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Most people like cars that sound good, because a good sound implies a good performance. Think the roar of a Ferrari, the purr of a Lambo. It’s an intrinsic part of the car’s appeal.

But cars have got quieter in recent years – as of September 2017, to be precise.
New tests mean cars need to be quieter
On 1 September 2017, new Euro 6 emissions limits came into play, which curbed the amount of pollutants (including CO2, particulates and nitrogen oxides) a car could emit.

These tests were called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), and they replaced the outdated Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests – you can learn more about both of those tests here.

To meet WLTP standards, cars now have to be fitted with a petrol particulate filter (PPF), also called a gas particulate filter (GPF) or Otto Particulate Filters (OPF).

These filters absorb the pollutants but also the sound, meaning we’re now getting muffled results. Further to this, cars have to be tested in loud mode as standard under WLTP (where it used to be quiet mode under RDE).
Are there any exceptions?
Not really, Lamborghini’s current generation of cars don’t use any filters, but the next gen will likely adopt PPF or hybrid engines that cut the sound down.

Some brands are stepping around the issue though.

Jaguar have focused on tuning the exhaust to sound as good as possible and they’ve been getting good results, as seen in our Jaguar F-Type R video review. Spoiler alert: the F-Type sounds just as good even though it's got that pesky filter.

Ferrari are also experimenting with ways to keep their sound. They removed the rear silencer in the Ferrari Roma to compensate for the filter, and took a novel approach in the F8 Tributo by pumping extra intake noise into the cabin.
Can I use an aftermarket exhaust?
Technically, it’s illegal to modify your car to make it louder.

You can probably change the tone, but you can’t make the car higher than 74 decibels. Remember that if yours is a lease car, you probably won’t be able to make any changes at all.

So, is this the end of an era for loud exhausts? Check out the full video and let us know what you think in the comments.

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