cars are way too fast anyways, I do not believe that cars need to constantly be increasing in horsepower and 0-60, I would rather car manufacturers focus on aspects such as handling, feel, suspension, etc, and I rather enjoy engines where you work for the power and feel engaged in the experience. We sadly live in a world however where people only care about 0-60 racing and will call cars that are pretty damn fast (under 4-seconds) slow.
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      07-09-2021, 03:43 PM   #19
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Sound all day. Its pointless to me to have a great performing car only to have it sound like shit. Sound plays a HUGE roll in the enjoyment of my driving.
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      07-09-2021, 07:06 PM   #20
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Sound over performance. I can improve just about every aspect of performance, but it's very difficult to improve sound if the foundation you're working with is bad. I've had slow but good sounding cars (Alfa Romeos, E9x M3) and performance benchmark but average sounding cars (Megane RS250) and guess which one I still miss. The way a car sounds leaves a mental imprint that stays with you forever.
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      07-09-2021, 07:23 PM   #21
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A lot of the comments are so subjective w many gray areas, that's why I tried to make it more absolute/extreme in the OP/poll, i.e. if you can only have 1 and not the other.

It's too easy and there's no wrong answer if you're saying stuff like "sure I'd have a 65 percentile performer w 90 percentile exhaust sound instead of a 70/55" - that's a no-brainer, but what about 10/90 vs 90/10? Anyway, I find sound to be extremely subjective (vs performance which is more quantifiable) and the 'worst' I've heard is just a muted sound, nothing to go crazy over and toss the car away if the performance is good.
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      07-09-2021, 07:25 PM   #22
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