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Video: SoundRacer V8 turns your boring family car into a fire-breather


January 28, 2010

SoundRacer V8: not everyone needs to know that you're a hooligan at heart.

SoundRacer V8: not everyone needs to know that you're a hooligan at heart.

Call me childish, but I reckon this is one of the best gadgets I've seen in years. The SoundRacer plugs into the cigarette lighter socket of your boring family car, then sends an FM signal to your car stereo that makes your car sound like a roaring V8, faithfully matching revs and basically making the meekest of cars feel like a monster truck. So you can enjoy a ribald hoon factor from the driver's seat without looking or sounding like a petrolhead to passers-by or the local constabulary. We had a blast making the demo video:

There's nothing quite like the feeling of giving a highly tuned performance car a proper gumboot full. The screech of the tyres, the acceleration as it pushes you back into your seat - and the glorious, heart-stirring noise!

But tyres and noise pollution tickets are expensive - and the prevailing attitude to road safety these days is that anything fun is to be punished in the harshest way possible - so the majority of cars are becoming quieter, more economical and generally less exciting to drive than ever before.

Which makes the SoundRacer V8 such a great idea. It's an incredibly simple device to use - plug it into your car's cigarette lighter socket, select a radio station, and tune your car radio to that frequency. Instantly, the sound of a highly tuned V8 engine starts coming out of your stereo speakers, matched to the revs of your own car's engine in real time.

The effect is outstanding - the cardigan-wearing Kia Sportage we used in the video felt like a 20 foot high monster truck the second we turned up the stereo volume. And nobody outside the car has a clue why you're laughing your head off in the driver's seat.

It's entirely guilt-free fun - you're not harming the environment by running a straight-through exhaust, you're not wasting the amount of petrol you'd normally need to to get this kind of noise, and you're not waking up any old ladies. A warning though - it's almost impossible to stick to the speed limit when your car sounds this damn good. So beware!

When you're not in the mood to tear up the streets in a muscle car, the SoundRacer doubles as a resender for your MP3 player, so you can listen to your iPod through the car stereo if the stereo doesn't have a 3.5mm input jack. A nice touch.

The version we tested was the V8, but there's a V10 model as well that gives your car the sound of a Lamborghini. Yay!

You can get the SoundRacer throughout America, Europe, Asia and Australia. We paid around AUD50 - you can find a local dealer through the SoundRacer website.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain

Lotus had this in-house a number of years ago - two family sedans were placed in the hedges - did not have the brakes to match the engine sound - sound great though...

29th January, 2010 @ 07:01 am PST

How many "days" before some stupid kid buys this thing and install one or more loudspeakers OUTSIDE his car to make itsound hot !!!!

I live in Montreal suburb and young kids with rusty Honda Civic change the muffler to a muffler that "makes noise".

There is law against that but the police doesn't do anything. And now this !!! Great. :-(

29th January, 2010 @ 06:41 pm PST

they could also have a scifi setting for speeder bikes, land cruisers etc .. you get the idea ..

30th January, 2010 @ 03:16 am PST

I seem to recall a version of this featuring on BBC's "Tomorrow's World" show years back...

Gerard Gallagher
30th January, 2010 @ 06:12 pm PST

Maybe with the noise on the inside they might not bother with making it on the outside Hired_help, you might get lucky mate! ;)

Craig Jennings
31st January, 2010 @ 01:33 am PST

I'm sure the owner of the Kia is thrilled with the cardigan reference. Sadly this thing didn't like the Tarago... :(

31st January, 2010 @ 06:49 pm PST

This idea occurred to me over 10 years ago when interference in my car radio rose and fell in pitch with engine revs (alternator interference). My hope was to use sounds recorded from my beloved Ducati 900SS, although I didn't have the tech smarts to implement it.

1st February, 2010 @ 01:26 am PST

High tech, and grown-up version of baseball cards in bicycle spokes. Awesome, I'm getting one for the wife's car as a birthday present for myself. I've joked with my brother's for years that electric cars will get no where until they are exciting to drive. This 'toy' would be a good start. I joke that they should make the throttle response of an EV like a carburetor with a second or two of 'engine lag'.. coupled with a spooling sound like a jet turbine.

Muscle cars stimulate our sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell, and balance (acceleration). Remove one of those components and they aren't as much fun. Modern cars are not much fun... this is a great cheap product to elicit more fun.

@Giz:Much appreciated, accurate, and informed review surpassing the 4 1= __th gear review. Keep up the great work.

1st February, 2010 @ 07:56 am PST

Most people want to get *RID* of engine noise in the cockpit! And besides...if I want to hear a big V8, I'll just take my 72 Cutlass 442 for a spin...455 cubic inches of raw power (7.7 liters to you metrically inclined) and over 500 horses and 600 foot pounds of torque...and that's basically a stock engine!


1st February, 2010 @ 03:02 pm PST

You have to see this!! I want one. Where can I get one??

Alan Meeker
1st February, 2010 @ 05:28 pm PST

Doesn't this solve the "problem" of silent electric cars and blind pedestrian complaints in urban environments, as long as the sound is piped outside the vehicle? All the blind people will think everyone's started driving V8's again. :)

I'm all against legally mandating sound for electric vehicles, as tire noise alone is enough to warn a wary blind person of an approaching vehicle. The car exhausts are already pretty silent at sub-20 mph crusing speeds. You must rely on other cues (tire noise, etc.)

1st February, 2010 @ 08:03 pm PST

how do i get one speedracer v8 and a v10

2nd February, 2010 @ 04:25 am PST

They should make one with the sound of a 20B Rotary, the piston engine killer. They just cleaned up at the 24 hour Daytona. Lapped the GT3 Porsche 3 times!

2nd February, 2010 @ 12:26 pm PST

I always fancied having a similar device, but my one would have a firing button, which when pressed, produced the sound of four 20mm machine guns being fired.( for use when someone cuts you up on the road)

8th February, 2010 @ 08:48 am PST

Theres another gizmo similar to this call a V-room Box that you are supposed to hook up to outside/outdoor weather proof speakers so you can hear it outside. They have a website with several different models, but evidently something went wrong, because you can pre order them but they're not for sell yet. They put one into a minivan they pimped on M TV's Pimp My Ride, evidently they got one some how.

Jay Boshell
8th February, 2010 @ 05:50 pm PST

Hey snake78 you can search for the retailer at SoundRacer.

I blog about this video review at my blog CarForge blog

Robert Turner
9th February, 2010 @ 09:02 pm PST

hello!thats wonderful!Do anybody knows,where i can buy this?

Bobby Valchev
24th June, 2010 @ 07:05 pm PDT

where to by one????????????

Bjørn Wilhelmsen
12th August, 2010 @ 04:27 pm PDT

so how do i order one my hubby would love this used to have a phase 3 gt but some mongrol stole it broke his heart thought i would get him one cant find where to place order on here help please

ElaineandTerry Gowling
29th August, 2010 @ 06:23 pm PDT

Find them on eBay,of course!

There are lots more on the main EBay site than there are on Ebay Motors,though.

The website has a dealer locator,also.

(Swedish site)

13th December, 2010 @ 11:55 am PST

It is really a make over of V8 as they have done a great work to transform it from a family car to a car which is fully loaded .

Sidhesh Redkar
28th December, 2010 @ 08:49 pm PST

Right thats it.......Now I'm putting speakers on the outside of my Holden Combo !

The King
18th March, 2011 @ 03:13 am PDT

this has to be the best gift ever for a famliy man....... crazy! im still cracking up. too funny

Rory Noble
16th September, 2011 @ 01:02 pm PDT
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