It’s true, the car industry is rapidly adopting hybrid and full-electric drivetrains. But the V8—that most American of engine configurations—is still alive and well.
Update (12.02.19): We’re here in the final month of the decade, updating the list with a few choice additions. While these are largely engines you can pick up at a dealership today, we’ve included a handful of recent retirees, like Audi’s fantastically free-revving 4.2-liter V8.
So while V8 engines still exist, AutoGuide.com has decided to pick its top choices for the best sounding V8 engines out there and we’d love to hear whether or not you agree with our picks. Let us know in the comments.
10. Audi 4.2-liter FSI V8 (R8)
Let’s start with the 4.2-liter FSI V8 engine found in the Audi R8. For the 2015 model year, the powerplant produces 430 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, helping push the supercar from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds with a top track speed of 188 mph.
9. Jaguar 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 (F-Type R)
With a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 under the hood churning out 550 hp, the Jaguar F-Type R goes 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and sounds wonderful while doing so. Just take a listen of the Jaguar F-Type R in our review video above.
8. Mercedes-Benz AMG 4.0-liter V8 (AMG GT R)
The Mercedes-Benz bent-eight, in 4.0-liter AMG form, is available in the majority of the shapes the current range comes in. Yes, even a three-row crossover. But where this fiery monster of an engine does its best work is here, the spectacular AMG GT R. Lesser engines find their singing voices muffled when paired with turbos, but the engineers in Affalterbach kept the ferocious nature of the earlier V8s alive and well here.
7. Ford Shelby 5.2-liter V8 (GT350, GT350R)
It’s a few years old now, but the Ford Shelby GT350’s 5.2-liter flat-plane V8 still sounds utterly amazing. Ford abstained from the industry turbo obsession here, relying on good old high revs to produce 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Okay, so the new king of the road, the 760 hp GT500, layers the sound of a supercharger on top of the Voodoo, but we prefer the GT350’s purer, animalistic howl.
6. Chevrolet 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 (Corvette Z06)
No best-sounding V8 engines list is complete without an entry from the iconic Chevrolet Corvette. The latest-generation’s Z06 sports a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that doesn’t disappoint in the performance department with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. It also helps ensure the Corvette Z06 sounds as good as it looks. Consider it the end of an era too, now that the mid-engined C8 ‘Vette is here.
5. Bentley 6¾-liter V8 (Mulsanne)
We’re changing direction slightly here—not veering, because that’s far too gauche. The six-and-three-quarters has existed since 1959, steadily piling on more power while cleaning up those pesky tailpipe emissions. Today it exists only in the flagship Mulsanne, the super-luxury limo of the Bentley range. Long may this 60-year old beast continue to waft people along on huge swells of torque, with that smooth, woofly V8 just barely ticking over underhood.
4. Dodge 6.2-liter HEMI V8 (Hellcat)
Most everyone has gone a little crazy over the new Dodge Hellcat engine found in the Challenger and Charger models. It’s also believed to be heading to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk next. The 6.2-liter HEMI V8 makes 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and it sounds downright mean.
3. Maserati 3.8-liter Twin-Turbo V8 (Levante GTS/Trofeo)
The Maserati Levante GTS isn’t exactly a perfect machine. Being an SUV, it’s tall and heavy. But one area we’d never speak ill of is its Ferrari-sourced heart. This overachiever produces a scarcely believable 590 hp from 3.8-liters, making it one of the most powerful high-riders out there. No wonder it has a top speed of 187 mph.
SEE ALSO: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS Review
2. McLaren 4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 (720S)
McLaren is a company that lives on constant evolution. It’s no surprise, after decades in F1. The 720S is the latest Super Series entry, yet it feels worlds away from the original 12C. McLaren gifted the 720S with a newer, larger version of its family V8, growing to an even 4.0 liters. That small change has given the 720S a richer singing voice, a perfect pairing for its dramatic exterior.
1. Ferrari 3.9-liter Twin-Turbo V8 (488 GTB)
A few years ago, Ferrari updated its 458 Italia with the 488 GTB, adding turbocharged power to its 3.9-liter V8 engine. Now with 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque, the Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the best-sounding cars on the road and its got the performance to back up the stunningly good looks.