All posts in “Alfa Romeo”

2022 New York Auto Show Roundup | All the reveals, reviews, pictures

NEW YORK — In case you missed it, the New York Auto Show took place this year after being canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. A lot of manufacturers showed up in force, but not everybody did. No matter, we were there, and we brought you news, photos and scoops from the floor throughout the show. All of our New York-related stories can be found at our central hub here, but if you’d rather just get a small taste of everything in a quick and digestible format, keep scrolling.

Kia revealed the Telluride’s first major refresh at New York, and it makes the three-row crossover a little bit more desirable without screwing up what we liked about it before. There’s a new X-Line and X-Pro trim for someone who might want a little more off-road capability, and a number of tech improvements. Most notably, a newly-designed dash features new and bigger screens.

The Telluride’s sister car from Hyundai was treated to a similar refresh. Like the Telluride, Hyundai gave the Palisade a slightly revised look, a new off-road trim (called XRT in the Palisade’s case), more tech inside and a new dash design with full-width air vents. If we had to choose, we’re a little more impressed with the Telluride’s refresh, as a number of us on staff actually prefer the pre-refresh Palisade styling over the new one.

This one was inevitable. Jeep revealed the longer, roomier versions of its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer in New York, and they’re designated with an “L” at the end of their names. Total length grows by a foot, and the wheelbase goes up by 7 inches versus the standard Wagoneer models. Jeep has essentially allocated all this extra room to the cargo area, as it now offers a staggering 44.2 cubic-feet of space behind the third row.

Besides the L, Jeep announced that its new Hurricane inline-six engine would find its first home in the Wagoneer. Efficiency gets a small boost, and power is more than sufficient at either 420 horsepower (standard output) or 510 horsepower (high-output version) from the twin-turbo I-6.

The Stellantis party continues with Chrysler and its slightly revised Airflow. Re-styled for the New York market after initially debuting at CES in Las Vegas, the Airflow Concept gets new paint, changed accent colors, a slightly changed interior design and a new interpretation of the Chrysler logo.

This was our first chance to get a good in-person look at the new Kia Niro models headed our way, and we were impressed. It gets a totally new design, massaged powertrains in all three variants and an EV6-inspired interior. We even got to take a little deep dive into the standout Aero Blade design feature seen on all new Niros.

This was one of the minor debuts of the show — Subaru didn’t even hold a press conference. But the Outback was there on the show floor, and it was showing off its new Wilderness-inspired looks. The cladding is much more prominent, it has new lights up front, and Subaru packed it with a number of new tech features.

One year on from the Pathfinder being all-new, and Nissan just added an off-road-focused Rock Creek trim. It gets a slightly revised suspension, more power when run on premium fuel, all-terrain tires and a fairly comprehensive styling package. We liked the looks of it on the show floor, and while it may not be a super-capable SUV, having the option of a more rugged-looking SUV is seemingly a good thing to have in dealers these days.

The Leaf is getting outpaced by EVs with far more range, better tech and more power, but that hasn’t stopped Nissan from giving it a small nip-and-tuck. It gets a new grille, light-up Nissan logo, wild new wheels and a couple of aero enhancements.

This special-edition Ford GT pays tribute to the third-place car at the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It re-creates that car’s look via matching paint, red accents and a number of other small details. Ford put it on display next to the car that raced at Le Mans back in 1966, making it an excellent display for any racing history geeks.

A collaboration between Williams Engineering, Italdesign and Deus, this electric hypercar is planned for super-low production, but incredibly high performance. Output is meant to be “more than 2,200 horsepower” and it has a claimed 0-62 mph time of 1.99 seconds. Only 99 are meant to be built, but we know that will be a tough, uphill battle to accomplish. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a Deus outside of the N.Y. Auto Show stand one day.

Yes, it’s another Huracán variant. This one steals a lot of the go-fast STO parts, but pairs them with a much more subdued appearance. It does well to make the appearance stand out as different from other Huracáns, and the 631 horsepower being sent to the rear wheels sound like Italian supercar bliss.

2023 BMW X7 M60i

BMW didn’t bring it to the show floor, but we still got to see the refreshed X7 in New York this week. The design both inside and out gets a heavy revamping. Its look certainly isn’t for everyone, but nobody can deny that the car is turning heads. We’re impressed with the new interior, and the base xDrive40i powertrain gets a huge performance boost, giving the entry-level X7 a whopping 375 horsepower.

Debuting alongside the regular X7 was the Alpina XB7 that received its own styling tweaks to keep it current. It also adds 8 horsepower, bringing it up to 621 ponies from the twin-turbo V8.

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

It wasn’t on the show floor, but Genesis still revealed it in New York during auto show time. The X Speedium Coupe Concept is far and away the most beautiful thing there. Its shooting brake/fastback design is long and wide, and its proportions make it a total stunner. The concept is electric, and while Genesis hasn’t committed to putting it into production, we can hope to see it on the roads one day.

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

For whatever reason, Fiat brought the Europe-only electric 500 to N.Y. Our Joel Stocksdale took a close look at it, and made a case for why Stellantis should bring the little EV to America.

Radwood showed up with a large collection of epic cars from the 1980s and 1990s. They were easily the coolest part of the show, and if you’re in town, it may be worth going just to see this group of cars at the Javits Center.

Lastly, Alfa brought the Tonale for us to check out in a gorgeous Montreal Green paint. It’s a sharp little crossover in the flesh, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how this Alfa drives.

Related video:

2022 Kia EV6 and Acura NSX Type S driven | Autoblog Podcast #715

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. The car chat begins this week with a review of the 2022 Kia EV6, followed by Zac’s drive of the 2022 Acura NSX Type-S. Then they discuss Autoblog’s new long-term loan, a 2022 BMW 330e xDrive. They’ve also been driving the Ford Explorer Timberline and Kia Sorento Hybrid.

In the news, they discuss the soon-to-be-revealed Alfa Romeo Tonale, as well as the recently unveiled Aston Martin DBX707. Finally, Greg talks about a historical Detroit landmark, the old American Motors Company headquarters, which is set to be demolished.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #715

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Top 10 Non-Rally All-Wheel Drive Race Cars

We tend to look at all-wheel drive as one of more recent automotive inventions, but its roots could be traced way back to the dawn of motorsports years and the 1903 Spyker 60-HP four-wheel drive racing car. But this drivetrain found its ground in rallying, courtesy of the ice breaking Group B Audi Quattro and Lancia Delta that followed.

In between Spyker and Audi, a number of engineers and companies have experimented in the earlier eras of motorsport, trying to make cars faster around the tracks. But as many have found out, this system didn’t always give contenders the edge. Later on, all-wheel drive was heavily regulated and more or less unanimously dismissed, but some cars in recent years used power on both axles to their advantage.

Given that all-wheel drive cars were much more successful in rallying than in closed course racing, a number of cars on the list were chosen for interesting backstories, unique engineering solutions and cool effect rather than results in their respective competition formats. So, let’s go!

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #1: Porsche Cisitalia Typ 360

Porsche Cisitalia Typ 360 in showroomVia: Drivetribe.

Cisitalia is a name highly respected for its immense impact on the modern sports car world, yet rarely known outside of enthusiast circles. The reason for that are financial troubles that stranded Piero Dusio’s quest to produce Italy’s finest automotive marque.

Anyway, if you think the 959 PSK was the first all-wheel drive system engineered by the Porsche family, you’d be wrong, because the Cisitalia Typ 360 open wheel racer came way earlier. By far the most advanced car of the post-WW2 Grand Prix revival era, this mid-engined open wheeler was designed by Ferdinand Porsche himself through 1946 and 1947.

The Typ 360 featured a supercharged 1.5-liter flat-12, a sequential manual gearbox and selectable all-wheel drive, allowing the driver to activate the system whenever they deemed necessary.

Sadly, the Typ 360 never got to race as it was faced with Dusio’s bankruptcy, but the lone example was fortunately preserved, and it now resides in the Porsche Museum.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #2: Ferguson Climax P99

Ferguson Climax P99 driven by Stirling MossVia: Motor Sport Magazine.

The early 1960s were a turning point for race cars as an increasing number of open wheelers turned to mid-engined layout, which proved to offer far better weight distribution, thus improving overall performance. Among those revolutionary cars, one front-engined Formula 1 car stood apart for going in the exact opposite direction.

The Ferguson Climax P99 was a car envisioned by racer Tony Rolt and through working with Claude Hill and Harry Ferguson, the P99 was born. Sadly, Ferguson didn’t see the car in action as he passed in 1960, but the work on the car was completed for the 1961 season.

The Ferguson Climax P99 had less than a stellar debut at the 1961 British Empire Trophy, crashing on lap 2 of its inaugural race, only to be disqualified from the 1961 British Grand Prix, the next event it appeared on. However, at the 1961 International Gold Cup event at Oulton Park, Sir Stirling Moss drove it to victory, the first for an all-wheel drive Formula 1 car and the last for a front-engined one.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #3: STP-Paxton Turbocar

STP Paxton Turbocar driven on track by Parnelli JonesVia: Road & Track.

The late 1960s were an era of freedom and wild experiments even in the racing world, meaning turbine-powered cars were a thing for a few visionary constructors. Conceived by Ken Wellis and backed up by Andy Granatelli of STP fame, the STP-Paxton Turbocar, or Silent Sam as it was dubbed by the press, was one of the most advanced racing cars of its era.

Powered by a 500 horsepower ST6B-62 gas turbine engine with no clutch or gearbox and with Ferguson all-wheel drive, the Turbocar put on a show at the 1967 Indianapolis 500, where Parnelli Jones led throughout the race—until the transmission gave out with just eight miles to go. The car raced once more at the 1968 Indianapolis 500, but with no success as its driver Joe Leonard crashed it during practice.

A modified version of the same engine was used to power the Lotus Type 56 experimental Grand Prix car which also featured all-wheel drive. Colin Chapman first campaigned the car at the 1968 Indy 500. In Formula 1, the Type 56 had its best result at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, where Emerson Fittipaldi piloted it to eighth place.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #4: Matra MS84

Matra MS84 on track in black and white photoVia: Wikipedia.

Be it in civilian use or on the racetracks, Matra was well-known for unorthodox and experimental cars, so it’s no wonder it had a foray into all-wheel drive Formula One cars during the late sixties.

The Matra MS84, a predecessor to the 1970 Matra-Simca MS 120, was more related to Jackie Stewart’s 1969 championship-winning MS80, built on a steel tubular chassis rather than aluminum monocoque. The Cosworth V8 was mated to Ferguson all-wheel drive system and the front brakes were moved inboard as well.

Despite all the efforts, the MS84 didn’t prove successful, with Johnny Servoz-Gavin scoring sixth at the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix. It was, however, the best result for a rear-wheel drive car at that event.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #5: Porsche 961

White Porsche 961 on trackVia: Total 911.

The highly advanced Porsche 959 proto-hypercar was designed to conform to FIA’s Group B regulations and as such it featured a highly advanced all-wheel drive system (PSK).

The Group B rulebook applied both to close circuit racing and rallying, so Porsche eventually outed the 959’s racing derivatives to two of the most famous events in each discipline. The rallied-up 959 won the 1986 Dakar Rally, while the Porsche 961 entered the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing at respectable seventh overall.

The 961 had two more appearances, at the 1986 24 Hours of Daytona and 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans—where it eventually crashed and caught fire, prompting Porsche to cancel the project for the remainder of the season. Today, this car is on display at the Porsche Museum, finished in its iconic Rothmans livery.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #6: Bugatti EB110 SS LM

Blue Bugatti EB 110 SS LM on trackVia: Twitter.

The Porsche 961 wasn’t the only four-wheel drive supercar to test its sophisticated mechanics on the world’s most famous endurance race, since the Bugatti EB110 SS famously entered the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. Competing in the GT1 category, it showed heroic pace, qualifying 5th in its class and 17th overall.

Team owner Michel Hommell and engineers from Campogalliano managed to shed more than 600 lb of weight in order to retain the EB110’s all-wheel drive system. Sadly, a number of mechanical troubles plagued this independent entry on the very race day, starting from the fuel tank leak in the opening stages of the race all the way to turbo failures.

Hommell’s dreams of returning Bugatti to its glorious days at Le Mans finally came crashing down in the closing hours of the race when a punctured tire caused the car to crash, rendering it unable to finish.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #7: Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO

Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO on trackVia: Top Gear.

Audi so utterly dominated the 1988 Trans-Am series in a 2.2-liter compact sedan that the governing body banned it for the subsequent season, but how did that exactly happen? The secret (or not so much, given that the car had the word “quattro” inscribed literally all over it) was in the car’s all-wheel drive.

The 500-odd horsepower machinery was powered by a longitudinally mounted inline-five sending power to all four wheels via a center Torsen differential and limited slip differentials in the front and rear. Give that rally-dominating technology to world-class drivers Hurley Haywood, Hans-Joachim Stuck, and Walter Rohrl, and you’ll end up with 8 wins in 13 races.

Following the 1988 ban, the car moved to the IMSA series, where Audi’s engineers modified the base car even further into a carbon composite silhouette racer on a tubular frame with upwards of 700 German ponies. Missing the season-opening Sebring and Daytona due to the car still being in development, Audi finished the season in second place mainly thanks to Haywood and Stuck’s phenomenal driving.

The 1989 season was also the final one for the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO, as Audi focused on the domestic DTM racing championship, giving America one of the sleekest, coolest and most capable import race cars of all time.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #8: Alfa Romeo 155 Ti DTM

Alfa Romeo 155 Ti DTM on trackVia: Collier Automedia.

In 1993 FIA introduced Class 1 and Class 2 Touring Cars, with the former allowing a greater degree of liberty, effectively turning touring cars to silhouette racers rather than race-ready variants of their respective roadgoing counterparts. For Alfa Corse, that meant only one thing: thoroughly re-engineering the already competitive 155 sedan it campaigned in the DTM championship.

The new Alfa Romeo 155 initially got a longitudinally mounted 60° 2.5-liter V6 producing astonishing 420 horsepower at 11,500 RPM, while the power figures grew to 483 horsepower at 11,900 RPM in 1996, courtesy of a new 90° 2.5-liter V6. The all-wheel drive was sourced from none other than the Lancia Delta Integrale HF, the most dominating rally car of the era.

In 1993, Nicola Larini dominated the championship, yet himself and Alessandro Nannini had to settle for third and fourth respectively in the 1994 season. Year 1995 didn’t bring much for Alfa Romeo, and for 1996, DTM was merged into a series dubbed International Touring Car Championship with only three entries: Opel, Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo.

Even though Opel won the 1996 ITC, hardly anyone remembers. The Martini-branded Alfa 155 was the car everyone remembered this series for.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #9: Audi R18 e-tron quattro

Audi R18 e-tron quattro racing on trackVia: Audi AG.

Looking back at Audi’s touring car efforts, it seems that quattro was the only all-wheel drive system successful both in rallying and track racing. Another testament to this claim is a Le Mans-conquering R18 e-tron quattro.

The utmost evolution of the R18 LMP1 prototype, the R18 e-tron quattro was a 3.7-liter V6 diesel-hybrid in which the front wheels were driven by energy accumulated during braking. As per the regulations, the power on the front axle was available only during speeds upwards of 75 mph, meaning that the R18 e-tron quattro didn’t have permanent all-wheel drive like other cars on the list.

Still, this car is remembered for its great results. The R18 e-tron quattro won at the Le Mans in 2012, 2013 and 2014 marking the end of an era for Audi domination in the WEC championship. After Audi, Porsche had its winning streak with the equally impressive 919 Hybrid prototype.

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #10: Toyota TS050 Hybrid

Toyota TS050 Hybrid on race trackVia: Toyota.

Toyota’s bid to prove itself as a top contender in motorsports produced its first results in 2018, when the Japanese giant finally tasted victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after narrowly missing the title in 2016 and 2017. Toyota repeated its success in 2019 and 2020 as well, and the car which brought it victory was the TS050 Hybrid.

The Toyota TS050 utilized a mid-mounted 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged petrol V6 and two motor generator units—one powering the front axle and the other sending additional oomph to the rear. A combination of power, reliability and experienced crews led the TS050 Hybrid to become only the second Japanese car to win at the Le Mans, the first being Mazda 787B in 1991.

After the TS050 had its three back to back victories, Toyota claimed another Le Mans title in 2021 in the new Hypercar class with the GR010, a car with a bright future at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Best of the Current Alfa Romeo Model Lineup

As a brand, Alfa Romeo has looked to reinvent itself with a concerted resurgence in the North American markets, after a somewhat brief and unextraordinary appearance in the later half of the 20th century.

This movement officially kicked off in 2014, when the company introduced its affordable, lightweight, mid-engined sports coupe – the Alfa Romeo 4C – to the region. Never lacking in charisma or personality, the 4C would go on to become the brand’s poster model.

Alfa Romeo’s brand-rebuild was not going to be a one-man team, with the company unveiling its 4-door saloon model – the Alfa Romeo Giulia – at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Fast forward another year, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover SUV would also make its debut.

On a relatively small, but considerably effective scale, Alfa Romeo has made some ground in the North American markets thanks to this strategy. However, as we’ve crested into 2021, there have been some notable changes in direction that the company is taking going forward.

Alfa Romeo has officially axed production of the 4C Spider – having already taken the 4C Coupe off the market a year prior – with nothing in the pipeline for a direct successor. Production ended in December 2020 with a special limited edition Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo. It pays tribute to the 33 Stradale; the extremely rare and iconic Italian mid-engined sports car of the late 1960s and the production run has been capped for the U.S. market at just 33 units.

Their focus will now be on their more mainstream and profitable models, such as the aforementioned Giulia and Stelvio. It is important to note as well, that there will still be an Alfa Romeo 2-door coupe – known as the GTV – joining the roster later on, which will be built upon the same architecture as the Giulia and Stelvio. Their new compact crossover SUV called the Tonale has already been slated for production in 2021, and will slot into the line-up as Alfa Romeo’s entry-level offering. Both the GTV and Tonale are expected to debut as 2022 models.

Here are the best brand new Alfa Romeo models you can purchase today.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA / GTAm

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Qadrifoglio GTA/GTAm

We really have a sweet tooth for cars like this, and the GTA and GTAm are certainly the most indulging models in Alfa Romeo’s current lineup. This hardcore version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia can be had standard with Sabelt six-point harnesses, a roll bar taking the place of the rear seats, a more spartan interior, carbon fiber bucket seats, and a redesigned front splitter and rear wing. Designed to compete against the best and brightest from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, the GTA is an exclusive variant of the Giulia of which only 500 units will be produced worldwide. The GTA and GTAm are about as track-ready as any production car can get, thanks to its up-tuned 540 hp Ferrari-derived engine, and its insanely aggressive aerodynamic and chassis upgrades. It’s ready to dominate the track. It’s exclusive. It’s quite simply incredible.

Alfa Romeo GTV

Alfa Romeo GTV Render

Ok, so the Alfa Romeo GTV isn’t out just yet – but it will be, and you can already put a deposit on one (meaning you can technically buy one today). The brand new GTV looks set to really inject some energy into Alfa Romeo’s lineup, especially with the 4C now discontinued. The (hopefully) inevitable Quadrifoglio model could be the one which brings the most fanfare, with a hybrid drivetrain rumored to be part of the car’s main infrastructure. Various other configurations, including a drop-top Spider version, would make the model more palatable to a broader audience. It should also feature similar powertrain offerings as the rest of the current line up, with a base version coming equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four-banger. Further up the chain, the inevitable Quadrifoglio trim will offer the more powerful (and possibly hybridized) 2.9L twin-turbocharged engine. All indications point to this being a proper car from Alfa Romeo.

50 Best Engines of All Time

I’m going to steal a line from an early-2000s TV commercial starring Jacques Villeneuve on behalf on Honda, and then use it as a segue into articulating the whole purpose of this list. “In every Honda car, there’s a Honda engine” he would ultimately exclaim at the end – the brand’s powerful marketing slogan which arguably has less backing these days, but has withstood the test of time nevertheless.

Similar self-proclamations could easily be adapted for use on any one of the world’s most iconic automobiles, of which there are many, yet at the same time, so few. Whether they be small, but vivacious 4-cylinder engines in compact roadsters, versatile 6-cylinder engines which have no meaningful shortcomings despite their apparent size handicap, V8 engines which never fail to deliver a classic form of tenacity and physicality, or epic V10 and V12 engines oozing with verve, muscle and dexterity…

…there can be no doubt that each and everyone one of our favorite sports cars are a product of the power plants that breathe life, identity and purpose into them.

Here’s our shortlist for the “50 Best Engines of All Time”, curated (and categorized by # of cylinders) for your reading pleasure:

“The crème de la crème of unadulterated performance” – Best V12 Engines Ever Produced

As far as internal combustion engines go, V12 engines are at the zenith. This is while still acknowledging the omnipotent W16 motors seen in today’s Bugatti hypercars, while not forgetting the likes of mainstream automakers – such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz – also having flirted with the idea of series-production V16 engines in the past. With the 16-cylinder power plants essentially synonymous with the French automaker, the V12 is the de facto ruler for the broader spectrum of ultra-high-performance automobiles.

The diversity of this list fully demonstrates the universal appeal that V12s have around the world, to both producers and consumers alike. This unanimous and long-spanning support for the technology has helped to spawn some of the most impressive engines ever produced. The usual suspects are at play here, with Ferrari and Lamborghini making their totally not unexpected appearances. The British – via Aston Martin, Jaguar, and GMA – have shared their own highly impressive interpretations as well, while more conventional brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Toyota have had their say.

For the most part, these engines are naturally aspirated and characteristically rev all the way to the moon. In totality, each and every one of them is nothing short of a legend.

Ferrari Colombo V12Ferrari Colombo V12 Engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 Engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Jaguar V12

Jaguar V12 Engine

Jaguar’s first foray into the world of V12 engines began in motorsport as early as 1951, with its 1964 XJ13 Le Mans race car eventually serving as the trickle-down technology source for its production cars. For the latter, this would begin with a 5.3L naturally-aspirated unit in the 1971 Jaguar E-Type and would even go on to be used by other automakers such as Daimler and Panther. An HE (or “high-efficiency”) version of this engine would be released in 1981 – featuring on the XJ12, XJ-S, and Daimler Double-Six – which improved fuel economy by almost 50% compared to its predecessor, without affecting performance.

In its final iteration, the V12 would evolve into a 6.0L HE unit which produced as much as 333 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. It was likely to be some variation of this engine which was initially being marketed for use on the Jaguar XJ220, before the British automaker controversially decided on a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 engine instead. The last Jaguar V12 engined was produced on April 17, 1997.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 Engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 Engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 Engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 Engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE Engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.
That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 Engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12 Engine

This Bugatti engine has had a very decorated career, albeit a short one, which makes it all the more impressive. Featured exclusively on the (1991-1995) Bugatti EB110, this 3.5L quad-turbocharged V12 is responsible for some very notable distinctions. First, it is widely regarded as being one of the catalysts in the revival of the French marque even though it failed to be directly responsible for this. It became the world’s fastest production car of its time, beating the Jaguar XJ220 in the process.

Suffice to say, it grabbed all the headlines, and really, that was the whole point. I mean, for what other purposes would the use of four turbochargers be given the green light for? Sure, it produced a whopping 553 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, but you would have to argue that this likely could’ve been achieved with a more conventional design. After all, quad-turbocharged engines never really proliferated, and there’s probably good science behind why that’s been the case. Nevertheless, there’s nothing un-iconic about a V12 engine with almost as many turbochargers as you can count on one hand; and we love it all the same.

“10’s all around for these special and iconic high-performance motors” – Best V10 Engines Ever Produced

Most people probably don’t know it, but V10 engines are kind of the awkward middle child within the high-performance engine family. They are often overlooked for their smaller, more compact, and just-as-spirited V8 siblings, yet still somehow manage to cut a notably less brawny figure next to the larger V12 motors. In terms of outcomes, this is probably why even the most hardcore car enthusiasts will have a difficult time recalling more V10 production cars than you can count on one hand – there are less of them than you’re likely thinking, and perhaps there should be more of them for this reason; but that’s for a different discussion.

Interestingly, it’s the Volkswagen Group which currently has the monopoly on supplying this particular engine, via Lamborghini and Audi production models which are under the corporation’s umbrella (plus its namesake Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI – more on that below). Meanwhile, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ferrari would at the very least have delved into the art of the V10 -which they did, though only to produce such engines for Formula 1 cars from 1996 to 2005.

Quantifiably speaking, yes, there are less V10s out there than the other engines most closely related to it. However, each V10 engine mentioned on this list is undeniably iconic and rightfully potent, particulary when it comes to panache. So while this middle child might not always steal the spotlight, nor hog affection that goes to its siblings, it is in no way lacking any of the talent in its DNA.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection’) and is seen Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo

The sharing of tech (and a healthily-stocked pantry of engine parts) between Lamborghini and Audi spans back more than a decade now, and the engine used in the C6-generation Audi RS 6 has to go down as one of the best collaborations to date. Derived from the outgoing 5.0L naturally-aspirated V10 unit from the Lamborghini Gallardo, the motor in the RS 6 was repurposed with a pair of turbochargers. This allowed the super-wagon to produce 571 hp and 478 lb-ft of torque, on its way to becoming Audi’s most powerful car ever, in 2010. While it was handily more powerful than its competition – the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 – it also cost quite a bit more (almost double, after conversion) which is likely the reason why it didn’t reach US shores.

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V

Unlike the C6-generation Audi RS 6, the 5.0L unit used in the third-generation Audi S6 is less related to a Lamborghini-equivalent and has more in common with an Audi 4.2L V8. For starters, it has a longer stroke and wider bore than the Lamborghini 5.0L V10 seen in the Gallardo, making for the better low-end power which is more befitting of the larger sedan. When considering the internals, the 5.2L motor in the S6 more closely resembles the aforementioned 4.2L V8 which was once used in the B6-generation Audi S4. Thanks to the tweaks mentioned above, this engine was good for 444 hp in the four-ringed luxury sports sedan.

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list, is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car which participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols, but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders with the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

VW Touareg V10 TDI

What makes this particular automobile so remarkable is not that it’s a Volkswagen, or an SUV, or diesel-powered, but that it’s all of those things with a twin-turbocharged 10-cylinder engine thrown into the mix. This Frankenstein-ish power plant would only feature for a couple of years before the whole Dieselgate fiasco, and had it not been for the calamity which ensued, it surely would have garnered more recognition than it has mustered to this day. All of its characteristics exude a bias towards low-end power, and the stats certainly reflect this – 309 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm. Oh, and don’t forget, a very utilitarian tow rating of 7,700 lbs.

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10

Imagine a Viper engine swapped into, then modified for use in a Dodge Ram pick-up truck, and voila. So what exactly does this magic trick entail? Well for starters, in July 2004, a Dodge Ram SRT-10 driven by NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan, set the Guinness World Record (and the SCCA record) for the world’s fastest production truck when it achieved an average top speed of 154.587 mph. This was all possible with the help of the 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque that the naturally-aspirated motor produced, with 90% of its torque available at 1,500 rpm. It could even tow up to 7,500 lbs; though we would bet that most owners would forgo any procedures that might keep them from optimizing their 1/4 mile times.

“The greatest of the eight-est” – Best V8 Engines Ever Produced

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-medal”, the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a loud roar – because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

While high-performance V8 engines have normally been reserved for exotics – and muscle cars, in the more distant past – its application has been seen more in the mainstream these days. With the proliferation of automotive technologies, the V8 engine has become a gateway into the world of attainable supercar performance; each new engine is better than the one before it.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355, 360 Modena and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter. It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine, and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.

BMW S63

Like other automakers on this list, BMW is no stranger to producing some of the world’s best V8 engines. The latest incarnation would be its masterpiece ‘S63’ – a 4.4L twin-turbocharged engine which produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Thought its true that this grants the quintessential luxury-performance saloon some serious supercar credentials, a look back to days gone by reminds us that engines such as the ‘S62’ and ‘S65′ deserve just as much recognition for their contribution to the Bavarians’ V8 platform. Respectively, each engine displaced 4.9L and 4.0L and were both naturally-aspirated.

Lexus 2UR-GSE

The 2UR-GSE is the latest iteration of Lexus’ increasingly iconic naturally-aspirated V8 power plant. Currently reserved for the marque’s high-performance models – such as the IS F, RC F, GS F, LC 500 and brand-new IS 500 – the 5.0L engine blends typical Lexus reliability with high-revving Japanese character. In its most powerful configuration, the 2UR-GSE produces 475 hp in the Lexus LC 500. Amidst an ever-changing landscape shifting towards hybridization and electrification, we hope that Lexus’ legendary naturally-aspirated V8 lives on for as long as possible

Much like our other selections, the 2UR-GSE owes much of its distinctions to predecessors such as the 1UZ-FE which debuted in 1989. This 4.0L V8 engine has proven to be bulletproof over the test of time, in addition to universal recognition it has received for being smooth, refined and sufficiently powerful for its intended application. It has served as the platform upon which the formidable GSE would eventually be conceived.

Ferrari F136

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

McLaren M830T / M840T

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren are now the world’s artisans of the V8 engine, and few would dispute that. After all it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small black engine family. It continues to be used on the present-day Camaro, with a new version of the engine – known as the LT2 – carrying on the bloodline via the brand new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The LT2 retains the 6.2L capacity but is more powerful that the LT1, producing at least 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in its latest configuration.

This was achieved by designing more efficient air-intakes sand exhaust manifolds, while also featuring a better lubrication system and more resilient camshaft. While it’s not a monster-out-of-the-box like say, Dodge’s Hellcat engine, the lightweight naturally-aspirated powerplant remains perfectly suited for what the Corvette is the best at delivering – brilliant all-around performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable options. The still-relevant LT1 is now being offered as a crate engine via GM’s performance division, with its 460 hp on tap for under US$10,000. Project car, anyone?

Audi 4.2L FSI

When Audi’s 4.2L FSI V8 engine was introduced, it was a bit of a departure from what Audi enthusiasts had grown accustomed to over the years. As one of the marques which helped to proliferate the use of turbochargers on production cars, the aforementioned engine first appeared in the 2006 Audi RS4 as a high-revving naturally-aspirated power plant.

Over time, it proved to be a fan-favorite in spite of its lack of forced induction and featured on such models as the RS5 and mid-engined R8. As a naturally-aspirated unit, the FSI V8 was able to rev up to 8,250 rpm and had a distinctively exotic exhaust note, regardless of the model it was mounted in.

The engine remained naturally-aspirated up until its use in the 444 hp Audi RS5; since then, recent iterations of the engine are now turbocharged and produce up to 600 hp.

Mercedes-AMG M178

The modern day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring.

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made specially for cars such as the 526 hp Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Suffice to say, the Voodoo was a match made in heaven for the line-up’s most balanced and track-focused Mustang models. By utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, the engine is weighs less and revs faster and higher (to 8,250 rpm) than the otherwise standard engines in other models. Its configuration also gives it an almost-exotic exhaust note, border-lining on ‘un-American’ – but owners won’t mind, as their domestic car hangs just fine with the exotics and other high-end sports cars on the race-track.

Following the template of past flat-plane V8 engines, the Voodoo applies the similar principles as engines that once powered hot-rods and muscle cars back in the 20th century – with impressive bang-for-buck, the engines produced big horsepower at a fraction of the cost of what was used in European sports cars and even domestic rivals. This provided owners with a rightfully potent automobile, and extra money left in the bank. It’s hard to argue with that!

“The Smooth. The Superb. The Sublime. The best 6-cylinder engines of all time” – Best 6-Cylinder Engines Ever Produced

In this modern automotive era, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the wide array of supercars, hypercars and now EVs, to choose from. At this level of the game, the V12 engine is often seen as the standard bearer, while a V8 is the lowest benchmark. It’s no wonder the 6-cylinder engine often gets overlooked, despite continuing to power some of the world’s greatest sports cars and supercars. This isn’t just hyperbole. Case in point: the Porsche 911.

With the help of turbochargers, superchargers and in some cases, electric motors, 6-cylinder engines can often squeeze out just as much performance as their larger counterparts, while retaining the benefits of being more compact, lightweight and fuel-efficient. So while they aren’t typically as flashy nor headline-making as the V12s and V8s of the world, they are at the very least, an extremely versatile and dependable option to have in the engine war chest.

It’s no wonder the proliferation of the 6-cylinder engine has been democratized by auto manufacturers internationally, with the platform remaining ever-present across all continents. The Germans, Japanese and Italians are amongst those who persist with their undying trust in the 6-cylinder engine; so much so that it is still being improved and continues to power some of the best automobiles to this day.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74 engine

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Nissan RB26DETT

Nissan RB26DETT engine

The 2.6L twin-turbocharged inline-6 from Nissan – the RB26DETT – has become something of a legend. It would take nothing short of the absolute best from the Japanese automaker to produce something worthy of powering a car amicably referred to as “Godzilla”, and the RB26DETT has never disappointed. While it was limited to 280 hp from the factory – thanks to the gentleman’s agreement between Japanese manufacturers to cap engine outputs at the time – the R34 Skyline GT-R was anything but docile, even when left untinkered.

The engine’s true capabilities were the worst kept secret in the industry, with a simple flash of the ECU (to effectively remove the restrictions) plus a few bolt-on performance modifications allowing the RB26DETT to produce much, much more.

Porsche MDH.NA

Porsche MDH.NA

Suffice to say, the 991 GT2 RS is the absolute peak of 6-cylinder performance. The GT2 RS in its entirety is more closely based on a Turbo S than it is to its closest GT relative, the 911 GT3 RS. After all, at the heart of the GT2 is a revamped version of the Turbo S engine (known as MDH.NA), while the GT3 has its own unique naturally-aspirated 4.0L power plant. The 3.8L flat-6 was fitted with larger variable-geometry turbos and was given an increase in peak boost to 22.5 psi, which is 24% higher than the Turbo S.

Larger intercoolers, a water-spray system, larger exhaust manifold primaries and redesigned pistons work in synergy with the aforementioned to provide the GT2 RS with 700 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has long buried the traditional notion of “turbo-lag” in its cars with VarioCam Plus and the GT2 RS is no different, making peak torque from 2,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm.

Honda C30A

Honda C30A engine

The original 1990 Acura NSX was fitted with a 3.0L naturally-aspirated V6 engine which produced 270 hp. At the time, that was more than sufficient to go shoulder-to-shoulder with any of its supercar contemporaries; particularly Ferrari, its target rival. What truly made the C30A – and as a whole, the NSX – so special, was that it broke the mold of what a supercar could and should ought to be: reliable and useable. Almost blasphemous thinking at the time, the idea of the “everyday supercar” was still a twinkle in the eye of exotic car auto makers.

The engine demanded very little, if anything, above the expected maintenance laundry list and associated costs of keeping a Honda Accord running. It was refined. It performed. It was comfortable. You could drive it whenever you wanted to. The NSX is widely recognized as one of the forefathers of the modern supercar, going on to inspire the likes of the McLaren F1. That puts it in pretty high regard, I’d say.

Alfa Romeo ‘Busso’ V6

Alfa Romeo 'Busso' V6 engine

There is no other power plant on this list which has been as long-serving or as versatile as the ‘Busso’ engine. Named after its chief designer, Giuseppe Busso, the foundation of this engine was its 60° V6 configuration. From there, a colorful variation of engines were built upon it, with displacements ranging 2.0L to 3.2L plus the use of turbochargers (or none at all) depending on the intended application of the automobile it was being fitted to. This meant you could see a Busso producing as little as 130 hp in a 1983 Alfa Romeo Alfa 6, and up to 247 hp in a 2005 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA.

Regardless of its specs, every Busso engine shares the same reputation for being remarkably smooth, having good low-end power delivery, and an incredibly unique engine note at higher rpms. Needless to say, the Busso would go on to be the centerpiece of the brand for a good 30+ years.

Nissan VR38DETT

Nissan VR38DETT engine

While there was a general expectation that the latest iteration of the GT-R would (or should) be powered by a V8 engine prior to its official release, Nissan inevitably stuck to its guns and continued the tradition of powering its flagship car with its tried and trusted 6-cylinder unit. This time, the engine would be produced in a 60° V6 configuration to ensure that the massively sized and massively powerful engine, could fit under the front hood.  In the very first R35 GT-R cars, the 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 produced 485 hp, before being upped to 545 hp for the 2012 refresh.

Since then, the hand-crafted power plants have been continuously improved over the years, with the most powerful factory version of the car – the Nissan GT-R Nismo – producing some 600 hp. Perfectly matched with Nissan’s dual-clutch transmission and proven all-wheel drive system, the VR38DETT continues a legend while forging one of its own, all at the same time.

Jaguar JRV-6

Jaguar JRV-6 engine

It’s rather humorous that the JRV-6 would not have made it on this list if not for a gaff on the part of Jaguar, who had originally marketed and went as far as promising that the XJ220 would be delivered to its first customers with a V12 engine. Nevertheless, the eventually-fitted twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder unit was borrowed from a Group B Rally car – the Rover Metro 6R4. It was rightfully potent, and actually made more power than the naturally-aspirated V12 which was originally proposed.

Able to produce up to 542 hp, the XJ220 would even go on to become the fastest production car in the world at the time, topping out at a brow-raising 217 mph. While its credentials were proven in the real world, I’m sure many buyers were still a bit miffed at the fact that the final product came with half the number of cylinders they had put down their deposits down for.

Toyota 2JZ-GTE

Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine

The Toyota Supra was equipped with the ubiquitous 3.0L inline-6 2JZ engine in all its models. The most recognized version of the Supra – the Turbo – possessed a twin-turbocharged engine known as the 2JZ-GTE, which was specced with up to 326 hp. The two turbochargers operated sequentially and not in parallel. This essentially meant that one of the turbochargers was designed to provide near-maximum torque as early as 1,800 rpm, while the second turbine would be engaged in a “pre-boost” mode until around 4,000 rpm where thereafter both turbochargers would be spinning at full blast. This translated to better low-end throttle response, less ‘turbo lag’, increased boost at higher engine speeds, and a relatively linear delivery of power – all of which was difficult to achieve in unison, with the technology available at the time.

The 2JZ-GTE-equipped Turbo model was able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and complete the standing ¼ mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. Top speed was recorded at 155 mph.

Alfa Romeo 690T

Alfa Romeo 690T engine

The fact that the engine in the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA is derived from the Ferrari F154 platform, automatically puts it in some highly esteemed company. After all, other variations of the F154 are used in the likes of cars such as the Maserati Quattroporte, Ferrari F8 Tributo and even the hybridized Ferrari SF90. While the F154 takes on a V8 configuration, the Alfa Romeo variant (known as the 690T) is a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 which produces 540 hp. Capable of 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, the 690T isn’t exactly blistering by today’s standards, but it does become an integral part of the car’s overall philosophy of balance and agility; this was probably one of the main reasons Alfa Romeo chose to go with a smaller unit rather than going the copy/paste route with the Ferrari setup.

The GTA / GTAm are about as track-ready as any production car can get when also factoring in its insanely aggressive aerodynamic and chassis upgrades.

“As far as four bangers go, these are the best” – Best 4-Cylinder Engines Ever Produced

There are a variety of reasons manufacturers choose to fit a 4-cylinder engine in their cars. They’re compact, lightweight and typically more fuel-efficient compared to all other mainstream alternatives. This makes them ideal for smaller cars – particularly those with economy being top of mind – but can serve just as well in heavier cars (which are often AWD) with a turbocharger providing some assistance.

For the Japanese automakers, the proliferation of 4-cylinder engines was born mostly out of necessity; stricter emissions standards as well as restrictions on engine and vehicle sizes for their domestic market, forced them to think smaller. This would in no way become a hindrance on engineering ingenuity – quite the opposite actually – as many of these companies would become the world’s artisans for the sport compact car. This unwavering dedication to mastering one’s craft has produced the likes of the F and K Series engines from Honda, and the 4G63T and EJ25 from Mitsubishi and Subaru respectively; both of whom would go on to become one another’s legendary rival.

However, the Japanese weren’t the only ones who were both industrious and creative when it came to the art of the four banger. With the ever-growing popularity of fuel-sipping and smaller vehicles world wide, the Europeans also began to fashion their own interpretation of the ideal compact-efficient package. The Scandinavians for one, have been unapologetic about their extreme commitment to eco-friendliness for many decades now, with the likes of Swedish automakers Saab and Volvo leading the charge in their continent.

The Americans, through Ford, would eventually bring their aptly-named EcoBoost engines to the market, while Italian outfit Fiat (owned by Chrysler) produces power units that are small in scale, but never lacking in character nor performance.

Honda F20C/F22CHonda F22C engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Volvo Redblock B230FT

Volve 2.3L B230FT engine

Volvos – particularly some of the older platforms and their engines – have been the subject of a growing following over the years, as performance enthusiasts and grassroots circuit drivers alike have discovered the now hard-to-keep-secret that is the Redblock B230FT engine. Built on a decidedly Scandinavian philosophy of minimalism and straight-forwardness, the Redblock engines have a reputation above all else, for being extremely bulletproof. This is the reason you see more of those old-school Volvo wagons and sedans (amicably referred to as “Turbo Bricks”) on the road today than maybe you should.

However, what is becoming increasingly significant about these cars is the value their engines bring to the larger automotive community. Because of their inherent indestructible qualities, the B230FT is becoming a popular choice for reliable high-horsepower builds, and even engine swaps into cars with native power plants that are otherwise less dependable.

Ford EcoBoostFord Mustang EcoBoost Engine

Ford’s EcoBoost engines are amongst the most recent and significant line of 4-cylinder engines being produced by any manufacturer today. While there is certainly a monumental shift towards electrification – of which Ford is very much a part of – the petrol-powered engine remains relevant and continues to be improved amidst stricter emissions standards. Besides going full-on EV or hybrid, there is no other drivetrain unit that is more fuel efficient than a modern day turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

They’re also capable of extraordinary performance, with the 2.3L EcoBoost unit in the Ford Focus RS good for around 350 hp. Recognizing the all-around benefits of the EcoBoost, Ford has used the powerplant throughout its entire lineup; you can find one in a Ford Mustang, a Ford Ranger, and even a Ford Bronco. Though it’s true that the internal combustion engine will be phased out sooner than later, the EcoBoost will be about as good as it gets before the transition is complete.

Toyota 3S-GTE

Toyota 3S-GTE engine

It can be argued that the Toyota 3S-GTE does not get all the plaudits it deserves, because it shared the stage with the A80 Supra (and its 2JZ engine) which would ultimately end up stealing the show. But the 3S-GTE has a lot of things going for it, not least of them being that it was used to power two of the most legendary Japanese sports cars – the Toyota MR2 and Toyota Celica GT-Four.

Typical of the brand and the era, the 3S-GTE was basically bulletproof thanks to its cast iron block and forged aluminum internals. When properly cared for, the engine has a shelf life of around 180,000 miles, which is pretty impressive coming from a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 which produced 252 hp, and was built in the mid 90s.

Honda K Series

Honda 2.0L K20C1 engine

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Mitsubishi 4G63T

Mitsubishi 4G63T engine

Tracing its roots as far back as the early 1980s, the 2.0L 4G63 engines have truly withstood the test of time. The first turbocharged version of the engine, known as the 4G63T, was first seen in the 1998 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. This engine would go on to become the heartbeat of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution line of cars from 1992 to 2007, which would go on to dominate the World Rally Championships. Suffice to say, the 4G63T, through the Lan Evo, would go on to define the brand for the greater part of two decades and also become the company’s most sought after sports car in both road-going and race-only configurations.

Today, the platform remains popular in grassroots rally racing and circuit racing and also for drag racing builds, due to the incredible amount of power it can make with the proper work.

Volkswagen EA888

Volkswagen EA888 engine

While Volkswagen’s EA888 engine is another on this list that wouldn’t have made it if reliability was the key metric, there is no question about the powerplant’s performance potential and impressive fuel economy. Today, it most notably appears in the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 where it produces a smidge less than 300 hp. This, along with being very light weight, makes it an ideal match for a modern hot-hatch and compact sedan, but owners can also benefit from relatively lower costs at the pump (provided that it’s not being hooned all the time).

The EA888 engines are extremely popular amongst the tuning community, as a simple build using mostly bolt-ons can easily yield a reliable 500+ hp. Suffice to say, the EA888 is also a solid platform upon which VAG can build more powerful and advanced versions in the future, which I’m sure we’ll be seeing in newer generations of the aforementioned cars and more.

Subaru EJ20

Subaru EJ20 engine

Ok. So while the EJ20 probably won’t go on to pip any of the other engines on this list for the “most reliable” awards, it remains a prolific engine that has powered an iconic car for the greater parts of each of the past 3 decades. The car specifically, is the WRX STi, which is one half of an epic rivalry between Japanese (and rally car) giants Subaru and Mitsubishi. Despite the well documented issues with head gasket failures and the like over the years, the EJ20 has still proven itself through the test of time, with the latest iteration of the engine being used as recently as 2019, coinciding with release of the Subaru WRX STi Final Edition.

The EJ20 has never been short on character, with its Boxer configuration and the use of unequal-length headers giving the car its distinctive “burble” – a sound which has become synonymous with the car and instantly recognizable to any moderately trained ear.

Saab B234R

Saab B234R engine

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who remember Saab as a brand, nor as one of the pioneers of bringing turbochargers to the mainstream. But, they were most certainly both of those things, with the company’s heyday taking place during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Saab’s B234R engine was the golden boy of this era; forged internals and an iron block were the backbone of an extremely reliable platform.

In its complete packaging, the turbocharged engine – via a 5-speed manual Saab 9000 Aero – produced 225 hp and a whopping 300 ft-lb of torque. This helped propel the otherwise unassuming euro sedan from 0-60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Undoubtedly quick for its day and capable of so much more. It’s no wonder the car has a niche (but passionate) following to this day.

Fiat MultiAir Turbo

Fiat MultiAir Turbo engine

In my opinion, Fiat has become the de facto micro car producer; at least in North America, where there are far fewer options than in Europe and Asia. Without a doubt, this is in large part owed to fact that Fiat is owned by American automotive conglomerate Chrysler, who leveraged their position to become the dominant force in this market segment. While subcompact cars have yet to really take off west of the Atlantic, Fiat have proven that while micro cars need to be powered by micro engines, their performance can be anything but.

The pinnacle of this is displayed through their 1.3L and 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engines, which have gone on to win numerous awards. Currently, these engines power the Fiat 500X and 500L models, and produce 177 hp and 160 hp respectively, alongside the company’s best-ever fuel consumption and emissions figures.

Best 6-Cylinder Engines Ever Produced

In this modern automotive era, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the wide array of supercars, hypercars and now EVs, to choose from. At this level of the game, the V12 engine is often seen as the standard bearer, while a V8 is the lowest benchmark. It’s no wonder the 6-cylinder engine often gets overlooked, despite continuing to power some of the world’s greatest sports cars and supercars. This isn’t just hyperbole. Case in point: the Porsche 911.

With the help of turbochargers, superchargers and in some cases, electric motors, 6-cylinder engines can often squeeze out just as much performance as their larger counterparts, while retaining the benefits of being more compact, lightweight and fuel-efficient. So while they aren’t typically as flashy nor headline-making as the V12s and V8s of the world, they are at the very least, an extremely versatile and dependable option to have in the engine war chest.

It’s no wonder the proliferation of the 6-cylinder engine has been democratized by auto manufacturers internationally, with the platform remaining ever-present across all continents. The Germans, Japanese and Italians are amongst those who persist with their undying trust in the 6-cylinder engine; so much so that it is still being improved and continues to power some of the best automobiles to this day.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, which we have curated:

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74 engine

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Nissan RB26DETT

Nissan RB26DETT engine

The 2.6L twin-turbocharged inline-6 from Nissan – the RB26DETT – has become something of a legend. It would take nothing short of the absolute best from the Japanese automaker to produce something worthy of powering a car amicably referred to as “Godzilla”, and the RB26DETT has never disappointed. While it was limited to 280 hp from the factory – thanks to the gentleman’s agreement between Japanese manufacturers to cap engine outputs at the time – the R34 Skyline GT-R was anything but docile, even when left untinkered.

The engine’s true capabilities were the worst kept secret in the industry, with a simple flash of the ECU (to effectively remove the restrictions) plus a few bolt-on performance modifications allowing the RB26DETT to produce much, much more.

Porsche MDH.NA

Porsche MDH.NA

Suffice to say, the 991 GT2 RS is the absolute peak of 6-cylinder performance. The GT2 RS in its entirety is more closely based on a Turbo S than it is to its closest GT relative, the 911 GT3 RS. After all, at the heart of the GT2 is a revamped version of the Turbo S engine (known as MDH.NA), while the GT3 has its own unique naturally-aspirated 4.0L power plant. The 3.8L flat-6 was fitted with larger variable-geometry turbos and was given an increase in peak boost to 22.5 psi, which is 24% higher than the Turbo S.

Larger intercoolers, a water-spray system, larger exhaust manifold primaries and redesigned pistons work in synergy with the aforementioned to provide the GT2 RS with 700 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has long buried the traditional notion of “turbo-lag” in its cars with VarioCam Plus and the GT2 RS is no different, making peak torque from 2,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm.

Honda C30A

Honda C30A engine

The original 1990 Acura NSX was fitted with a 3.0L naturally-aspirated V6 engine which produced 270 hp. At the time, that was more than sufficient to go shoulder-to-shoulder with any of its supercar contemporaries; particularly Ferrari, its target rival. What truly made the C30A – and as a whole, the NSX – so special, was that it broke the mold of what a supercar could and should ought to be: reliable and useable. Almost blasphemous thinking at the time, the idea of the “everyday supercar” was still a twinkle in the eye of exotic car auto makers.

The engine demanded very little, if anything, above the expected maintenance laundry list and associated costs of keeping a Honda Accord running. It was refined. It performed. It was comfortable. You could drive it whenever you wanted to. The NSX is widely recognized as one of the forefathers of the modern supercar, going on to inspire the likes of the McLaren F1. That puts it in pretty high regard, I’d say.

Alfa Romeo ‘Busso’ V6

Alfa Romeo 'Busso' V6 engine

There is no other power plant on this list which has been as long-serving or as versatile as the ‘Busso’ engine. Named after its chief designer, Giuseppe Busso, the foundation of this engine was its 60° V6 configuration. From there, a colorful variation of engines were built upon it, with displacements ranging 2.0L to 3.2L plus the use of turbochargers (or none at all) depending on the intended application of the automobile it was being fitted to. This meant you could see a Busso producing as little as 130 hp in a 1983 Alfa Romeo Alfa 6, and up to 247 hp in a 2005 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA.

Regardless of its specs, every Busso engine shares the same reputation for being remarkably smooth, having good low-end power delivery, and an incredibly unique engine note at higher rpms. Needless to say, the Busso would go on to be the centerpiece of the brand for a good 30+ years.

Nissan VR38DETT

Nissan VR38DETT engine

While there was a general expectation that the latest iteration of the GT-R would (or should) be powered by a V8 engine prior to its official release, Nissan inevitably stuck to its guns and continued the tradition of powering its flagship car with its tried and trusted 6-cylinder unit. This time, the engine would be produced in a 60° V6 configuration to ensure that the massively sized and massively powerful engine, could fit under the front hood.  In the very first R35 GT-R cars, the 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 produced 485 hp, before being upped to 545 hp for the 2012 refresh.

Since then, the hand-crafted power plants have been continuously improved over the years, with the most powerful factory version of the car – the Nissan GT-R Nismo – producing some 600 hp. Perfectly matched with Nissan’s dual-clutch transmission and proven all-wheel drive system, the VR38DETT continues a legend while forging one of its own, all at the same time.

Jaguar JRV-6

Jaguar JRV-6 engine

It’s rather humorous that the JRV-6 would not have made it on this list if not for a gaff on the part of Jaguar, who had originally marketed and went as far as promising that the XJ220 would be delivered to its first customers with a V12 engine. Nevertheless, the eventually-fitted twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder unit was borrowed from a Group B Rally car – the Rover Metro 6R4. It was rightfully potent, and actually made more power than the naturally-aspirated V12 which was originally proposed.

Able to produce up to 542 hp, the XJ220 would even go on to become the fastest production car in the world at the time, topping out at a brow-raising 217 mph. While its credentials were proven in the real world, I’m sure many buyers were still a bit miffed at the fact that the final product came with half the number of cylinders they had put down their deposits down for.

Toyota 2JZ-GTE

Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine

The Toyota Supra was equipped with the ubiquitous 3.0L inline-6 2JZ engine in all its models. The most recognized version of the Supra – the Turbo – possessed a twin-turbocharged engine known as the 2JZ-GTE, which was specced with up to 326 hp. The two turbochargers operated sequentially and not in parallel. This essentially meant that one of the turbochargers was designed to provide near-maximum torque as early as 1,800 rpm, while the second turbine would be engaged in a “pre-boost” mode until around 4,000 rpm where thereafter both turbochargers would be spinning at full blast. This translated to better low-end throttle response, less ‘turbo lag’, increased boost at higher engine speeds, and a relatively linear delivery of power – all of which was difficult to achieve in unison, with the technology available at the time.

The 2JZ-GTE-equipped Turbo model was able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and complete the standing ¼ mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. Top speed was recorded at 155 mph.

Alfa Romeo 690T

Alfa Romeo 690T engine

The fact that the engine in the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA is derived from the Ferrari F154 platform, automatically puts it in some highly esteemed company. After all, other variations of the F154 are used in the likes of cars such as the Maserati Quattroporte, Ferrari F8 Tributo and even the hybridized Ferrari SF90. While the F154 takes on a V8 configuration, the Alfa Romeo variant (known as the 690T) is a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 which produces 540 hp. Capable of 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, the 690T isn’t exactly blistering by today’s standards, but it does become an integral part of the car’s overall philosophy of balance and agility; this was probably one of the main reasons Alfa Romeo chose to go with a smaller unit rather than going the copy/paste route with the Ferrari setup.

The GTA / GTAm are about as track-ready as any production car can get when also factoring in its insanely aggressive aerodynamic and chassis upgrades.

Italian Coachbuilder to Release Its First Ever Mid-Engine Build

Italian coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, has been in the business since 1926 and they have big plans to celebrate their 95th anniversary. They plan to unveil a mid-engine coupe but details have been kept under wraps until the big reveal in June. 

According to MotorAuthority, the Milan-based company is said to be releasing a two-seater with a mid-engine – the first-ever mid-engine vehicle to come from the coachbuilder. The new car will likely be based on an Italian car. The design cues for the unreleased car will come from the Aero 3 and the Disco Volante – based on the Ferrari F12 and the Alfa Romeo 8C

Touring Superleggera
Touring Superleggera
Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera Aero 3

Touring says the car is in the final stages of production and has pegged a release of June 2021 – they have also said a more formal unveiling will be appropriated during the 2021 Monterey Car Week held at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in mid-August.

Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Exterior
Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Exterior
Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera Disco Volante

While Touring tends to stick to a dozen production cars the chances are high that the new masterpiece will be available in the US. Last year, Touring launched the Sciadipersia – based on the Maserati GranTurismo, to the US market. 

Cozzi Museum: The Eternal Love for Alfa Romeo

Not everybody knows that in Legnano (Italy), not far away from to historical Alfa Romeo plant of Arese (Milan) a little but great Alfa museum is open for visits. I’m talking about The Fratelli Cozzi Museum which opened its doors in October 2015 thanks to Pietro Cozzi’s passion for the Alfa Romeo brand.

His passion for Alfas led him to collect, from 1955, the year the homonymous dealership was founded, an example of each model ever produced by “la Casa del Biscione”, wisely selected to represent the best performing or the most interesting piece for collecting purposes (like limited or special production series).

The Museum houses over 60 cars, including unique cars and some very rare models. One example that caught my eye was the Alfa 155 Q4 (the one with the Delta HF integrale engine) that in 1992 set the new record at 297.333 Km/h in the G/PS class on Bonneville salt flats. Bear in mind this car ran stock tires and brakes (with the addition of a little parachute to increase the stopping power), Milan road legal reg plate and Abarth tuned engine.

Among the others, the museum displays some very interesting pieces like the 75 Turbo Evoluzione, the Montreal, the Giulia SS, Giulia 1600 T.I. Super QV, the R.Z and S.Z by Zagato.

In addition to cars, the Cozzi. LAB contains more than 300 original posters, thousands of photographs, brochures, user manuals, car and spare parts catalogs, repair manuals, trophies, art objects along with the major magazines and books in the sector. All the documents that testify the commercial path, the sales and marketing techniques of the dealership that sold them. There are many stories that the Museum tells and, among these, that of Pietro Cozzi: an entrepreneur who has made his passion a profession, which he wanted to share with everyone through the Museum.

Words and Photos by Yaron Esposito
Instagram: @Aaronandcars

Dodge Viper-based 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato rarity could be yours

It has been a decade since it was launched, but the 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato is just as bizarre and beautiful as the day it was revealed. It’s what you get when you have Italian design house Zagato give a Dodge Viper an Alfa Romeo body. And this one, number six of a total of nine examples, could be yours. It’s going to be auctioned in Elkhart, Indiana, by RM Sotheby’s along with several other rare vehicles.

Now when we described this car as a Zagato take on an Alfa but using a Viper, that’s exactly what it is. All the mechanical bits are from the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR, down to the 8.4-liter 600-horsepower V10 and six-speed manual transmission. The body does do an impressive job disguising this, from the signature Zagato double-bubble roof, to the unique, almost shooting brake-style rear roofline and Kamm tail. The Alfa grille in the nose also throws off the scent.

But look closer, and Viper elements start showing up. On the outside, the push-down flush door handles remain. Inside, the gauges feature the same fonts and layout as in the Viper, the only change being the TZ3 logo sitting in the middle. Particularly glaring is the audio head unit, which was shared with every other Dodge product on the market since the early 2000s. But the leather appointments throughout do make it nicer. Also amusing is the fact that all the owner’s manuals are simply Dodge examples, with no changes to the covers or names. One other bizarre thing, since this is a 2010 car, it was built at the very early start of Fiat and Chrysler joining up. As omens go, this was a pretty solid one.

Regardless, it is an extremely striking car that’s sure to be exhilarating to drive. And that’s not something the previous owner experienced much, because the photos suggest it’s only been driven about 200 miles. RM Sotheby’s doesn’t give an estimated sale price, but it should go for well into six figures, if not more. And it will sell, as it’s being offered with no reserve. The auction starts May 1.

Related Video:

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Review

The old guys were right.

As a youth increasingly intrigued by sports cars, I’d frequently spend my weekends out at the local road course watching various car clubs and racing associations test their mettle on the track. Back then, I’d read enough car magazines to know that Alfa Romeo was something of a revered name in automotive circles so I always looked forward to watching the Alfa Romeo club run.

The thing was, in the late eighties, the Alfas were all, well….OLD. 1960’s and 1970’s Giulias and Spiders. Their cars lacked a sexiness that I expected from Italian manufacturers. There was more exoticness (and breakdowns) at the Lotus Club gatherings. Were the glory days of Alfa Romeo long past? Had it remained on the European continent and bypassed the US? Looking around the paddock, I’d try to gauge the state of Alfa Romeo. The enthusiasm was still there in the smiles and bright eyes of the drivers. The flame still burned brightly for these guys, who proudly kept it alive. “Best cars ever,” they’d say. “There’s nothing like an Alfa Romeo.”

Alfa Romeo abandoned the American market shortly thereafter though and I assumed that Alfa Romeo was a fading entity passing into oblivion. Fast forward nearly 30 years and Alfa Romeo has returned to the American market. The brilliant yet underrated 4C, the excellent Giulia, and the fast and practical Stelvio are all extremely capable cars. As I drove each in turn over a two year period, I began to understand the appeal that Alfa Romeo had for those old guys at the track. They were fantastically fun to drive while being as practical as a Camry. And the Quadrifoglio – well, there isn’t a better car to help you understand the appeal of Alfa Romeo. And I’d managed to get my hand on one for a full week’s test.

I found myself on a wet twisty road in the forested hills of northern Michigan….

BOOM!

The landscape was starting to blur. The engine was winding out. My fingers brushed up against the cool-to-the-touch aluminum paddle shifters behind the wheel in anticipation. It’s like pulling the trigger on a gun.

BOOM!

I’m not sure whether it’s the blow-off valves or the exhaust valves but each shift prompts a loud boom and the acceleration pushes you back in the seat all over again. The power and sound swell exponentially. Ferociously. Addictively. It dumps a load of adrenaline in your system, which when combined with the scalpel-sharp and lightening fast steering, can actually induce sweating palms and involuntary shaking. Make no mistake – under that attractive sport sedan wrapper, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is a lean race car. It can scramble your brain, exhaust your nerves and body, and reorder your understanding of the supercar world.

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Blue

We drove and reviewed the Giulia Quadrifoglio last Autumn. Still in huge demand by the media outlets at the time, Alfa had to limit us to four days with it – a short loan since two of those days involve picking it up and dropping it off but it was a tempestuous four day affair. We fell hard and hopelessly in love with her. So after several months of heartache and longing, we decided to ask for a longer loan this year just to spend a little more time with her. Y’know…just to see if our memories were accurate or if time had embellished them.

The Giulia they delivered was the same color as last years: Misano Blue. It’s an utterly beautiful shade of blue that was no doubt inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. The brake calipers this year were black instead of red and unlike last years car, the roof was body colored instead of the optional carbon fiber. The billet aluminum V in the front grille still looked great with the blue paint. Carbon fiber accents along the rockers and the rear spoiler stood out, giving it a very sporting but very aesthetically appealing appearance.

But it’s the heat vents and the white triangle badge featuring the four-leaf clover on the front quarter panels that really get your pulse racing. For these features designate this Giulia as a Quadrifoglio, or QV as it’s known by the the faithful. The QV stands for Quadrifoglio Verde (or “green four-leaf clover”) which has been applied to every Alfa Romeo racing car since early in the company’s ancient history. While it still decorates all their racing cars, it’s also applied to Alfa Romeo’s highest-level performance vehicles. The Giulia and the Stelvio each have a QV version and they’re both insanely fun to drive.

Inside is an appealing mixture of leather, suede, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The seats are leather with suede interfaces to help hold you in place. They’re heavily bolstered to hold you like a baseball glove holds a baseball. As a result, you don’t move much, even through radical transitions. They’re firm but still quite comfortable and they’re easy to get in and out of. They’re heated, as is the steering wheel. Carbon fiber trim is everywhere – the center console, the dash, the door latch bezels. Aluminum also factors prominently into the design.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Center Console

The door pulls, the steering wheel spokes, the vents, and the paddle shifters are all in aluminum and control trim is colored silver to match all the aluminum. The gauges are large and easy to read – both a tachometer that redlines at 6700 rpm and a speedometer that reads to 200 mph (330kph). What surprises you most though is how roomy the interior is. Even with a passenger, you don’t ever feel crowded or tightly packed in. And the backseat not only has plenty of headroom for adults but there’s plenty of legroom for them also. Everyone wanted the front passenger seat for drives, but no one complained from the backseat either. The interior isn’t as comfortable and soft as, say, a Lexus but it’s still comfortable. It’s less a plush living room and more an office where there are minimum distractions so you can focus on the business of going fast.

And going fast is what the Giulia QV does best. The direct-injected and turbocharged 2.9L V6 makes 505 hp and 443 lb-ft and is tuned for maximum performance. Attached to a chassis that weighs only 3500 lbs, it provides massive thrust that can best be described as “rocket-like.” It makes this power through the entire rev range so no matter what gear you’re in, there’s enough power on call to warp space and time. It has a slightly rough idle, no doubt due to how highly it’s tuned, but once you’re rolling it’s a smooth as washed glass. It’s hooked to an electronic 8-speed automatic transmission with evenly spaced gears and beautiful large aluminum paddles behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

All this technology works together to reach 60 mph in under 4 seconds, 100 mph in about 7 seconds, a top speed of close to 190 mph (though we didn’t come close to that number – for obvious reasons) and a Nurburgring record time of 7 minutes, 32 seconds. Yeah, it’s amazingly fast. The mid-range and upper range powerband is enormous. Quickly downshift a few flips of the paddles and plant the throttle and the turbo’s rush of power catapults the car down the road like it borrowed an engine from one of SpaceX’s rockets.

All that power is arrested very capably by enormous Brembo brakes. The front discs measure 360mm in diameter and the rears measure 350mm. The 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers pinch down on the drilled discs with a vengeance and stop the car RIGHTNOW. While they’re extremely effective, they do feel a little spongy at first. Not something you’d expect from Brembo, so maybe they were a little tired from so many journalists abusing them.

The brakes hide behind attractive 19” Alfa Romeo 5-hole wheels that are shod with very sticky 245/35ZR19 tires. The grip doesn’t seem to end, though with judicious use of the throttle you can burn them up pretty easily. Otherwise the car just sticks and goes. It’s up to you whether you take the fast line or the hooligan line. Both are massively rewarding in the Giulia Quadrifoglio.

The suspension is firm but extremely effective at controlling the chassis movement in all situations, including the most extreme driving maneuvers. The front consists of double wishbone control arms and active coilovers, while the rear consists of a multilink setup. It’s all tied together by Alfa’s DNA selector on the center console. The round knob allows the driver to select A (all-weather), N (natural, or default), and D (dynamic).

All weather slows all the systems reflexes, retarding the engine responses, softening the suspension, and increasing the control of the various traction control systems. Natural is the natural default when you start the car and it’s a good blend of performance and comfort with the emphasis on comfort though the performance is available with a little push of the throttle. In Dynamic, the performance systems take center stage and the valves in the exhaust system open fully, the responses quicken, and a little slip is allowed into the performance envelope.

Finally, there’s Race mode which is engaged by turning the DNA dial past Dynamic to Race and holding it there for a few seconds. The nav screen lights up an image of the Giulia and it lists all the systems that have now been turned off. Suddenly your only safety net is your control over your right foot. You can immolate the rear tires. You can slide the back end around corners. You can immolate corners. If Dynamic turns on the performance, Race gives it a shot of ephedrine. You can’t imagine that the car can get any faster, yet it does. It becomes frantic, frenetic, furious.

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Exhaust

While all that sounds amazing, you just have to experience it to believe it. If you enjoy spirited driving, you’ll love the QV. You quickly realize that it’s a friendly and forgiving platform, encouraging you to push a little harder than you did last time, and rewarding your efforts for trying. Within a few hours you’re able to push the QV so hard and fast that your focus and reflexes are forced to increase in order to keep up with the car’s abilities.

You don’t realize how much your reflexes have adjusted to this higher order of performance until you stop and take a break. As you wander the aisles of the convenience store or refuel the car, you notice that your breathing is shallow, your body is shaky, and your hands are sweating. You find yourself getting irritable with people who aren’t thinking and acting as quickly as you are. The only solution to this malady is to get another fix, to get back into the Giulia QV and plant your right foot again.

Surprisingly, and despite our best intentions, we averaged around 20mpg in the week that we drove it. While fuel economy isn’t exactly the Giulia QV’s specialty, it did quite well.

The base price was just above $74,000; just shy of $79,000 with a few decorative options and the delivery fee. People laughed when I told them it was a bargain but for the performance it delivers and the smile it plasters across your face, it really IS a bargain.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has been reviewed by nearly everyone by now. It’s been universally lauded and rightly so. There are few cars that are as capable and entertaining on the market today. God bless the Italians for keeping things interesting. As for the reverence of Alfa Romeo, I get it now. I understand the appeal of Alfa Romeo; why those guys at the track with their old Alfas were so happy to be hanging out at the track on a cold October day, driving and sharing the day with other people who understood the Alfa Romeo appeal. There’s just something special, some undefinable thing that grabs you. The old guys were right. There’s nothing like an Alfa Romeo.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

High school design students sketch out FCA’s ‘ultimate status vehicle’

Each year since 2013, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) hosts a design contest for high school students called Drive for Design intended to educate and encourage automotive career hopefuls. For 2019, FCA prompted 10th, 11th, and 12th graders to imagine the “ultimate status vehicle.” The top three choices include two Alfa Romeos and a Maserati.

FCA named first, second, and third places in the contest. Maximillian Cooper (lead image) from Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami won first place. Mason Ross (first inline image) from Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Wash., took second. Vincent Piaskowski (Maserati image) from Ernest W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich., placed third. ​

FCA Drive for Design

The three winners of the contest will be awarded with numerous valuable prizes. They will get behind-the-scenes tours at the FCA U.S. Product Design studios, as well as mentoring time with some of FCA’s designers. They will also get scholarships to attend the Precollege Summer Experience Transportation Design program at the College for Creative Studies. Lastly, they’ll have the honor of serving as junior judges at the EyesOn Design Car Show.

FCA Drive for Design

Although each sketch has a unique look, all three take the same approach: cab-forward, bubble-top supercar coupes with dramatic lines and curves. Piaskowski’s shows direct inspiration from a shark, but we wouldn’t be surprised if all three students have special places in their hearts for the Pininfarina Maserati Birdcage Concept.

Alfa Romeo 4C Mole Costruzione Artigianale 001 to be Auctioned

A special Alfa Romeo 4C will cross the auction block next month. A one-off Alfa Romeo Mole Costruzione Artigianale has been announced for RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba auction. It is the first chassis to come from Mole Costruzione, fresh from its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2019.

The Alfa Romeo Mole Costruzione Artigianale is built upon a well-used 4C chassis. RM Sotheby’s have confirmed that the donor car carried 40,000 km prior to its conversion. It uses a 1.75 litre inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine, most likely sharing the 240 hp power rating of the donor car.

It’s the bodywork that impresses the most though. It is virtually unrecognisable compared to the standard 4C. Pumped up front and rear bodywork gives a more muscular appearance. Additional louvres over the rear hatch, new rear tail lights and a new interior make this 4C a cut above the rest.

It joins a world class auction docket. Among the highlights are an Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake, Delahaye 135 S and a rare Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider.

You Can Buy a Brand-New Alfa Romeo 8C

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Sometimes you get second chances, and that’s exactly what this sounds like to us. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is now offering up one Alfa Romeo 8C Coupe and one 8C Spider for sale. Neither car had ever left the factory despite the fact that they were built in 2007 and 2010 respectively. This means they’re brand new. 

The 8C was the car that started the revitalization of the Alfa Romeo brand. The car was produced in limited numbers and was one of the most beautiful cars of the last several decades. Alfa made only 500 of the coupe and 500 of the spider. These two cars were a part of the Automobiles’ Reloaded by Creators, which is an FCA Heritage program. The department decided to sell the 8C cars it had, according to CarBuzz.

Both of the cars only have a few miles on their odometer and have been gone through and certified by FCA Heritage. When the cars were new, the coupe went for $265,000 and the spider went for $299,000. The value of the 8C has gone up considerably in recent years, so these two cars should fetch more than that. 

There’s a new 8C coming, but it won’t be like the old. It will be a mid-engine supercar capable of producing over 700hp. If you want the original, real deal item, then you’d better pony up the money for one of these special cars. There likely isn’t an 8C out there in better condition. 

Alfa Romeo Unveils 4C Spider Italia Special Edition in Chicago

Called the Italia But Exclusive to North America

Continuing what seems to be the neverending run of special edition models coming out right now, Alfa Romeo keeps 4C rolling with a special edition. The company calls it the Italia and debuted it in the Windy City at the Chicago Auto Show. 

The new version of the pint-sized mid-engine sports car comes to North America via Modena, Italy. There, workers will build each of the 15 examples of this special edition car by hand. An Italia Special Edition 4C Spider will only run you $5,000 more than the regular version of the car.

What makes the 4C Spider Italia special is its exclusive Misano Blue Metallic exterior paint, piano black front air intake, piano black rear diffuser, special 4C Spider Italia graphics, aluminum dashboard insert with 4C Spider Italia badge, and a numbered plate on the center console. 

Alfa Romeo also announced the 4C’s 2020 model year with the 4C Spider Italia. The automaker will continue to produce its low-volume mid-engine sports car. Alfa’s 4c is truly unique in its design and layout. At a comparable price, few cars can match it.

The 4C Spider Italia features no upgrades from a performance standpoint, and neither does the standard 2020 4C. The car still has its all-aluminum 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s mid-mounted and its 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. While it would have been cool to see Alfa Romeo change things up and get more power out of the four-cylinder, we’re just glad the 4C still exists for the 2020 model year. 

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Is Already a Legendary Car

You can’t be a genuine gearhead unless you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo. It’s a common axiom. That’s because Alfa Romeo, above all other automakers, understands that driving is a sensual, visceral experience. Alfas look gorgeous. Their engines sound explosive and sonorous. Their potency comes with a distinct personality. Driving an Alfa Romeo reminds you why you love cars.

The current Giulia Quadrifoglio ($73,700) is a proper Alfa Romeo. It was the perfect car to reintroduce Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market. Already a legend, it is destined to be a modern classic.

One must appreciate Alfa Romeo’s sheer ambition. BMW’s M3 provides the benchmark for sport sedans. That reputation stems from decades of excellence. Alfa, with help from Ferrari, took on the M3 with the Giulia Quadrifoglio and blew it out of the water. The Giulia Quadrifoglio is faster. It’s more compliant. It looks better in metallic blue paint.

A German dad and former M3 owner hailed me in a grocery store parking lot. He asked whether the Giulia Quadrifoglio was as good as he had heard. The most forthright answer, after admitting the car wasn’t mine, was “yes, it’s incredible.”

Driving the Giulia Quadrifoglio thrills. It’s as close to a four-door Ferrari production sedan as we’ll ever get. The “Ferrari-derived” 505hp Twin Turbo V6 makes the Giulia QF lightning quick. It would be unnerving but for the supreme balance and laser-precise steering. It can be as maniacal or as composed as you want it to be. The German ZF transmission is dulcet and intuitive. You forget the paddles (or the absent manual option in the States) after a short while. The Giulia shifts better than you can.

The transmission misstepped once in a week’s worth of driving. When I accelerated from zero to 20mph over the speed limit, the Giulia Quadrifoglio presumed I wish to keep going. In true Alfa fashion, it was more in tune with my heart than my head.

Daily driving the Giulia Quadrifoglio is not annoyance free. Lane clogging SUVs will annoy you. Our oppressive regime of traffic laws will subdue your buzz. The Giulia QF can still provide a compelling drive at normal speeds. But, you’re ever cognizant of how much fun you could be having if not for other people.

Performance comes with impeccable Alfa style. The Giulia is beautiful. Clear lines project the available power and aggression under the hood. But a subtlety and effortless restraint underlie the whole package. The Quadrifoglio version does not announce its hotness beyond the odd clover. It doesn’t need to. The Giulia looks like what it is, an M3 redone with better taste.

The sports sedan is the ultimate real-life driver’s car. The Giulia Quadrifoglio may be the ultimate high-performance variant. It may never be topped.

It also brings the noise. The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s engine is a purified raucousness. Think Beethoven over Metal Machine Music. You find yourself cranking up the revs to hear it again, at every stop sign, light, or gap in the traffic.

Alfa Romeos are perfect. Why doesn’t everyone who can afford one own one? They don’t always run. Stereotypes depict Alfas as notoriously unreliable. Some stereotypes are rooted in fact. My parents still remember the name of their old GTV 2000’s mechanic forty years later. They remain convinced he was sabotaging the car. It didn’t seem possible to them that many things could go wrong with a car.

In that respect as well, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has proved itself a proper Alfa Romeo. There are two general reviews of the car. The first rates it as at or near “best car on the road” status. The second describes where the reviewer was driving when the engine light popped on and the car died with an unclear prognosis. Mine had zero issues for what it’s worth. Though, I only drove it for a week and did not track it.

Issues, particularly in early press cars, no doubt stemmed from the development process. Alfa Romeo rushed the Giulia into production in two and a half years. Most cars take four-plus to put out. Working out some of the inevitable electrical gremlins happened with real drivers on the road. Things could get worse as these cars age. If you want a sedan to bore you with its obsessive reliability, buy a Toyota Camry.

Okay, so the Giulia Quadrifoglio is a great car. It’s a mind-blowing drive when it runs. Why, beyond that, will it be collectible?

Animalistic car performance will be at a premium moving forward. The sports sedan is the ultimate real-life driver’s car. The Giulia Quadrifoglio may be the ultimate high-performance variant. It may never be topped. A pocket rocket sedan with a 3/10 EPA smog won’t be on the menu moving forward. Manufacturers are phasing out both sedans and internal combustion. Even Alfa will be moving toward plug-in hybrids and EVs. Performance may well be “ludicrous.” But, it won’t feel or sound the same. This car will remind purists what they loved about gas and be worth what may be a crushing expense to fuel it.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio is part Ferrari, the important part. It’s not an affordable car. But, it’s more attainable than a true Ferrari. It’s a special and memorable collaboration. The notion is similar to the legendary Mercedes 500E from the early 1990s that had a Porsche designed chassis and was assembled on a Porsche line.

Giulia Quadrifoglios should be relatively rare. Alfa does not sell in huge numbers compared to Mercedes and BMW. The Italian company did have a record U.S. sales year in 2018. But, that was still fewer vehicles than Mercedes sells in the U.S. during one month. Most Giulias sold will be lower trims, not the Quadrifoglio. My local Alfa dealer has 86 2018 and 2019 Giulias listed in its present inventory. None are Quadrifoglios.

Finally, it’s an Alfa Romeo, a darn near impeccable one. Alfas charm car people. They charm non-car people. My wife scolded me for shifting out of dynamic mode and softening the suspension on the highway on the way back from dinner. My other passengers gushed about rides around the block. The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s charisma was infectious. Or, perhaps, it was my persistent glee rubbing off on everyone I met.

Ugur Sahin Design’s Alfa Romeo “Nivola” Looks Better Than the 4C It’s Based On

Improving On A Beautiful Design

I used to think the Alfa Romeo 4C was one of the best looking cars around, but now I know that it was only vaguely what I actually wanted it to be. This new design from Ugur Sahin Design called the Nivola is what the 4C should have always been. 

The Nivola Concept came about after the design firm’s CEO Ugur Sahin saw the Alfa Romeo Stradale 33, designed by Franco Scaglione in 1967, win at Pebble Beach. Its name comes from racing legend Tazio Nuvolari. Nivola was Nuvolari’s nickname, and it suits the car well. 

According to Ugur Sahin Design’s website, “He epitomized courage and daring and for 30 years he amazed the racing world with his exploits on both two and four wheels resulting in several championship titles in motorcycle as well as sports car championships.”

Elegant and Well-Proportioned

The Nivola Concept perfectly merges old and new design. It’s at once modern and retro and takes the 4C’s donor car shell to whole new levels with smooth curvy lines. It makes me wonder why automotive designers ever thought creases in bodywork sheet metal were a good thing. 

Sahin said the 4C was an obvious choice for his modern interpretation of the Alfa Romeo Stradale 33. The hard points of the chassis for the mounting of the body panels differ dramatically from the original car. That means he had to get creative to make his concept work. 

Sahin certainly pulled through. The car is beautiful with near-perfect proportions. In order to achieve this, Sahin had to increase the length of the rear of the car. While the car is based on the Stradale 33 it’s not an exact copy. Shin made a point to make the concept his own. It’s a homage to the original car, but it’s not a replica or a recreation. If Alfa was smart, they’d hire him to do the next generation of the 4C if there is one. 

2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Review

It’s a revelation having Alfa Romeo back in the United States. Unlike other car companies doing business in the US, every single car and SUV it produces and offers here in North America is focused on performance and driving. As such, each car they’ve delivered to us has been a terrific experience, from the tiny but engaging 4C to the new Stelvio Quadrifoglio. As someone who loves driving good cars, this is encouraging.

Earlier this year we reviewed the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport. We found it to be a very capable SUV; comfortable for the driver and passengers, with a peppy engine and sharp handling. It was on the sportier side of the SUV market and we felt it was a great addition to Alfa Romeo’s line-up. However, as much as we enjoyed it we couldn’t help but wish we were driving the then-new Quadrifoglio version – Alfa Romeo’s high-performance version of the already impressive Stelvio.
With a twin-turbo 2.9L V6 engine producing 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque and a performance all-wheel drive system, it presented a tantalizing opportunity to further explore Alfa’s engineering prowess as well as Alfa’s idea of what an SUV should be.

So we begged and pleaded and offered bribes and wept bitterly and tried asking with fake angry Russian accents and at long last – after a few torturous months of waiting – Alfa Romeo was able to deliver a Stelvio Quadrifoglio for us to play with for a few days.

They delivered to us a Vulcano Black Stelvio Quadrifoglio with dark grey wheels. It was nearly a blacked-out package, which made the aluminum V-grille and the almost neon yellow brake calipers pop against the black background. White triangular badges with green four-leafed clovers (“quadrifoglio”) on them decorated the fenders. The wheels were wide and wrapped with equally wide Pirelli performance tires. It looked mean. It looked intimidating. It looked fast.

Inside, the interior was black too. Black leather and suede seats, black carpets, black plastics, and carbon fiber trim. Aluminum accents were the only brightwork, and Alfa Romeo made sure to use them liberally to offset all the darkness. The seats were plenty comfortable though and well-bolstered. They were also electrically adjustable in several ways. Legroom was plentiful in front and acceptable in back. The backseat also folded flat to increase cargo area. All the controls were laid out logically. Alfa’s D.N.A. selector that controls the drive mode was on the center console, in front of the electronic shifter by the infotainment selector and volume knob. The leather and carbon fiber wrapped steering wheel hid two of the largest aluminum paddle shifters you’ve ever seen. They’re like aluminum artwork behind the wheel. It comes loaded with just about every conceivable luxury option. Like the standard Stelvio, it feels like a quality interior and you get the impression that it’s a prestige-level car. As it should be.

The Quadrifoglio version means increased power but it isn’t just all about the motor. There’s a lot more to it. There’s a torque-vectoring differential to send power to the wheels with better traction. There’s active suspension that adjusts at the turn of a knob – from All-weather to Normal Conditions to Dynamic, which ups the ante performance-wise, and finally to Race, which promises nothing but sweet goodness. There’s also the optional CCM (Carbon-Ceramic Matrix) ultra-high performance brakes that our car had, which come in at a hefty $8,000 but stop this SUV right NOW! and can do so repeatedly all day long without fade. The bright yellow calipers with “Alfa Romeo” in black script look sublime. Plus the carbon look of the disks just exude cutting edge awesomeness.

So what’s it like to drive? I’m glad you asked. Climb in.

Reach for the start button on the dash aaaaand….there isn’t one. It’s on the steering wheel instead. Press it and the engine whirrs to life. Oddly, the 2.9L V6 engine idles roughly, as if it’s unbalanced. Not something you expect in a $80,000 SUV, let alone the base $40,000 Stelvio we drove earlier this year. However, once in motion it smooths right out and you don’t notice it anymore. It behaves like a race car engine, tuned so highly for speed and high rpms that it struggles to idle. You never get the sense that it’ll stall though, and it never did for us.

Put your foot on the brake and making sure to press the button on the back of the shifter, pull it back towards you until “D” lights up on the shifter and on the dash display. Let your foot off the brake slowly and the release of the CCM brakes will feel different from standard steel brakes. It comes across as a slight drag of the pads on the rotors, then it’s fine. At low speeds around town, it’s perfectly comfortable stopping and starting and sitting in traffic for extended periods of time. As I said, the brakes feel a little different but don’t operate any differently and don’t require any special maneuvers. The suspension is firm but not harsh, even in Dynamic mode. It absorbs bumps and potholes well while instilling confidence in it’s abilities. It would be a great car for commuting or running the kids to soccer practice.

And if you come to a stoplight and some dude in a muscle car lines up next to you, revving his engine to signal his desire to race, or if some woman is tailgating you because she thinks she’s faster, well…you might have to drop the hammer on them and show them the error of their ways. If the rough-idling engine was meant to emulate a race car engine, giving that right pedal a good solid poke will have you believing it really is a race car engine. The turbocharged 2.9L V6 absolutely rocks this platform, driving it up the road like it’s on an aircraft carrier catapult. The suspension keeps things flat and level and in control and the all-wheel drive system gets enormous purchase on the road beneath you, the meaty Pirelli summer tires twisting against the hot asphalt to push you out ahead of everyone in the blink of an eye. The 8-speed electronic transmission quickly snaps off shifts as rapidly as the needle can reach the redline, which is amazingly fast. With each shift, the wastegates dump huge amounts of air with a loud “Whump!” While some may find this annoying, it’s the sound of pressurized power and it immediately reminded me of the 4C with the race exhaust (a car at the top of my wishlist) and I was immediately smitten with it. The effect of all this power and performance leaves other drivers in a state of shock. “What the heck just happened?!? you can almost see their lips mouthing in the rear-view mirror. Nobody expects an SUV to have this level of performance and it’s quite entertaining to gauge people’s reactions when you demonstrate it.

Hit an entertaining secondary (or tertiary) road and you’ll quickly realize that it’s not just a straight-line muscle car. The suspension makes the Stelvio Quadrifoglio a very stable and agile platform. It effortlessly follows the twisting, winding roads, never getting caught out by a curve or off-camber section or patched and rough road sections. The steering is direct and intuitive, pointing the Stelvio exactly where you want it, with the rest of the car eager to follow. With the D.N.A. selector set to Dynamic or Race, the turbo engine is always ready to provide a tidal wave or torque to shoot you up the road even faster, making the scenery out the windows even blurrier. And should you find yourself in over your head, with too much speed and too little asphalt, a reasonable application of the Brembo CCM brakes will reign everything back into compliance. At speed, the CCM brakes feel more natural, although their abilities are borderline supernatural. Really stomp on the brake pedal and you’ll hang yourself in your seatbelt. They’re extraordinary.

Engage the paddle shifters and you can take control of the transmission too. The long wide aluminum paddles (left for downshifts, right for upshifts) are almost as tall as the steering wheel so it’s almost always available to your fingers, no matter what angle you have the wheel turned to. There’s nothing worse that a slow-shifting electronic transmission when you’re trying to go fast and Alfa agrees. In Dynamic or Race mode, the shifts are rapid-fire fast and really enhance the performance capabilities of the car.

Gas mileage is rated at 17 in the city and 23 on the freeway. I don’t think I witnessed those numbers, but I have to confess that when i have a 505 hp turbo engine at my disposal, I tend to use it hard and often. I think I was regularly getting 14-15 in the city and I think I may have managed 21 on the freeway. Again, that’s with hard driving.

The performance is simply unreal. Alfa Romeo claims it’ll go from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. I have experienced that. They also claim it’ll top out at 176 mph. I completely believe that too. It’s one fast machine.

The fantastic thing about the Quadrifoglio version is that it really is a driver’s SUV. It’s no less capable than any high-end sport sedan and it’ll go up against the best on the market – all while carrying more cargo in the back and providing you with a more elevated view of the road ahead. Ultimately, this is more than just a high-performance street SUV. This is a fully-trackable SUV that would probably embarrass some highly regarded performance cars at a track day event. In fact, it recently destroyed the record for an SUV at the Nurburgring with a time of 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds. That’s not just impressive, that’s mind-boggling.

While we really liked the Stelvio Ti Sport, we completely fell for the Quadrifoglio. Alfa Romeo has done a magnificent job of planning and building a top-tier performance car. That it’s an SUV is even more impressive. Now let’s go find a fun backroad to push this thing on. Or a race track.

Future Alfa Romeo 8C Could Get 800hp Hybrid Powertrain

Rumours have been circulating this week surrounding Alfa Romeo and the possible revival of the Alfa Romeo 8C. The badge was last used on Alfa Romeo’s 2 seater, front-engine supercar more than a decade ago, it looks set to return in 2021. The news is nothing new as in June earlier this year, it was widely reported that the late Sergio Marchionne had given the green light to the project as part of the company’s future product strategy.

Marchionne’s vision for the company was to offer two ‘specialty’ sector cars, a new Alfa Romeo 8C and a larger, Coupe style GTV. The latest set of rumours emanate from Car Magazine’s cover story which allegedly dishes the dirt on the development of the project.

The 2021 Alfa Romeo 8C will almost certainly be a two seater with a mid-mounted engine. It will be based around a carbon monocoque with the familiar 2.9 litre twin-turbocharged V6 providing power together with an electronic motor. The drivetrain is expected to be shared by the long-delayed Maserati Alfieri. Car Magazine suggest that the 600 hp petrol drive train and 150 Kw electric motor could generate power of around 800 hp.

The design team are said to be targeting a sub-three second 100 km/h sprint with a special E-boost system to achieve those figures. The 8C will undoubtedly receive four wheel drive with technical systems such as torque vectoring and advanced traction control.

The 2021 Alfa Romeo 8C will almost certainly be a limited production model, the last 8C was available with 500 coupes and 500 convertibles. Alfa Romeo will probably expect to sell more this time around, expect no more than 1,000 copies to become available.

The Alfa Romeo 8C makes sense for Fiat Chrysler these days. With Ferrari generating a huge amount of revenue for the group and with access to the legendary Italian company’s expertise, it shouldn’t prove too difficult to manufacture an ‘entry level’ supercar for Alfa Romeo. Hopefully it doesn’t end up like the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Our above renders were carried out by Yung Presciutti. The Car Magazine article linked above also includes some pretty interesting renders which combine elements of the Alfa Romeo 4C with the Ferrari 488 and LaFerrari!

Alfa Romeo Mole 001 Coupe

You don’t need to own a country club to own the Alfa Romeo 001 Coupe, but you probably have to be a member of one. And who wouldn’t want to be if you got to show this beauty off?

The Alfa Romeo is the new friend to the group, the one your girlfriend tells you not to worry about. Why? Because with this model, Alfa have emerged into the mid-engine 4C coupe scene in stylish fashion. The two-seater is beautiful and Italian, a combination to envy. Alfa Romeo have indirectly paired up with Mole Automotive to get this car to where it is now – not just a looker but a performer too.

The finalized car oozes dramatic dynamism. Its retooled and fresh body embraces an acerbic fiber carbon film that wraps around a 4C high-performing engine. Ultimately providing a shaken-not-stirred martini of aesthetics and speed. As common within the work of Mole Automotive, this project was a sole custom redesign. Nevertheless, the finished result is so exceptional that even Alfa Romeo’s designers may just look up from their drawing boards too.

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