As times change, so do car engines. Big V8 engines are becoming less common, replaced by smaller ones or hybrids. But let’s not forget the powerful V8 engine – it’s been the heart of many amazing cars over the years. We’re going to take a look at 22 of the best cars that had V8 engines.
Which one is your favorite?
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a testament to the brand’s engineering prowess. The journey began with a 5.3-liter V8 in the DBS, evolving to a formidable 438bhp in the V8 Vantage. Originally sporting fuel injection, it switched to carburetors in 1973, highlighting Aston Martin’s adaptability. The engine’s crowning glory was in the V600, boasting 600 hp and a supercharged thrill. This engine powered around 4,500 Aston Martins, marking a significant chapter in the marque’s history.
When the Audi R8 debuted in 2007, it was a game-changer. Its 4.2-liter V8, borrowed from the RS4, offered an exhilarating 420 hp experience, complete with a manual gearbox. While its V10 siblings were faster, the V8 version’s agility and responsive nature made it a favorite among enthusiasts, solidifying the R8’s reputation as a formidable contender in the sports car arena.
Bentley Arnage T
The Bentley Arnage T’s journey is one of remarkable evolution. Beginning with a modest 200bhp, the V8 engine, thanks to twin turbochargers, achieved a mighty 456 hp in the Arnage T, making it the most powerful Bentley of its time. This engine’s robust initial design allowed for significant power increases over its lifespan, culminating in the Mulsanne Speed’s 537 hp.
The BMW M5 returned to its V8 roots with the E39 model, instantly winning fans with its 400 hp 5.0-liter engine. Known for its advanced technology, like drive-by-wire throttles and VANOS variable valve timing, the E39 M5’s engine represented a pinnacle of BMW engineering, combining power with cutting-edge innovations.
The Cadillac CTS-V brought together luxury and immense power. Using a simple yet robust two-valve per cylinder V8 from the Corvette, it started with a 400 hp 5.7-liter engine and evolved to a 640 hp supercharged 6.2-liter powerhouse. Renowned for its strength and reliability, this engine has powered numerous GM high-performance cars and remains a popular choice for custom builds.
The Chevrolet Corvette’s legacy is intertwined with its small block V8 engine, a mainstay since 1954. With over 100 million units produced, this engine is iconic, with the LT5 DOHC version in the ZR-1 model being particularly noteworthy. This 385-405 hp engine powered the Corvette and even the Lotus Elise GT1 race car, exemplifying the engine’s versatility and performance capabilities.
The Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ may have been a sales flop, but its V8 engine was a gem. Designed by Edward Turner, the compact 2548cc engine was advanced for its time, offering 140 hp. Though the larger 4561cc V8 wasn’t used, the smaller engine’s performance saw it being used by police forces, highlighting its reliability and capability.
The Dodge Challenger, especially the Hellcat Redeye version, is a testament to the enduring appeal of V8 power. With an 808 hp 6.2-liter engine and a record-breaking 2.7-liter supercharger, the Challenger represents the pinnacle of American muscle car evolution. Its ability to deliver heart-pounding performance while maintaining street legality makes it a unique and thrilling choice for car enthusiasts.
The Ferrari 355 marked a significant shift for the brand, moving from a junior to a senior supercar status. Its 3496cc V8, with five-valve-per-cylinder technology, mirrored Ferrari’s F1 advancements. This engine’s high-revving nature and 385 hp output delivered exhilarating performance, making the 355 a highly sought-after model and a significant milestone in Ferrari’s history.
The Ford Mustang is synonymous with V8 muscle. From its early 260cu in engines to the current 5.0-liter Coyote V8, the Mustang has always embodied the spirit of American performance. The Shelby GT500 further elevates this legacy with a 760 hp supercharged 5.2-liter engine, showcasing the Mustang’s continuous evolution and enduring appeal.
The Jaguar XJR’s supercharged 4.0-liter V8 engine, with 375 hp, placed it in direct competition with rivals like the BMW M5. This engine’s combination of power and refinement set a new standard for Jaguar, leading to a legacy of supercharged V8 engines in the brand’s fastest models. The XJR remains a benchmark for luxury and performance in Jaguar’s lineup.
The Jensen Interceptor masterfully combined British elegance with American muscle. Its 6.3-liter V8 delivered 330 hp, propelling the car to impressive speeds. The optional 385 hp SP model and later 7.2-liter engines further enhanced its performance. The Interceptor’s blend of style and power made it a quintessential example of the grand touring philosophy.
The Lotus Esprit’s introduction of a V8 engine in 1996 was a milestone for the model. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo engine, initially developed to produce 500 hp, was detuned to 355 hp for reliability, offering a blend of performance and handling that was true to Lotus’s ethos. The Esprit V8’s limited-edition Sport 350 variant showcased the car’s full potential, becoming a highly coveted model among enthusiasts.
The McLaren P1, with its hybrid powertrain, epitomizes the cutting edge of automotive technology. The twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine, providing 737 hp, is the heart of this hypercar. The P1’s ability to combine electric power with traditional V8 muscle results in breathtaking performance, symbolizing McLaren’s innovative approach to supercar design.
The 2008 Mercedes-AMG C63 redefined the performance sedan segment with its 451bhp 6.2-liter V8 engine. Successive iterations, including the Performance Pack and DR520, pushed the boundaries further, with the latter offering 520 hp. The C63’s blend of agility, daily usability, and raw V8 power made it a standout model in the AMG lineup, showcasing the brand’s ability to merge luxury with exhilarating performance.
Morgan Plus 8
The Morgan Plus 8’s use of Rover’s 3.5-liter V8 transformed the classic sports car, offering significant performance improvements over its Plus 4 sibling. The engine’s lightweight and compact design perfectly complemented Morgan’s traditional craftsmanship, resulting in a car that was both fast and characterful. The Plus 8’s evolution, culminating in the BMW-sourced 4.8-liter V8, highlights Morgan’s commitment to combining classic style with modern performance.
The Porsche 928, while not replacing the 911 as intended, carved its own niche as a luxurious grand tourer. Its range of V8 engines, starting with a 4.5-liter 240bhp unit and culminating in the 350 hp 5.4-liter GTS model, provided smooth and potent performance. The 928’s blend of comfort, refinement, and power made it a distinct and desirable alternative within Porsche’s lineup.
The Range Rover’s use of the Rover V8 engine demonstrated the versatility of this powerplant. In the original three-door model, the 137 hp engine provided ample performance for both on-road luxury and off-road capability. The engine’s evolution through to the P38A model, with up to 228 hp, highlights the Range Rover’s ability to combine rugged utility with refined driving dynamics.
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
In the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the brand’s V8 engine found its ideal application. Initially a 6230cc unit, it later expanded to 6750cc, providing a quiet and smooth power source that complemented the Silver Shadow’s luxurious character. The engine’s long development and refinement process ensured that it upheld Rolls-Royce’s reputation for reliability and understated elegance.
The addition of the ‘B’ and the Rover V8 engine to the P5 transformed the model from a sedate executive car to a vehicle fit for Prime Ministers. The engine’s 161 hp output significantly improved performance, aligning it with the expanding motorway network of Britain. The P5B’s blend of traditional luxury and newfound power made it a symbol of British prestige and automotive engineering.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser’s 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 stands out for its rugged reliability and immense torque, making it a favorite in some of the world’s most challenging environments. The engine’s modest horsepower is overshadowed by its ability to tackle any terrain confidently, exemplifying the Land Cruiser’s reputation as a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle.
The Vauxhall VXR8 is a testament to the brand’s occasional forays into high-performance territory. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 584 hp, this sedan offered supercar-rivaling performance at a fraction of the cost. Its combination of raw power, surprising agility, and everyday usability made the VXR8 a unique and thrilling choice for those seeking an alternative to more established performance sedans.