4-Cylinder vs. 6-Cylinder Cars

79 Blood Elf Rogue
I have noticed that the 4-cylinder vehicles I have been in (2011 Chrysler 200, 2012 Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Kia Forte, 2011 Nissan Altima 2.5S, etc.) have a louder engine when accelerating than the 6-cylinder vehicles I have been in (2007 Nissan Altima 3.5SL, 2011 Chrysler 300, etc.) I would think that having more cylinders and more horsepower in a vehicle would increase the engine noise, but in this case it hasn't. I have wondered this question for a long time, and if it could be answered that would be appreciated.
Edited by Kaeroth on 12/31/2011 9:05 PM PST
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79 Blood Elf Rogue
Makes a lot of sense now, thanks for the answer :)
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90 Worgen Warlock
its all in the exhaust system. pull the headers/manifold off any engine and its loud as hell.
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90 Human Death Knight
Cars with 6 cyl engines are usually higher quality than cheap 4 cylinder cars, the sound differences can be contributed to the use of more or better sound insulation in the cab.
Edited by Horvac on 1/4/2012 3:50 PM PST
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29 Dwarf Warrior
Vibration may increase the general noise level as well. On a 4 cyl 4-stroke engine there is a power stroke every 180 deg. of crank rotation, every 120 deg. on a 6 cyl. and every 90 deg. on an 8 cyl. More evenly applied power equals less total vibration. Less vibration equals less noise. A 16 cyl engine is reeeeally smooth.

The exhaust note is pretty much designed in by the manufacturer. Its quite likely that the smaller engine is being made to sound louder to give the impression that its more powerful than it actually is. This makes it easier to sell.
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85 Orc Shaman
Though there are other things that can contribute to noise. The simple physics behind it is that 4 cylinders would require more power to achieve the same output as 6 cylinders. The more even the load, the less noise.
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