6 Movie Engine Sound Gaffes That Wound Us Up

The makers of these films care not for the feelings of pedantic petrolheads, it seems...
6 Movie Engine Sound Gaffes That Wound Us Up

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to what is effectively volume 4 in my series of rants about wrong engine sounds in films. As discussed last time around, there’s a good reason why the engine noises dubbed over in post-production don’t always match the vehicles seen on screen: as with many aspects of filmmaking, it’s all about the ‘dramatic license’ used to make the picture as exciting as possible, often at the expense of realism. The same goes for things like gunshots and explosions, which aren’t always going to sound the same in the movies as they do IRL.

Most of the people watching won’t care, but that doesn’t help the average pedantic petrolhead like you and I. So with that in mind, here’s yet another round of gaffes that have come to my attention:

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Oh Baby Driver, you did so much right. The snappy music-led editing, the killer soundtrack, the spectacular car chases, and even, for the most part, car sounds. Take the Subaru WRX from the opening scene - when the eponymous Baby revs the thing, it’s a boxer-four. But in the ensuing drive, it sometimes sounds…off. Skip to the 2min 39sec mark for instance, and we’re sure that’s the noise of a Nissan RB26 engine which might have even been recycled from one of the Fast and Furious films…

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Yep, another faux pas from Baby Driver, and it’s that RB26 noise again! This time, over the top of a Dodge Challenger, which - as with the WRX - is also shown making the right (V8) sound elsewhere in the scene.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what noise this is. An old inline-four with individual throttle-bodies, perhaps? Feel free to debate the possible source in the comments. Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound like any mid-spec Mk6 VW Golf I’ve ever heard…

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Netflix original films are quite frequently dreadful. Wheelman, however, was a pleasant exception when it came out late last year: it’s a gritty, claustrophobic thriller that centers around a great performance from Frank Grillo. Otherwise known as the guy who usually appears in gritty, claustrophobic thrillers.

If a petrolhead is watching it, though, he or she is likely to be distracted by the car Grillo spends pretty much all the film in: an E46 BMW 3-series, which frequently sounds like it’s pinched the V10 from an E60 M5.

Perhaps we’re supposed to believe the main character is into engine swaps…

No, Tranformers 4, a Bugatti Veyron does not have a V10. The Pagani Huayra in this film sounds bizarre too, but from what we can gather that’s a more deliberate choice.

As pointed out by the CTzen who suggested this inaccuracy in a previous round-up: “let’s face it, that movie had worse problems than that.”


OK, so this is one of the less egregious ones here, and we haven’t yet seen the full film to access the extent of the engine noise chicanery. But we’re pretty sure we can hear the noise of an E90/E92 M3’s N/A V8 being dumped on top of this twin-turbo V8 M5 at the 15-second mark.

The reason why we’ve included it is because this isn’t the first time this has been done in a Mission Impossible film: in Rogue Nation, they used the same noise for an F80 M3. It’s like they’re deliberately trolling BMW fans…

What other engine sound mistakes have you seen in films recently? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re really bored, part one of this unofficial series can be seen here, and part two is at this link.




06/14/2018 - 12:33 |
184 | 2
Jack the Car Guy

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Well they need to pander to the general populace (non-car guys)

06/14/2018 - 13:27 |
6 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

One cannot simply make a car movie without the assistance of car guys.

06/16/2018 - 17:41 |
0 | 0

Putting a fake engine note over a car is like dubbing an english film to another language

06/14/2018 - 12:38 |
68 | 0

But the latter would be logical, if you don’t understand english, right? Or am I missing something?

06/14/2018 - 12:58 |
28 | 0
Rahul 1

I remember when, not that long ago, Ferrari used the Lamborghini Huracan’s V10 engine sound instead of the V8 for the 488 Pista in the 488 Pista’s Teaser. It was ironic…

06/14/2018 - 12:43 |
38 | 0
Nathan Vonlanthen

In reply to by Rahul 1

I heard the trailer at the motor show. Honestly, disappointing, Ferrari.

06/15/2018 - 06:14 |
2 | 0


06/14/2018 - 13:16 |
30 | 0

Need for Speed used recordings of the old V10 F1 cars for the final race lol. Need for Speed of all people!!!!

06/14/2018 - 13:25 |
18 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

In the Payback prologue, the F90 M5 Tyler drives has a TT V8 sound, but in cutscenes the car makes a sound oddly similar to that of the S85 V10.

06/14/2018 - 14:06 |
4 | 2
Daniel Busker

the real annoying thing from baby driver is that the guys in the challenger are actually the guys that should be driving the subaru lol

06/14/2018 - 14:26 |
0 | 0
Griffin Mackenzie

I noticed the baby driver one immediately when watching it lmao
Wondered how they got an rb stuffed into that Subaru

06/14/2018 - 14:38 |
0 | 0

At least we haven’t been assaulted with a V8 Tesla yet…

06/14/2018 - 15:21 |
12 | 0
€urodriver (Quattrosquad) (Group F50)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I hope someone sneaks that into a movie tbh 😛

06/14/2018 - 16:50 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

In the Spooks movie, there’s briefly a Model S which makes engine sounds

06/15/2018 - 21:06 |
0 | 0
MFD 10

It isn’t a film but the v8 over a gt86 in the direct line ad

06/14/2018 - 15:43 |
0 | 0
Thomas Jackson 1

I wonder why they put a V10 sound for the E46, that screaming strait six sounds sublime already!

06/14/2018 - 16:06 |
0 | 0


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