What’s the Difference Between the Exhaust Note of a McLaren 720S and a Ferrari 488 GTB?

With similar engine layouts, the two turbocharged supercars sound eerily similar.

byChristian Gilbertsen|
McLaren News photo


After McLaren unveiled the 720S this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the British automaker began to release a series of short YouTube clips that detail various aspects of the new supercar. The videos included the 720S's engine, design, and sound—each of which is equal parts informative and entertaining. But after watching the video about the 720S's newly designed exhaust sound—that's right, how the 720S sounds is dictated, in part, by an NVH engineer—I couldn't help but notice that despite the lengths McLaren undoubtedly took to research and design the exhaust note, it sounded familiar. 

"What could it be?" I thought. And then, after a bit of head scratching, I remembered that McLaren's new M408T engine isn't the only twin-turbocharged cross-plane crank V8 on the market. Debuting in Ferrari's first turbocharged V8 car in decades, the vaunted 488 GTB has a power plant whose configuration is very similar indeed, even in power output and capacity. (The McLaren displaces 4.0 liters compared to Ferrari's 3.9, and makes 710 hp compared to Ferrari's 661 hp.) 

So, dear readers, can you tell the apart a McLaren and a Ferrari? Check out the video below and let us know which is which. Good luck.

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