America may be the spiritual home of the V8, but we Europeans build some pretty stellar eight-pots, too. We’ve rounded up five of the best…
Audi RS6 Avant
Arguably the world’s coolest estate car, the RS6 has been hailed by many as the ultimate Q-car. It can do almost anything you ask of it, from traffic light drag races to family holidays and everything in between. There are very few situations that’ll leave the RS6 stumped.
Part of the big Audi‘s charm, though, is the monstrous 4.0-litre V8 that lurks behind its enormous grille.
Bentley Bentayga Diesel
Okay, so this is a bit of a curveball, but then who said we had to talk about petrol-powered V8s? We’re also prepared to admit that the Bentayga is an ugly, overpriced luxury lump with more chintz than Kim Kardashian’s kitchen, but bear with us.
You see, with its 4.8-second sprint to 62mph, the Bentayga Diesel holds the title of the world’s fastest-accelerating diesel-powered 4×4, and we think that makes it quite cool. Of course, you’d be better off spending half as much money on the Audi SQ7 on which it is based (and which, incidentally, is the joint second-fastest diesel 4×4, a mantle it shares with the Alpina XD3 Biturbo), but who wants second best?
Mercedes-AMG C63 S
AMG-tuned Mercedes are not known for their subtlety and finesse, and the latest C63 S is no exception. Its 4.0-litre V8 makes a noise hitherto unknown to mere mortals, as well as a handy 503bhp. In the front of what is, to all intents and purposes, a compact executive saloon and you’ve got a seriously antisocial machine.
There is something a little bit uncouth about this version of the C-Class, but that magnificent engine will never fail to raise a smile. And you’ll always get a sense of warmth from knowing that the poor sod in the diesel C-Class behind you is a little bit jealous.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Jaguar may have been reduced to downsizing in recent years, with a flock of fairly average four-cylinder engines hitting the market, but the timeless V8 is still going strong, and nowhere is this more evident than under the long, thrusting nose of the F-Type SVR.
The 5.0-litre supercharged V8, which produces 567bhp, is beefy enough to permit a 3.5-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 200mph. Prices start from £110,000 for the hard-top version, but an extra £5,000 or so buys the canvas-roofed convertible and easier access to the punchy, snarling exhaust note.
Ferrari 488 GTB
Okay, we get it. The 488 GTB is turbocharged and Ferrari fans aren’t impressed. If truth be told, neither are we – we loved the shriek that emitted from the old 458 Italia – but the 488 GTB’s smaller eight-pot still makes a pretty special sound.
Add in the fact that it’s bolted into the middle of what is arguably the prettiest Ferrari this century and you’ve got a combo that may not be as pure as before, but still pushes all the right buttons. Have one in bright red and you’ll never feel disappointed.