Who else thinks a V10 or V12 sound better than a V8 engine?


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You might have been tricked that the higher V-number, the better sound quality. This explanation of the V8 vs V10 and V12 engines will give you the correct answer.

Sound qualities are usually dependent on the frequency of the sound where high-frequency sounds are thinner in quality, and low-frequency sounds are thicker and fuller in quality. This explains to some extent why a V8 engine sounds better. However, let’ take a look at this with a deeper focus and see why this is so. Naijauto – your number one online car sales portal in Nigeria, gives you this qualitative comparison of the sound of V8 vs v10 and v12 engines.

Bore size for the V8 cylinder - the bigger the better!

For an engine to sound very wholesome it has to be able to displace more fuel volume, the more the fuel displaced, the fuller and well rounded the sound is. It is a well-known fact that the cylinders of a V10 and V12 engines are more in number – just stating the obvious, but also of a fact is the bigger cylinders that are present in a V8 engine.


The BMW N63 4.4 liter V8 engine - found under the hood of the BMW X5 xDrive50i and X6 xDrive50i, 750i, 550i and 650i models!

The cylinders in a V8 engine have more diameter individual than in the V10 and V12 engines. It therefore means that more fuel is available for displacement in a V8 engine, giving it a richer and better sound than that of V10 and V12. This explains why the V8 engine with its two banks of 4 cylinders as compared the two banks of 5 and 6 cylinders in the V10 and V12 respectively, sounds better.

The pistons' influence - sound effects ranges!

The pistons in a V8 engine are also designed to be bigger with a larger intake and exhaust valve commensurate with the size of bore in its cylinders. The pistons in the V10 and V12 engine on the other hand are designed to be smaller.


Audi V10 engine - The combination of efficiency, engine power and reliability!

This is in order to ensure that the pistons are lighter and to produce higher revolutions per minute (RPM), which in turn translates to more power, giving the engine a boost to run faster. A higher RPM though does not translate to more displacement per revolution which means the sound of a V12 or a V10 engine will stand a chance of winning the sounding battle with a V8 engine.

Length of stroke – longer is better!

For a V10 or a V12 engine, they are designed to operate on shorter stroke movements with their small piston, while with a v8 engine, the pistons moved on a longer stroke movement with its larger pistons.


Mercedes-AMG V12 engines – found in top of the line models, like the S-Class or the G-Class

The shorter stroke movements in the V10 and V12 engines allow for a higher frequency in the engines and as a result produce a higher frequency sound which is not as good as that of a V8 that is deeper and wholesome.

V8 vs. V10 vs. V12 which sounds better - The sound battle C63, R8 V10 Aventador

Wrapping up V8 vs V10 and V12 engines

The factors mentioned above by Naijauto are the reasons why a V8 engine sounds better than a V10 or V12 despite its fewer numbers of cylinders. Though the V8 is seen more on the streets and even on Nigerian roads than the V10 and the V12 engine cars, is good to let V8 users know that they have a better deal in terms of engine sound. So if you are a V8 engine owner, know that you are not missing anything engine sound-wise.

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Segun Ogunbiyi
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