Today’s gallery will provide a particularly wide range of choices for customers since we’re focusing on any prominent cars and trucks with the best V8 engines, including options from the past, present, and future. Now, that said, we aren’t going to go too far back in time, as we want to show vehicles that are still readily available in the used-car marketplace. We also won’t look too far ahead, again with customers in mind, why show cars and trucks that may never reach dealerships? Instead, we’re aiming for the chronological sweet spot, with a selection of V8-powered vehicles that are either on sale now, regardless of whether they’re new or pre-owned, or are scheduled to arrive in the near-term future.
10 Cars and Trucks with the Best V8 Engines
Photo Credit: Dodge
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Of course, anytime you’re considering the cars and trucks with the best V8 engines, you’re going to have to seat the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon near the head of the class. True, performance isn’t everything, but it’s hard to argue with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, especially at full throttle. Then, with that engine stuffed beneath its hood, the Challenger can throw down with an astonishing 840 horsepower and 770 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s probably enough for most rivals to throw in the flag, as that output makes the Demon the most powerful production muscle car of all time, backed by the industry’s fastest current quarter-mile time (9.65 seconds) and the quickest 0-60 acceleration (2.3 seconds.)
Photo Credit: Ford
2018 Ford F-150
Pickups also are among the cars and trucks with the best V8 engines, although here we’re usually dealing with a different kind of performance. The upcoming 2018 Ford F-150, for example, will rely on its 5.0-liter V8 for a maximum tow rating of 11,100 pounds. Also impressive are the engine’s 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Indeed, that’s an extra 10 horsepower and 13 lb.-ft. of torque versus last year’s V8. Further, the upgraded 2018 engine will be matched with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and deliver Chevy-topping EPA grades of 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway/19 mpg combined. The F-150 gets tech enhancements, too, including an optional mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Titan XD
For the most part, the typical retail cars and trucks with the best V8 engines do not offer diesel powerplants. Yet that’s just one of the highlights of the 2017 Nissan Titan XD. More specifically, the Titan XD comes standard with a turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 diesel that serves up 310 horsepower and a titanic 555 lb.-ft. of torque. The Titan XD can tow up to 12,310 pounds with this engine doing the heavy lifting. Not to be thought of as all work and no play, Nissan’s more-than-full-size pickup also can be ordered with a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, a Rockford-Fosgate audio system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. For the safety-minded, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert are available.
Photo Credit: Ram Trucks
2013 Ram 1500
Shoppers interested in pre-owned pickups can be confident in knowing some of the cars and trucks with the best V8 engines are used vehicles. Take the 2013 RAM 1500, which was offered with an iconic 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Despite being a few years older than the new V8 in the 2018 F-150, the Ram’s 2013 HEMI supplies the same 395 horsepower and a bit more torque, 407 lb.-ft., to be exact. It’s also worth remembering that the 2013 model year was the first time the award-winning Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system was on the Ram’s options list, complete with an 8.4-inch touchscreen and rearview camera. Noteworthy as well in this model year were fresh style updates like LED exterior lighting.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe and Cabriolet
A small handful of cars and trucks with the best V8 engines can up the ante with hand-built powerplants, and the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63, in both coupe and convertible body styles, is a luxurious case in point. Representing high-performance variants of the traditional S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, the S63 duo benefits from a brand-new 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that’s put together by individual expert technicians. In addition, even though that engine has significantly less displacement than the one it replaces, the new unit is more powerful, thanks to output ratings of 603 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. Enthusiasts also have something else to be thankful for, since 0-60 times are down to 3.4 seconds.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Another car going the hand-built route with its engines was the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. Designed to compete against exotic supercars, the ZR1 carries a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that can unleash 638 horsepower and 604 lb.-ft. of torque. When drivers do need to rein in those horses, however, they can take advantage of standard Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with drilled rotors. Next, as long as we’re talking about carbon, we can report that the ZR1 also leverages plenty of carbon fiber. Not only are the hood and front fenders made from carbon fiber, so are the car’s removable roof panel, front splitter, and rocker moldings, and these are clear-coated to show the weaved carbon-fiber strands.
Photo Credit: BMW
2018 BMW M5
The all-new 2018 BMW M5 recently had its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, and the early reviews have been nothing short of spectacular. Certainly helping matters is an M-tuned 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that raises the car’s output bar to 600 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque. That, in turn, lowers the M5’s 0-60 time to a bare 3.2 seconds. On the other hand, the new M5 is more than just the same old car with a more powerful engine. It’s also the first one to feature an xDrive all-wheel-drive system from the M division, and as a result, this is both the quickest M5 ever and the most agile.
Photo Credit: Ford
2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Collectible cars and trucks with the best V8 engines include the 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. Only 137 were made during that first model year, all of them equipped with the most naturally aspirated engine ever found in one of Ford’s production engines. The 5.2-liter V8 kicks out more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, bolstered by a specially engineered flat-plane crankshaft. This engine design is generally reserved for racecars and exotic imports, and it improves engine breathing to help maximize power. Then, to maximize enjoyment from that engine, the Shelby also showcases a standard six-speed manual transmission, Torsen limited-slip differential, a high-performance Magneride suspension and Ford’s “most track-credible” braking system ever.
Photo Credit: Audi
2018 Audi RS 7
Moving on to the cars and trucks with the best V8 engines from the four-rings brand, we have the 2018 Audi RS 7. As the most athletic version of the A7 full-size “four-door coupe,” the RS 7 adds two extra cylinders and a lot more power under the hood. In fact, the RS 7’s 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 can force out 605 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque, and that kind of motivation translates into 0-60 acceleration of 3.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 190 mph. Nor do drivers have to worry about shifting for themselves. All RS 7 models are configured with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission (yes, Audi’s famed “quattro” all-wheel drive technology is standard as well.)
Photo Credit: Ferrari
2018 Ferrari Portofino
The 2018 Ferrari Portofino is the Italian brand’s idea of an entry-level car, but that’s only as compared to the rest of the Prancing Horse lineup. For most of us, the Portofino is a fairly upscale piece of machinery, from its dramatic exterior design featuring a powered retractable hardtop to its high-revving powerplant. Based on the same unit that was named International Engine of the Year for both 2016 and 2017, the Portofino’s 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 has been re-engineered to deliver more than 590 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque. Just keep in mind that there’s no “prancing” around at this stage, and the new Ferrari doesn’t worry about 0-60 times. Instead, the Portofino boasts about a 0-120 time of 10.8 seconds.