Epic. It sounds epic!
The vast majority of engines produced have an even number of cylinders. There are several reasons why, but the primary reason is balance and packaging. Still, there are cars with odd-numbered cylinders out there. Mini uses a BMW-sourced turbocharged triple, and Audi famously uses a turbocharged five-pot in the RS3 and TT RS.
Because of the offbeat layout, these engines deliver a distinctive sound. A three-cylinder engine sounds like an asthmatic but enthusiastic Porsche 911, while Audi's five-cylinder produces one of the best noises currently available in the automotive industry.
It kind of makes you wonder why more manufacturers don't bother with odd-cylindered cars. They obviously have loads of character, thanks to the odd firing order. But what about when you take that principle to the extreme? Seven cylinders? What about nine? How about 11?
If you're a real car nerd, you must have wondered what a seven, nine, or 11-cylinder engine must sound like, even though such a thing would never be produced. Thanks to the power of simulation, that question has now been answered. Slap on your headphones, and listen to the video above to hear what an inline 11 sounds like. As it turns out, it sounds a lot like a V10, with a dash of low-down bass typically associated with a V12.
The simulation you see above is the brainchild of YouTuber AngeTheGreat. He created an open-source engine simulator which is available for free online. The simulator creates an internal combustion engine to the creator's exact specifications. Why? Well, why not? We respect this kind of dedication to automotive nerdiness. There is an actual reason, but we'll get to that later.
In case you were wondering whether the simulator is accurate, have a listen to the first engine AngeTheGreat created. Instead of immediately going for a 27-cylinder engine, he recreated a digital replica of the 1974 GM 454 V8. He rebuilt this particular engine in real life, so he knows quite a bit about it. The result proves that the engine sim works beautifully, as it sounds exactly like the real deal.
In the V8 video, he also explains the reason behind the simulation. As a kid, he always wondered why racing games never got the noise of a car engine right. He quickly identified the two main problems with racing games: the engines sounded the same under all operating conditions, and the engine response was not organic. It's kind of the same problem EVs have.
To fix the problem, AngeTheGreat went down a rabbit hole. His simulation can accurately recreate inertia and even the sliding friction between the cylinder wall and the piston. The simulation can also mimic overrun.
AngeTheGreat's software is free to use and is quickly becoming a sensation on YouTube. We found the famous Toyota 2JZ running 20 bars of boost, which ends exactly as you'd expect. There's also a 9.3-liter V10, an inline-five MotoGP engine, a 50-liter seven-cylinder, and a 691cc Fiat engine running an F1 cylinder head.
Be warned, however. Once you start going down the rabbit hole of weird engine sounds, there's no stopping.