The sound of a supercar accelerating is something truly beautiful. One of the theories that has been put forward as to why we like it so much is that it reminds the brain of a musical instrument. There are numerous examples on the internet of musicians reproducing the noise of cars accelerating, such as this effort which has gained over 700,000 views.
Another reason could be that back before manufacturers started adding artificial sound to their cars to make them seem sportier, a car's performance was directly linked to the sound it made. People are attracted to fast cars, and it just stuck.
Whatever the reason, Vanarama wanted to celebrate some of the greatest car sounds of the 21st century by visualising their rapid acceleration throughout the gears. The cars we've covered include:
- Ferrari LaFerrari
- Pagani Huayra
- McLaren Senna
- Lamborghini Huracan
- Hennessey Venom GT
- Ford GT
Scroll down and press the play button on each video to see their awesome sound visualised.
0 – 60MPH: 2.4 seconds
Sold between 2013 and 2016, Ferrari LaFerrari (or Ferrari TheFerrari as Jeremy Clarkson calls it) is the first ever production car to be equipped with an F1-derived hybrid. The HY-KERS system combines an electric motor producing over 150 CV with Ferrari's most powerful V12 engine to date. The engine was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever used in a Ferrari road car and makes one of the best sounds in the motoring world. The car can reach speeds of up to 218MPH. Ferrari attributes this power to focusing on three key areas: volumetric, mechanical and combustion efficiency.
The final design of the car was whittled down from nine between 2011 and 2012, with two full-sized concepts being built. Unveiled at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, the final design is derived from one of those concepts, what Ferrari call LaFerrari Concept Manta Model 2. On 3rd December 2016, a Ferrari LaFerrari was sold at auction for £5.74m, making the car "the most valuable 21st century automobile ever sold at auction" according to automotive press. Central Italy suffered a 6.2 earthquake in August 2016, and all proceeds of the auction were donated to help the earthquake recovery efforts in central Italy.
0 – 60MPH: 2.8 seconds
The Pagani Huayra succeeded the company's legendary Zonda model when it was first released in 2012. Production started with the coupe, followed by the roadster in 2017 which is still produced to this day. Named after Huayra-tata, a Quechua wind god, the car can hit 60MPH in 2.8 seconds and go on to reach an astonishing top speed of 236MPH. The Huayra was named "The Hypercar of the Year 2012" by Top Gear magazine.
Cars have always been more than just cars to Pagani founder Horacio Pagani, and the Huayra Roadster is no different. He said "from the beginning we set ourselves some pretty ambitious targets. The first, from a technical point of view, was to make a roadster that would be lighter than the coupe which was already the lightest hypercar on sale at the time. Engaging in such a challenge, to make just 100 cars, has meant an impressive effort for a company like ours, from a technical and human point of view. We hope that this six-year effort can get to touch you, rationally and emotionally."
0 – 60MPH: 2.7 seconds
When the McLaren Senna was released, it followed an illustrious line of cars in the McLaren Ultimate Series, joining the F1 and P1 as the third member of the group. The previous iterations were certainly hard acts to follow, but the Senna has lived up to its billing since the first car rolled of the production line in 2018. According to McLaren, the Senna is "the personification of McLaren's DNA at its most extreme, creating the purest connection between car and driver", and the statistics prove this. It's the most track-focused car that the company has ever built, and sets the fastest lap times of them all, hitting 60MPH in a stomach-churning 2.7 seconds.
The car is named by legendary Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna who tragically crashed during an F1 race back in 1994 and lost his life. The car is a tribute to his success driving for the McLaren F1 team between 1988 and 1993, where he won 3 world championship titles. The Senna is a limited-production car, with only 500 ever being built. If you fancy buying one of your own, it will set you back a cool £1.15m.
0 – 60MPH: 2.9 seconds
Starting at £215,000, the Huracan is Lamborghini's replacement for the previous V10 offering, the Gallardo. Released in 2014 and still in production today, the car has been improved considerably over time. There have been no less than 14 variants of the car over the last six years. Perhaps the most famous is what Lamborghini calls the Huracan LP 610-6 Polizia. As you can likely guess from the Italian you learnt at school, this is the car manufacturer's official police variant of their supercar produced for the Italian State police. This was after two Gallardos that Lamborghini had also supplied the police with were destroyed in the line of duty.
The Huracan is capable of mixing it up with £1m hypercars, making it exceptionable value for money, even at £215,000. The car is capable of hitting 60MPH in 2.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 202MPH. In June 2019, in true Lamborghini fashion, the company unveiled an off-road version of the car called the Huracan Sterrato. Although more suited to bumpy backroads than long, smooth straights, the car still delivers 631 BHP to the all-wheel-drive drivetrain.
Hennessey Venom GT
0 – 60MPH: 3.05 seconds
Hennessy is something of an enigma. In Europe, your average car fan might not have heard of the supercar manufacturer, but their cars consistently rank among the fastest in the world. Based in Texas, Hennessey proudly states that they have been "Making Fast Cars Faster Since 1991", and we tend to agree. Back in 2013 the company released the Hennessy Venom GT, which is based on a Lotus Elise, hence their Make Fast Cars Faster tagline. Now the Lotus Elise is no slouch, but Hennessy wanted to do something special with the Venom GT, and they did just that. On 21st January 2013 the car set the Guinness World Record for the fastest road car in the world, even in sub-optimal conditions.
According to Hennessey, "While conducting the Guinness World Record runs, despite marginal traction (due to three days of previous rainfall), the Venom GT accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.05 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5.88 seconds, ran the standing quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds at 158.83 mph, and ran the standing half-mile at 205.65 mph." The test was conducted at the Kennedy Space Centre on a 3.22-mile shuttle landing strip. As you can hear, the engine sounds ferocious.
0 – 60MPH: 3 seconds
The Ford GT was originally conceptualised as a race car by legendary mechanic Carroll Shelby with one objective in mind: Beating Ferrari at 24 Hours of Le Mans. Recently immortalised in the film Le Mans '66, Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car in order to take Ferrari's crown, and they did just that. The car they built was the Ford GT40. In 2003, Ford decided to celebrate its centenary by building a street-legal variant of the legendary race car, thus the Ford GT was born.
The second generation of the Ford GT became available in 2017, improving on the previous edition in every department. The car reaches 60MPH in only 3 seconds and will hit 216MPH before maxing out. Jeremy Clarkson was one of the first people to buy a Ford GT when they arrived in the UK, but with the car's doors including a section of the roof, was mocked for not being able to get into it whilst parked in a supermarket car park.