Top Gear's Tunnel Run Is The Coolest New Thing On YouTube

Screenshot: Top Gear on YouTube
Screenshot: Top Gear on YouTube

The Catesby Vehicle Test Facility is a 1.7 mile long tunnel in Northamptonshire that has been used for running cars at speed in a controlled environment for decades. The Top Gear folks brought some of the loudest and best sounding vehicles to the tunnel and plopped their tame racing driver, The Stig, into the seat and let ‘em rip. Some cars transcend the need for corporeal form, and exist as pure soundwaves, including a fifteen-year-old Dodge NASCAR racer, an Audi Group B rally car, a vintage V16 Formula One racer, and an infamous uncorked Mercedes V12 luxury sedan.

So far the TG YouTube channel has posted six extremely rad videos to its channel, and there are more to come. I’m going to do you a favor and embed all of the videos below so you can waste a good chunk of your Friday watching, and listening to, these nasty beasts roar in the tunnel. Just make sure you have some noise cancelling headphones on, because you’ll definitely want to hear every single combustion event in isolation.

Here they are in order from my favorite to least favorite, though they’re all pretty great. I wish I had a long straight tunnel to run cars in.


1. 1950 BRM Type 15

It’s truly impossible to not immediately love a 1.5-liter supercharged V16 race car from the early days of Formula One. It’s a deep and throaty howl, and I want to hear so much more of it. Could you imagine being a spectator in-period? Why doesn’t F1 sound like this today?

2. 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2

Group B never sounded quite this good, as the forest stages don’t echo the way a 1.7-mile race tunnel does. This is an incredible feast for the ears. Crank it up!

3. Sasaki-san’s Mercedes W140 S600

We’ve been covering this raucous uncorked V12 for a decade. How do you make a big Mercedes sedan from the 1990s more exciting? Make its V12 sound like a hypercar with equal-length headers and straight pipes. Hot damn is this thing loud!

4. Dodge Charger NASCAR Car of Tomorrow

Anyone who has been to a NASCAR race knows the chest-thumping bass produced by those big 900-horsepower V8 engines. But while you might have experienced them roaring by at 200 miles per hour at Daytona or something, you’ve never heard them in an enclosed space. This thing rips so hard!

5. Caterham 620R

The original bare-bones sports car can sure make a lot of noise for its diminutive footprint. The 620R uses a supercharged version of Ford’s 2-liter Duratec engine, and shouts through a side-exit exhaust. Ripper.

6. Lamborghini Huracan STO

Here’s a Lamborghini. Sounds cool, I guess. It’s the quietest of the cars released so far. Seems a little boring, honestly.

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