This Is What A V12 Should Sound Like

Dear carmakers, I have listened to many of your latest and greatest twelve-cylinder engines. They are powerful. They are efficient. They do not sound like a V12 should. To set you back on the right path, please listen to the twelve-mouthed gulps of air this Toyota engine takes.

This is a 1GZ-FE engine, one you would find in a Toyota Century, that old school sedan that Toyota produces for the Japanese market. It’s a five-liter, naturally aspirated engine, in this case aspirated through twelve individual intake trumpets stuffed into the front of a 1970s Toyota Mark II. I believe this one was sold as a Corona Mark II Grande. We got the thing as our first Cressida.


The point is to hear the overlaying waves of sound collapsing on each other, too complicated for the ear to discern them all. This might be a Toyota engine, but you’ll get the same kind of complex sound from a ‘60s Ferrari.

So carmakers, I hope you work to get more of this raw sound, and put your ‘kinda louder than a V8 rumble’ vibes away.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Err... no thanks. I like my V12s to scream but then again you probably like your V12s to run.

Man alive, I want a manual XJS.