TOP 5: V8 survivors
Monday 21st March, 2022 - 8:10am
The V8 engine is a dying breed. As the world puts increasing restrictions on emissions it has forced car makers to rethink how they create performance.
It has seen fantastic growth of high-performance four- and six-cylinder engines – and electric vehicles, of course – but for some of use, nothing will ever truly replace a V8. Thankfully there are several V8-powered models still available, in a diverse range of formats and an equally eclectic variety of models.
Here are five of our favourite V8 survivors, in no particular order.
Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray
The eighth-generation Corvette may be the start of a new era for the iconic American sports car because the engine is now in the middle – but the engine is still a classic.
Instead of opting for a more modern turbocharged engine – or heaven forbid, a V6 like the Ford GT – Chevy has stuck with a good old fashion naturally-aspirated V8. The 6.2-litre engine makes 370kW of power and 640Nm of torque, which both sounds great and makes the C8 supercar fast.
The best news is Chevrolet didn’t stop there, developing an all-new 5.5-litre V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft design for the upcoming Z06 model. This racing-inspired design allows the ‘LT5’ to rev to 8600rpm, making 500kW and 623Nm on the way there.
Ford Mustang GT
Like the Corvette it’s hard to imagine the Mustang powered by anything other than a V8… even when it’s already available with a four-cylinder turbo.
Of course any serious Mustang fan will opt for the 5.0-litre V8, which makes 345kW and 556Nm in its most potent tune in the Mach 1.
It may not be the most powerful V8 on the market but it makes plenty of grunt for the ‘Stang and it provides a suitable soundtrack for an American pony car.
You need a big engine to move a big ute and the Ram 1500 has precisely that, a 5.6-litre Hemi V8. This old school eight makes 291kW and 556Nm, enough to endow the 1500 with sprightly performance for such a sizable vehicle.
It’s a slightly old-fashioned with its pushrods and only two-valves per cylinder but it does have a new trick up its sleeve, a 48-volt mild hybrid system – called eTorque – plus cylinder deactivation and stop-start, all to try and save some fuel.
While the M3/M4 have abandoned V8s in favour of six-cylinder engines, the pinnacle of BMW’s M Division still uses the bigger engines.
In the M8 Competition that means a 4.0-litre V8 with twin-turbos, which generates 460kW and 750Nm.
Not surprisingly all that potential means the M8 Competition is wickedly fast on the road, despite being larger than many of its would-be rivals. Thanks to the twin-turbo V8 the M8 manages to propel past the grand tourer its size suggests it is and instead becomes a serious, Porsche-hunting sports car.
Jaguar F-Pace SVR
I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again – Jaguar’s supercharged V8 may be the best-sounding engine available to buy today.
The 5.0-litre unit punches out 405kW and 680Nm and as it does so it makes the most wonderful noise. For any true petrolhead the combination of supercharger whine and shrieking, growling and snarling from the V8 makes the SVR sound almost musical.
The fact that it’s installed in an striking-to-look-at SUV makes the entire F-Pace SVR package an under-rated gem.
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