...but 'loudest' is completely relative as the V8s of today are still frankly ridiculous.
And the new ones will be not far behind at all. Still over 120dB I predict.
The thing is, a lot of things can be "120db" - without the qualifier of *how far away* it is at that level, it doesn't really say much.
Which isn't a concept commonly thought of, but here is an example:
At Indy in 2006, the cars were doing over 126db C weighted sitting in the second tier of stands at Turn 13, just as they passed in front. While this is "extremely loud", I wouldn't say it's necessarily louder than what you'd get at a NASCAR event, certainly not a TF race.
BUT, the difference is that as they accelerated down the back straight, they were still pushing 82+ db from the same location, half a mile away. You could hear them upshift, downshift. As they accelerated through the short chute coming back around, they were a nice steady 90 or so db, you could hear them coming... then the blast of sound.
The Porsche cup cars sounded neat. They were about 102db from the same location - pretty loud, one should still be wearing ear plugs. BUT...
... but, once there were halfway down the front straight, they're down to around 78db. Once they went through the 1st turn, you didn't really hear them if people were talking loud around you. And as they came around, unless you were looking for them, you wouldn't know it until you saw them.This is all important!!
My description of the first time I heard an F1 car, from that location at Indy, was something like "alien Terminators coming to kill you" or some such. You didn't *see* the car coming out of T11-12, *but you could hear it*, and you could hear the car revving up to 18,000 through the gears, *well before you saw it*. By the time you saw it, it was blasting you over with volume.
I'm sorry, but in this case I have to admit my weakness as a "red blooded 'Murican" and say "yeah, that is really bloody exciting!". It was actually enjoyable watching people's expressions at that location, people just walking into the track for the first time, as they stood/sat there waiting for a car to come around for the first time. People would laugh, cackle with excitement. Some people will actually scream, dudes will hug each other, it's crazy. That, to me, is an affirmation.
I got that effect at Montreal. It's great to be sitting at one end of the track, and you can hear the cars doing their thing all the way down at the other end, all the way back to where you are sitting. Again, the cup cars are essential non-existent once out of your sight, and the Ferrari Challenge cars aren't super loud to begin with.
What makes that happen is *how much energy is going out the pipe*. A human can blow a trumpet and hit 119db at 3 feet; it doesn't mean it's going to be 119db 500 feet away. A "horn" that only has 650 hp going through it will not be as impressive a mile away as one that has another 200-250 bhp. It can't be, physics doesn't work like that.
We're now talking about ALMS-level non-diesel engines. ALMS has been cool in the past with the different engines, BUT - none of those cars sound like an F1 car in the distance or close up. The difference is "Is a car coming? Ok, wait, I see one... yeah" and with F1 "sounds like it's two corners away.... here it comes!".
That is the music of Formula 1. That gets my blood racing.
/ rant mode: off
// sorry, get off my tarmac