Opinion: Stop saying that the Porsche 718 sounds like a Subaru – it doesn’t

Opinion: Stop saying that the Porsche 718 sounds like a Subaru – it doesn’t

People. Fellow motoring journalists. Bloggers. Everybody – listen up. Please stop comparing the sound of the new Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman to that of a Subaru Impreza WRX or STi. Every other day I’ll read something along the lines of, “The 718 has a deep, Subaru-like thrum.” Nope. Balls. Utter nonsense.

I know that they both have turbocharged four-cylinder boxer (horizontally-opposed) engines of similar capacities. I understand your frame of reference. Logically you would surmise that the Porsche would sound the same.

But in reality it doesn’t. Not at idle, not under acceleration and certainly not on the overrun (coming off the gas at high revs). In fact comparing the 718 to a WRX simply because they share near identical powerplants is like saying that a Corvette V8 sounds the same as a Ferrari V8. Or that James Brown sounds like Bobby Womack – totally incorrect.

Yes, the Subaru and the Porsche share the same engine layout but their timbres are different. I’ve driven both. I’ve had both drive past me. And both resonate unique. Still dubious? I knew you would be. Which is why I trawled YouTube and found these two videos for a quick audio comparison:

Exhibit One: 2016 Porsche 718 Boxster S

Exhibit Two: 2016 Subaru WRX (start from 2:17)

It only takes a few seconds to hear the sonic contrast between the two of them. The Subaru is bassy and gruff while the Porsche throws its pitch noticeably higher up the sound spectrum. In fact this German almost comes across as a bit tight-chested and asthmatic in comparison to its baritone Japanese counterpart.

In conclusion? Although their hearts may be the same their pulses beat different. So stop saying otherwise because it’s just plain wrong. – Thomas Falkiner