Best V-8 Convertibles For 2012: Introduction
Under siege these days on a number of different fronts, the days of the prominence of the V8 engine in mainstream automobiles are said by and large to be—over. With the demise of the Ford Crown Victoria, the last “normal” car with a V8 fell by the wayside. These days, turbochargers, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and even hybrid powertrains are coaxing just as much power and torque from V6 engine as was previously the norm for the V8.
Frankly, there is considerable evidence to support this assertion. If you examine the marketplace, you’ll find you now only see V8 engines in cars where a prestige factor is involved. And, even then, in most cases, there’s a V-6 version of the car too. Witness Chevy’s Camaro, Dodge’s Challenger, Ford’s Mustang, and even the Mercedes-Benz E-Class—all have high protein V8’s as their halo models, yet all offer more fuel-efficient V-6 engines too. And, their V-6’s outsell their V-8’s.
Thus, it’s very possible the days of the V-8 may indeed be said to be on the wane.
On the other hand, back in the mid 1970’s it was pronounced there’d never be another American convertible either. In fact, the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was decreed to be the “last American convertible”. Speculators snapped them up, sequestered them away in hermetically sealed garages and gasped in horror six years later when the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron and Buick Rivera convertibles appeared—instantly rendering their “investments” considerably less valuable.
So, with that said, we feel pretty confident stating the imminent death of the V-8 is, in all probability, greatly exaggerated. Further, as long as there are gasoline powered automobiles, somebody, somewhere will be pairing V-8 engine with convertible tops to create another crop of the year’s best V-8 convertibles.