Even if new technology means that smaller turbocharged engines can make as much or more power than a good old-fashioned normally aspirated V8, many discerning drivers will choose the larger motor if given a chance. Whether it's the sound, the power curve, or just the way it makes you feel, there’s something about the venerable V8 engine that makes it highly desirable. If you’re looking for a V8-powered car on a budget, our expert editors have created a list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars. Though there are also numerous ways to get a cheap V8 in the truck, SUV, and van segments, we’ve limited our list to cars. Read on to discover just how affordable V8 power can be and what options are out there.
10 of the Cheapest V-8 Cars
Photo Credit: BMW
10) 2018 BMW M550i xDrive Sedan
The 2018 BMW M550i xDrive Sedan is a mid-size luxury car that just makes our list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars thanks to its MSRP of $73,400 and a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that generates 456 hp. Unfortunately, the only available transmission is an 8-speed automatic (no manual is offered), and the M550i is only available with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system (though it is rear-biased). Still, until the next M5 arrives the M550i is the top of the 5 Series line, and it’s engaging to drive and plenty quick, with a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 3.9 seconds. Unfortunately, BMW continues the trend of using the audio system to pipe engine noise into the interior even though the engine sounds great on its own.
Photo Credit: Audi
9) 2017 Audi S6
The 2017 Audi S6 is a high-performance version of the mid-size A6 luxury sedan. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 450 hp and is sent to all four wheels via a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. Despite the car’s aluminum body, the S6 is still a heavy car, but that combination is still good enough for a run from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds and a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph. A new A6 should be arriving sometime in 2018, and a new S6 will most likely follow, but until then the current S6 with its MSRP of $70,900 makes our list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
8) 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Sedan
The AMG C63 Sedan (a coupe is also available at a slightly higher price) is a more powerful version of the compact Mercedes-Benz C-Class powered by a handcrafted twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. While that might sound like it should be expensive, the C63 has a relatively reasonable $65,200 MSRP, earning it a spot on our list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars. The engine generates 469 hp, which is sent to the rear wheels through a 7-speed wet-clutch automatic transmission and can get the C63 up to 60 mph in four seconds flat. There are better choices if you plan on spending lots of time at the track, but the C63 makes an awesomely quick and comfortable high-speed freeway cruiser.
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7) 2017 Lexus RC F
The 2017 Lexus RC F is a compact two-door coupe powered by an honest-to-goodness 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes a healthy 467 hp. That power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and torque vectoring differential, and together the package is good for a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph. It might not have quite the performance or handling of some of its German competitors, but for the RC F’s $64,165 MSRP you also get aggressive styling, 14.9-inch front brake rotors and 6-piston Brembo calipers, quad exhaust pipes and an amazing V8 soundtrack. Plus, it’s a Lexus, so the ride is good for a sports car and reliability should be excellent.
Photo Credit: Genesis
6) 2018 Genesis G80 5.0 Ultimate Package RWD
The Genesis G80 is a mid-size car that is available with an optional 420-hp 5.0-liter V8. This power is sent to the rear wheels (all-wheel drive is an optional extra) by an 8-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode (no manual transmission is offered). The V8 is only available as part of the 5.0 Ultimate Package, with a starting MSRP of $57,000, which includes numerous luxury items including a power trunk lid, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, a power rear sunshade and a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system. If you’re looking for a high-performance V8-powered car, the G80 isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for old-school V8 comfort, it’s worth a look.
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5) 2017 Chrysler 300S
The four-door 2017 Chrysler 300S is the first of the truly affordable vehicles on our list of ten of the cheapest V8-powered cars. When equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi engine that 300S’ has an MSRP that starts at $38,675. An 8-speed automatic directs the Hemi’s 363 hp to the rear wheels and helps the 300S hit 60 mph in under five-and-a-half seconds. The 300S isn’t all that sporty, but it is nice to drive thanks to a comfortable ride, the interior is roomy and uses excellent materials, and it’s full of style. If you have a bit of extra money to spend the 300S can be turned into a luxurious ride by ordering the two Premium Group packages.
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4) 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1SS
With an MSRP of $37,000 and a 6.2-liter V8 that produces a healthy 455 hp, the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1SS has one of the best power-to-price ratios of any of the vehicles on our list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars. Power is sent to the rear wheels by a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 8-speed paddle shift automatic, either of which can get the Camaro up to 60 mph in a tick or two over four seconds. Handling is very good, but the lack of outward vision can make maneuvering more difficult than it should be. If you need more power the ZL1 with 650 hp is also available (and is still cheaper than some of the other cars on our list).
Photo Credit: Dodge
3) 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
The 2017 Dodge Charger R/T has an MSRP of $34,895 and comes standard with a 5.7-liter Hemi, making it the most affordable four-door car on our list of ten of the cheapest V8 cars. The Charger could use a bit of a diet, but it handles its weight well through the corners and is fun to drive. The Hemi is capable of producing 370 hp, which is transmitted to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic (unfortunately no manual is offered). While there are several more powerful engines available in the lineup (including the awesome 707-hp supercharged V8 in the Charger Hellcat), the 5.7-liter Hemi should be enough for most and can get the Charger to 60 mph in just over five seconds.
Photo Credit: Ford
2) 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback
Starting at $33,195, the 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback is an affordable and fun-to-drive two-door coupe with a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 435 hp and can motivate the Mustang to 60 mph in under four-and-a-half seconds. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, but an updated model should be arriving soon with various improvements including a 10-speed auto as well as an optional active exhaust system (at which point incentives on leftover versions of this model might make it an even better deal). The current model has an exhaust note that might be a bit too sedate for V8 aficionados, but that’s a problem that can easily be solved with a few aftermarket parts.
Photo Credit: Dodge
1) 2017 Dodge Challenger R/T
With an MSRP of $32,995, the 2017 Dodge Challenger R/T might be the cheapest way to get into a V8-powered car, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t compete with some of the more expensive cars on our list. Power comes from a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that generates 375 hp, which is then sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission (an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic is an optional extra). Several more powerful engine options are available, but the 5.7-liter Hemi is enough to have some fun and can propel the Challenger R/T to 60 miles per hour in just over five seconds. The Challenger is quite heavy for a two-door coupe, but it’s also quite large and has plenty of interior space, even in the rear.