In a quest to find the most sleep-inducing engine note, we begin with Nissan’s VQ35DE V6, as installed in a 350Z. Let’s see what happens.

Has anyone ever assembled a table on the soporific qualities of various engine configurations? I’m not aware of any—but people with kids to take on long-haul trips would kill for one.

Perhaps—and I’m practicing wishful thinking here—the results would show that high performance engines strike a particularly tranquilizing note in the developing auditory cortex. Imagine the possibilities! Responsible family men could reasonably argue that a Camaro SS is nothing but a pacifier on wheels.

Over on my other site, we performed such an experiment with a Nissan 350Z, powered by a Tennessee-built VQ35DE V6 engine, good for 287 HP and 274 lb-ft. The car is an American import, with an MPH speedo and an automatic transmission—weird objects in metric, manual-happy Europe—and like all 350Z’s, the noise is so lovely all you want to do is curl up in a ball and listen to it all day. Since I can doze off in any car, be it powered by an inline four or a V8, a suitable test person had to be found. And nobody is more suitable than 18-month-old Polish cutie Gabi Popiołek.

We set the whole thing to a Sicilian lullaby—Eugene Ruffolo’s Piccolo Girasole—just to make sure. Suffice to say that Gabi, an even greater bundle of energy than her countryman Bob Kubica of BMW Sauber F1, was snoozing in no time.

Editing by György Szeljak