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Why This Honda S2000 Sounds Just Like A Subaru

Illustration for article titled Why This Honda S2000 Sounds Just Like A Subaru

Think the trademark boxer rumble of a Subaru is all about the boxer engine layout? Listen to this Honda and think again.

Both this Honda S2000 and any classic Subaru are four-cylinder engines. The Honda has its cylinders in a line, a Subaru has them in two opposing banks of two.


But that doesn’t matter here—the trick is that the Honda S200 in this clip has unequal length headers.

It’s those unequal headers that make the engine’s exhaust pulses emanating from each cylinder down to the exhaust uneven. That’s a big part of the trademark rumble, and that’s why this Honda sounds so Subaru-esque.


Here’s a good explainer of how that all works.

Just remind me never to put an equal-length collector on my VW flat four. I like the sound too much.

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I can’t watch the video here at work, but I wonder if it mentions that UEL headers are actually a design flaw - they’re inefficient. Hence, the ‘15+ WRX (and others) don’t have them anymore.