If you saw my write-up on the 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI, you probably took note of the fact that I called out the little vintage hatchback for being pretty shouty when cruising on the highway, but does that bode well for its performance in our (totally scientific) startup contest?
This little hatchback certainly appears under-equipped to go up against my 6.4-liter 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 on paper, but as anybody who has been to an SCCA or NASA Spec Miata race can tell you, size doesn't matter a whole lot when it comes to making loud noises from an exhaust pipe. Even a little 1.8-liter engine like the 90-horsepower lump under the hood of this American-built Volkswagen can be noisy if you want it to be.
As it turns out, Volkswagen wanted it to be. While buzzy by modern standards, the Rabbit GTI's exhaust is burbly and sporty, making just the sort of noise you'd expect from a tuned up 80s hatchback. But is it louder than my big purple people eater? There's only one way to find out.
These tests are conducted using a free Android OS sound measuring app and the mostly enclosed space in my personal garage. For those who are unfamiliar with our methodology (and again, we use that term somewhat loosely), you can refer back to our previous tests with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio or the Porsche Cayenne S Coupe for more details (or to just listen to either of those exhaust notes).
The result? Well, Thumper put up a pretty good fight, as it turns out, checking in at 80.4 decibels, which is good enough for third place overall on our leader board, just behind the Giulia and ahead of the last-place Porsche Cayenne. We didn't say it was a long leader board.