6 Recent Films That Got Car Sounds Badly Wrong

Sadly, filmmakers aren't interested in catering for pedantic petrolheads, as these movie engine sound gaffes prove...
6 Recent Films That Got Car Sounds Badly Wrong

A few years ago, I had a jolly big rant about films using the wrong sounds for particular cars. I’ve since spoken to a few people who work in the field of audio post production, and predictably the reason is ‘dramatic license’ - in other words filmakers prefer making things sound cool, rather than realistic.

That’s fair enough, especially when the vast majority of the audience isn’t going to give a damn. But as an utterly pedantic petrolhead, I still want to moan when things aren’t quite right, and if you’ll indulge my curmudgeonly nature, here are a few zingers which aggravated me recently:

Sadly, we don’t live in a world where the M3 still has a V8. But in the fantasy land of the movies, this turbo straight-six F80 version is given an extra pair of cylinders it doesn’t have IRL…

Remote video URL

Oh, how happy I was when I watched The Last Witch Hunter the other week. Not because it’s a good film (it isn’t), but because the sound of the Aston Martin Rapide S in it is spot-on. It’s not just a V12 as it should be; I’m 99.99 per cent sure the particular V12 sound used even belongs to an Aston engine.

However, all that good work is undone by one scene (we can’t find a clip of the actual gaffe, but the car appears in the above trailer at the 25sec mark) when it sounds remarkably like a V10 Audi R8. So close…

Last time I checked, the Tesla Model S didn’t have an internal combustion engine. But we can’t blame Kit Harrington for not noticing this omission - the Lord Commander does have a lot on right now, after all.

The sight of Indycars in the unforgivably boring Focus should have been a good thing. However, while the Indycars themselves were the real deal, the sounds dubbed over the top seem to be sourced from V10 F1 cars.

Yep, this one’s a bike rather than a car, but it’s worth mentioning since this is something that filmmakers get wrong all the damn time: a Ducati with an inline-four engine. I get why: most people expect superbikes to have screaming four-cylinder engines, but what’s annoying here is in a previous scene, it sounds like a twin just as it should.

The Fast and Furious franchise has a pretty shoddy track record for engine sounds, and the latest installment is no different. V10 Maserati Ghibli, anyone?

Speaking of incorrectly placed V10s and Furious 7, how about this flat-six powered Lykan that sounds a lot like a Lexus LFA?

We could probably make a whole list out of Furious 7’s engine sound gaffes, so let’s just leave it at these two for now.

What other engine sound mess-ups have you seen in films of the last two years?



I’ve once saw a television show where they started up a Lincoln Town Car, which actually sounded like a Toyota 4 Banger, and not the iconic Ford V8 startup.

09/26/2016 - 16:45 |
6 | 4
Kyle Ashdown

And one that nailed it.

09/26/2016 - 16:48 |
396 | 0

I tried that kachow thing. No response XD

09/26/2016 - 16:54 |
36 | 2


09/27/2016 - 23:31 |
0 | 28

Transformers 4 made the Veyron sound like a V12, but let’s face it, that movie had worse problems than that.

09/26/2016 - 16:51 |
116 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

What about the v12 458 in the 3rd Transformers movie?

09/26/2016 - 19:57 |
30 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Or the huayra

09/27/2016 - 00:11 |
8 | 0
Driven to Drive 1

Did you guys forget about the NSX from Pulp Fiction? It sounds like a corvette lol! https://youtu.be/1es3eRv3K5Y

09/26/2016 - 16:57 |
20 | 2

Plot twist: it’s an LS swap.

09/26/2016 - 17:06 |
44 | 2

They didn’t want people to think that they were driving a lawnmower.
Pls dont kill me.

09/27/2016 - 10:10 |
4 | 0

I mean I can forgive them all of these, but that Tesla sound… Seriously? :D

09/26/2016 - 17:32 |
210 | 2

Engine swap, but not a good one…

09/26/2016 - 18:04 |
12 | 16
Rahul Ravindranathan

The Ducati’s from the Daredevil series. They sounded like inline 4’s

09/26/2016 - 17:37 |
2 | 2

I’m sure there’s even an LS Swapped Tesla somewhere in the world…

09/26/2016 - 17:43 |
6 | 0

In reply to by Palm9


09/26/2016 - 22:51 |
6 | 0

In reply to by Palm9

that R34 is so badass! It’s my absolute favorite car from the franchise next to Dom’s Charger.

09/27/2016 - 08:12 |
4 | 0

The Delorean in back to the future. It’s like a tie fighter mixed with a supercharged V8!

09/26/2016 - 17:44 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

In addition to a flux capacitor, Doc also LS swapped it.

09/26/2016 - 18:09 |
2 | 0

Need For Speed - worst car film, meh action film

09/26/2016 - 17:44 |
30 | 6
Agustín J. Ruatta

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I remember they gave electric windows to the Sesto Elemento. I was furious!!!

09/26/2016 - 17:58 |
32 | 0
Ducktail 2.7

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I quite liked it, but I’m a pyromaniac, but I got annoyed when they said the Sesto Elemento was one of three and that it had electric windows.

09/26/2016 - 20:25 |
6 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

you do know that all the exotics seen in the film (except the Merc SLR McLaren 722 Roadster) are kitt-cars?

09/27/2016 - 08:15 |
2 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

From a car guy point of view, it was crap. Electric windows on the Sesto Elemento, Agera R sounding like a V10 Formula 1 car, Mustang reaching 234mph on a race track….. all rubbish.

From a Need for Speed point of view, it was still crap. They threw in Koenigseggs and Mustangs to please the fanboys while not a single significant star car from NFS made an appearance, like Ferrari or Porsche. The driving scenes and stunts were good though.

09/27/2016 - 18:48 |
4 | 2
QuackzAlmighty (RX-7/Skyline/Supra/S2000 squad)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Not to mention that the Mustang had a hologram on the bottom of the windshield showing the speed and RPM.

02/17/2017 - 14:26 |
0 | 0


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