All posts in “Ford”

Lego Technic’s 1/12-scale Ford GT kit is surprisingly detailed

Lego Technic has added the Ford GT to its catalog of 1/12-scale cars. Designed for adult builders, the scaled-down supercar features several life-like features, like a V6 engine with moving pistons, an adjustable rear spoiler, and even an independent suspension system.

The kit consists of 1,466 pieces that come together to make a GT that’s over 15 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 3.5 inches tall. This isn’t the kind of Lego set you can build on your lunch break; it will likely take several evenings’ worth of work to put together. The tradeoff is that the GT is stunningly realistic: finished in blue with white stripes, the coupe features relatively accurate proportions and moving parts.

Like the real GT, the Lego version is equipped with a V6 engine that spins the rear wheels via a differential, a functioning steering system, and doors that swing up rather than out. The rear spoiler is adjustable, and Lego even re-created the air vents positioned behind the doors. The wheels are fairly generic, however; they feature the same design as the ones that come with Lego Technic’s Porsche 911 RSR kit.

Retailers online and around the world will begin receiving Lego Technic’s Ford GT in March 2023, and suggested pricing is set at $120 excluding tax. If the Ford GT isn’t your cup of tea, the Danish company has plenty of other cars in the pipeline for 2023. It teamed up with Bugatti to make a 905-piece Bolide kit and it will add five cars, including the McLaren F1 LM, to its Speed Champions collection.

2023 Ford GT Mk IV is a more powerful, track-only GT

Ford is wrapping up the run of this GT supercar generation with a wild final model. It’s the 2023 Ford GT Mk IV, named after the Mk IV versions of the original GT40 that raced in 1967. Like those ’60s racers, the new GT Mk IV gets massively changed and lengthened bodywork. It also packs suspension and powertrain changes.

Compared to the last special track version of this GT generation, the Mk II, the Mk IV has a longer wheelbase and a unique body with a longer tail, all in the service of better aerodynamics. It also has different fenders, hood and front bumper. It loses the full headlights of other GT models and has truly enormous radiator intakes on each side, as well.

The GT Mk IV also gets a beefier twin-turbo V6. It has a larger displacement (which Ford did not share, unfortunately) and will make more than 800 horsepower. That should be at least 100 more than the GT Mk II had.

Ford also says it has bestowed a “racing transmission” and updated suspension to the Mk IV, but it didn’t go into any detail about what distinguished those parts from the Mk II, regular GT or even the GT race cars. It didn’t say anything about the exact weight of the car, either. Hopefully we’ll have more details in the future.

Ford did share pricing and how to get one. Only 67 will be built, and the base price will be $1.7 million. That’s actually more examples than the Mk II, and also a few hundred thousand dollars more in cost. Prospective buyers can apply at this website, and Ford will determine who will get the cars in the first quarter of next year. Deliveries will come in the spring.

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De Tomaso P900 uses synthetic fuel to spin past 12,000 rpm

It’s not a trendy electric hyper car. The Italian-built De Tomaso P900 is another kind of anomaly in the automotive upper strata where it lives: The P900 is propelled by a V12 engine that runs solely on synthetic fuel, all the way to 12,300 rpm.

Priced at about $3 million and limited to a production run of only 18 examples, the carbon-bodied P900 weights just less that 2,000 pounds.  Its 6.2-liter powerplant accounts for about a quarter of that weight.

Although De Tomaso is hedging the full specs on the car except to customers who have ordered one, the engine is expected to generate about 900 horsepower; it’s still in development until 2024, although the model is set to be revealed officially in the spring.

For customers clamoring to show off their P900s, it will be available prior to 2024 using De Tomaso’s F1-derived V10 engine. The design of the two-seater is pure science fiction, adapted from the De Tomaso P72, which used a carbon fiber monocoque chassis constructed to LMP1 standards and a 5.0-liter supercharged Ford Coyote V8.

“As a passionate automotive enthusiast, it is difficult for me to accept a silent EV-driven future,” said Norman Choi, De Tomaso CEO, in a statement. “We believe that alternatives do exist, and the development of our new platform, driven by synthetic fuels, is our solution for keeping this shared passion for the theatre of combustion engines alive.”

In pursuit of zero-emissions mobility, Choi says this new venture doesn’t envision a future that sacrifices “the crucial element which we all hold so dear — the soul and symphony of an engine.” 

1,204-hp Hennessey Venom 1200 is the new kingsnake

In 2019, Texas tuner Hennessey Performance did some open heart surgery on a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, swapping the supercharger on the Mustang’s 5.2-liter Predator engine for two turbochargers. The result waved a fast goodbye to the GT500’s stock 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque. Available in two outputs and called the Venom 1000 or Venom 1200, the latter made 1,200 hp at 7,000 rpm and 1,000 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. You know what they say about one good turn, so say hello again to the Venom 1000 and Venom 1200, this time with one (really big) screw instead of two compressors. Hennessey removed the 2.65-liter supercharger from the stock GT500, laying in a 3.8-liter unit. Final specs for the bigger boy are 1,204 hp at 7,600 rpm and 902 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm.

Engineers breathed on the drivetrain from the intake to the exhaust. There’s a new high-flow induction system and intercooler, upgraded belts, fittings, lines, and tensioners, an air/oil separation system and a recalibrated dual-clutch transmission to swallow all that extra oomph. Of course, new anodized billet fuel rails and injectors convey a lot more fuel from tank to nozzle. Speaking of which, the new Venoms can run on pump gas; however, the 1200 will only corral 900 horses on basic premium. They need E85 to get out the whole herd. 

The Venom 1200 conversion costs $59,950 on top of the price of a new GT500, a dealer showroom GT500 starting at $80,815 before options and all the rest. The previous Venoms weren’t capped, but the reboots are, Hennessey saying there will be just 66 of them, the number tied to Ford winning the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Customers who want to make that connection public can check the box for the livery in black, red and white for $4,950. It honors the Ford GT40 Mk II that won the French race. We can’t exactly call these prices a bargain, but they’re a lot less than a similar rework Shelby American’s done to the GT500 and called the Code Red. Going the twin-turbo route, the Code Red makes 1,300 hp and 1,000 lb-ft on E85, or 1,000 hp and 780 lb-ft on pump gas. There are only 30 of them, ten a year for three model years, making them more than twice as exclusive as the Venom 1200. They’re also more than twice as costly, the stewards of Carroll Shelby’s legacy charging $209,995 for the Code Red, which doesn’t include the donor coupe. But the Code Red is sold out, making the Venom 1200 the kingsnake for now.

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Buick Wildcat and Electra concepts, Ford Maverick | Autoblog Podcast #732

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They lead off with a discussion of the news. This section touches on the DeLorean Alpha5, Buick Wildcat EV Concept reveal, revival of the Buick Electra name, production reveal of the Mercedes-AMG One and some scuttle about Volkswagen’s recently-bought Scout brand. After that, they move on to the cars they’ve been driving, including the Ford Maverick and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

After the pair finish with what they’ve been driving, the podcast transitions to an interview between Greg Migliore and former Car and Driver Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman. Finally, Greg and Zac wrap things up with some more spring and summer beer recommendations.

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Autoblog Podcast #732

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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.

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2022 Holman Moody Ford GT debuts as 1966 Le Mans tribute

For those who may have forgotten, yes, Ford (along with Multimatic) is still making the GT supercar. The latest iteration is this 2022 Ford GT Holman Moody Edition that pays tribute to Ford’s 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. If you were wondering, the Moody car finished third among the trio of GT40s. As you can tell in the photos, the new GT is meant to replicate the original Holman Moody livery from that race.

To do so, Ford applied that unique gold and red color combo to the new GT and added the number 5 roundels in Oxford White to match the original’s racing number. The number roundels have been modernized, but considering how much exposed carbon fiber this sucker has, that’s small potatoes. Ford uses glossy carbon for the splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and engine louvers. The package also includes the 20-inch carbon fiber wheels that hide Brembo brakes finished in black with silver graphics. 

Holman Moody touches on the interior include a number 5 emblazoned on to the door panels, gold trim on the instrument panel and paddle shifters in gold, as well. The carbon fiber continues inside, too. Ford applies visual carbon to the door sills, console, lower A-pillars and more.

Ford says that the Holman Moody Heritage Edition GT is being made available for approved GT customers and notes that deliveries will begin this spring. No price was provided for this special model. If you want to see it in person, Ford says the Holman Moody GT will be displayed at this year’s New York Auto Show alongside the original third place Holman Moody Ford GT40 MK II, chassis No. P/1016.

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2022 Ford GT Holman & Moody Heritage Edition teased

The Ford GT is reportedly ending production this year with the full allotment of 1,350 cars built. The automaker is loading up on special editions for the run to the finish, revealing the 1964 Prototype Heritage Edition last August, the Alan Mann Racing Heritage Edition last month, and now teasing a Holman & Moody Heritage Edition. This throwback celebrates one of the major partners in Ford’s Le Mans effort, the North Carolina shop Holman & Moody Racing that prepped NASCAR racers for Ford teams. The outfit gets less publicity than Shelby — the fate of just about every other collaborator once Shelby shows up — but the tuners helped develop GT40 MkII vitals like the 427-cubic-inch engine and the braking system. Their entry, the #5 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, finished third at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the Shelby American cars. 

The teased GT only gives away the traditional Holman & Moody livery colors of gold and red, and a roundel bearing the number 5. We expect the formula for this coupe won’t change from previous the previous retro treats, with colors and special accents inside being the extent of the changes.

What’s wild about this heritage edition appearing at this time is that not even two weeks ago, an owner listed his personal 2020 GT done up in a Holman & Moody tribute livery for sale on Collector’s Garage. The owner had asked Camilo Pardo, who designed the 2004 Ford GT, to create the design, then had the car painted in Atomic Gold with white and pink accents, finished with a set of custom green HRE wheels. And yes, it was painted, not wrapped. It’s still for sale for $1.2 million.

The official 2022 GT Holman Moody Heritage Edition will be less than half that, for those who can get it. Ford says the debut comes this spring, which isn’t far away.

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Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition revealed, celebrates lightweight pioneer

Of the six Heritage Editions Ford has released to celebrate the newest Ford GT, two have commemorated original GT40s from 1966. Here is the third, the Alan Mann Heritage Edition. It recalls the lightweight Ford GT40 experimental prototypes that Alan Mann Racing (AMR) created in England in 1966, referred to at the time as AM GT-1 and AM GT-2. Mann’s team reskinned the GT40 in aluminum and made a small number of mechanical changes to the MkI GT40 powered by the 289-cubic-inch V8, aiming at Le Mans that year. Of the five his crew ordered, he received just two before Ford shifted its attention to the GT40 MkII that used the 427-ci V8. AMR campaigned his two cars in Europe anyway. Although the pair never won a major race, Ford learned important lessons from what Mann had done, hence this carbon-fiber-bodied tip of the hat.

In December, the automaker teased a few lustrous red angles of the new GT accented with gold and Frozen White stripes, AMR’s signature colors. The revealed coupe is just as pretty as we suspected, those dual gold stripes running from tip to extendable tail. AM 1 raced with the number 16 in its roundel, reproduced here on the doors and hood as with the original, and again on the underside of the rear wing instead of on the top corner of the rear fender. Glistening black accents come in the exposed carbon fiber front splitter, mirrors, side sills, engine louvers and rear diffuser, and 20-inch wheels hiding lacquered black Brembo brake calipers.  

Inside, more carbon fiber in places like the center console and vents mixes with Ebony Alcantara surfacing for the instrument panel, steering wheel, headliner and carbon seats. Contrast stitching in gold and red ties the cockpit to the exterior, as do gold appliques on the instrument panel, vent bezels and seat X-brace. The paddle shifters can’t be missed in Alan Mann Racing’s hot red.

Those heading to the Chicago Auto Show that runs from February 12-21 will get to see the original 1966 Alan Mann Racing AM GT-1 next to the 2022 GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition. Those who want to get even closer to the modern special in this final year of GT production are free to order the GT Heritage Edition from Ford after securing the necessary approval to be a GT customer. First deliveries happen this quarter. For folks with too much money parked in the Caymans, AM GT-1 crossed the block at Gooding & Co’s 2021 Pebble Beach auction, given a pre-sale estimate of $7 to $9 million but not selling, so there could still be an opportunity there.

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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:

Autoblog Podcast #715

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2022 Ford GT Heritage Edition celebrates Alan Mann Racing

2022 will be the last model year for the Ford GT, the craftsmen at Multimatic turning out the last of the 1,350-unit production run. We already knew there’d be one more Heritage Edition coming, Ford using this year’s Monterey Car Week to reveal models that would honor the original 1964 prototypes. Now Ford Performance has teased a second Heritage Edition for next year, this one a nod to England’s Alan Mann Racing. The Surrey-based race shop prepped Fords for races like the Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de France Automobile before becoming a European factory team in 1964. AMR ordered five GT40 MkI racers with the small block 289-ci V8, intent on honing them to win Le Mans. Ford sent just two of the five before changing focus to the GT40 MKII powered by the 427-ci big block, believing the 289s couldn’t get the job done.

Mann had his way with the two cars anyway, reskinning them in aluminum, designing a new coil-spring suspension, an oil fill tube accessed through the clamshell rear end, and Phil Remington’s quick-change braking system. Called the AM 1 and AM 2, Mann entered both lightweight GT40s wearing his trademark Monaco Red, gold, and white livery in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, leading the race for a brief spell before having to retire both cars. Ford then had Holman Moody convert the car to into a 427 MkII B model, but never homologated nor raced it, then had Holman Moody revert AM 1 to its Weber-carbed 289-ci spec. That original coupe has made a few appearances at Pebble Beach recently, owner Rex Meyers pulling it onto the lawn for judging and a sound check in 2019 — the first time it had been on display since 1968. Now Gooding & Company has put AM 1 up for auction this year with a pre-sale estimate of $7 to $9 million.

On a side note, Ford’s factory team won Le Mans twice with the 427-ci GT40s, retiring immediately after the win in 1967. John Wyer then created his own lightweight GT40 racers known as the Mirage cars, powered by the 289-cubic-incher, and won Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. 

AM 1 wore the #16 in its roundel, and this is the car the new Ford GT Heritage Edition references by having “16” painted on the underside of the rear wing. Yes, it would be awesome if Ford went all the way with the AM 1 honor and rolled out a lightweight GT, but here’s to dreaming. Back on Earth, expect a lively paint job and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 660 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, akin to the previous GT Heritage Editions. Production will start sometime early next year, we await word on how many of the Alan Mann units are on the way.

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New Mustang added to the MY2022 lineup

The Coastal Limited Edition

There will be a new special edition in 2022 based on the 310-turbocharged-horsepower Mustang EcoBoost Premium fastback and convertible model, called the Coastal Limited Edition, embodying freedom while keeping the traditional style alive.

The optional ‘Coastal package’ comes with 19-inch machined-face aluminum wheels with dark-painted contrast, bespoke vinyl stripes along the side, and the engine hood. But also a signature Mustang rear fender side scoop, while a black grille makes her look more intimidating, a rear spoiler. When you open the doors a special ‘Coastal’ lighted sill plate is shown, while a special ‘Coastal’ badge is fitted on the dashboard in front of the passenger.

While the 2022 Mustang EcoBoost Premium comes with a U.S. MSRP of $32,225 before destination charges, the Coastal Limited Edition option adds $1,995 to the order sheet, but this option will limit the number of available exterior paints to Brittany Blue, Cyber Orange, and Rapid Red, with first deliveries intended for the Spring of 2022.

Code Orange now available exclusively on Shelby GT500

This very bright color, called Code Orange is an exclusive Ford Performance paint color that was previously available on the Ford F-150 Raptor, the Bronco Raptor, and the impressive Ford GT Le Mans-winning supercar, and it now comes to the Shelby GT500.

With the addition of Code Orange, the color palette for the 2022 Ford Mustang grows to nine shades: Atlas Blue Metallic, Brittany Blue Metallic (available on GT500 Heritage and Coastal Editions only), Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat, Dark Matter Gray Metallic, Eruption Green Metallic, Grabber Blue Metallic, and Mischievous Purple Metallic.

The Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition

There has been a Shelby GT500 back in 1967 already, and these are widely regarded as the top of the line when it comes to performance in the Ford Mustang range, building on the impressive legacy of Carroll Shelby, the GT500 is all about transforming a Ford Mustang into a street-legal racecar.

Back in 1967 Carroll Shelby, the famous American racer upgraded his legendary Mustang GT350 into the first-generation Shelby GT500 with a modified 428-cubic-inch V8 inspired by his team’s 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans, he called the Shelby GT500 “the first real car I’m really proud of.” And that feeling is still alive today, the Shelby GT500 is just as iconic today, being the most powerful and most advanced Mustang ever, just as it was 55 years ago when the first iteration was made.

The 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition is an homage to the 1967 model, only available as a fastback body style, and made in limited numbers, all of them finished in the exclusive Brittany Blue combined with two different Wimbledon White exterior stripe options, either painted or vinyl, whichever you prefer.

This 2022 evolution is Ford Performance most powerful street-legal Ford ever, with world-class muscle and powertrain technology that brings the Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition into the roam of supercar performance, the impressive 7-speed DCT is backed up by race-derived control strategies and multiple driving modes to offer an unforgettable experience to the driver.

A standard 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 comes with a U.S. MSRP of $72,900, but that does not include the $1,195 destination fee, nor the $2,600 Gas Guzzler Tax, but you really want to add the Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition package for just $2,140 more. However, if you insist on having the hand-painted stripes on the GT500 Heritage Edition package the additional cost rises to $12,140 on top of the Shelby GT500’s base U.S. MSRP.

An In-Depth Look at the Ford Focus RS

Blisteringly fast, sometimes unforgiving and exclusively blue, the Mark I Ford Focus RS is a sublime analog sports car disguised as a boy-racer-ish hot hatchback. In the two decades since its introduction, this Euro-only limited production Ford has matured into a pretty desirable classic.

The first Ford Focus RS is one of the finest examples of affordable power at the dawn of the third millennium. Saying that this hot hatchback was worthy of the famous RS insignia is an understatement, because it is way more than just a Focus with a lower stance and the strongest production engine that could fit in the engine bay. It was conjured, engineered and executed out of sheer enthusiasm rather than for profits, and that shows from the moment you step on the gas.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Europe, continue on to see why you may want to get one of these cars for yourself right now (or as soon as it turns 25 if you’re in the US).

Ford Focus RS Background and Development

Starting with the British Escort RS1600 two-door sedan in 1970, the European Ford and Cosworth embarked on a joint venture to create a number of RS cars—fast Blue Ovals for rally and sport. Though the RS insignia appeared on the Capri Coupé, the Sierra sedan and as a standalone badge on the RS200 Group B special, it was really the Escort RS that had the strongest impact on the masses.

Whether it was a rear-wheel drive sedan or a front-wheel drive hot hatch, with or without turbochargers, the Escort RS never failed to give power to the people—becoming an integral part of European automotive folklore for three decades. On the other hand, each regular Escort couldn’t be farther from its RS-badged counterparts, as it was getting increasingly dull, stripped of any joy and character with each new generation that entered the market.

In its sixth and final generation, the Escort RS got a dramatic sendoff in 1992, as the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. A phenomenal version of an otherwise terrible car, this masterclass in hot hatch engineering was built on a shortened Sierra RS chassis, meaning it had four-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter, 224 horsepower Cosworth YBT T34 four-pot.

This Group A homologation special didn’t manage to win a WRC title, but its whale tail spoiler and mean attitude ensured it a place in the British automotive pantheon.

The Ford Focus in the New Millennium

The Escort survived throughout the nineties and the early aughts and was desperately in need of being replaced by an all-new philosophy. With a history of building joyless cars, Ford had to reinvent itself to stay relevant globally. Moreover, as per the Ford 2000 plan, the new millennium asked for a true world car to spearhead the Blue Oval’s lineup in all corners of the Earth.

That car was the Focus—the funky compact hatchback that debuted in 1998 in Europe and got to the US in 1999. Developed under the brilliant Richard Parry-Jones, the Focus was more than just a new name in the C-segment; it was a disruptive force.

What Parry-Jones wanted was an affordable car people would actually enjoy driving. He pushed to make a car that steered more precisely and had better road holding while still being affordable for the customer and commercially viable for the company.

The risk he took with a novel rear suspension design paid off, and the Focus eclipsed both its predecessor and head-on competitors, making their engineering solutions seem dated and inferior.

Conceiving the Mark 1 Ford Focus

Thanks to Parry-Jones, the Focus was an entry level family car that felt fun, comfortable and involving—something the competition could hardly follow. With such a foundation, Ford naturally had sporty ambitions for the new nameplate.

Still, the idea of a really hot Mark 1 Focus was still a European affair. After all, hot hatchbacks always felt more at home in Europe, and Ford didn’t abandon its rallying efforts, teaming up with M-Sport to build and run the Focus WRC and signing superstar driver Colin McRae for the 1999 season.

The same year, Ford showcased the Focus Cosworth concept car at the Los Angeles Motor Show—but behind the curtains, the upcoming Focus was distanced from Cosworth, and the high performance model was entrusted to a team of 60 engineers from Ford and Tickford Engineering.

To make the hot Focus a reality, Tickford re-engineered 70% of the base car, sourcing specialized high quality components from Quaife, Garrett, Brembo and Sparco, among others.

Initially, this hot hatchback was supposed to be a Ford Racing Focus, but after the Ford Racing Puma was not met with the reception it frankly deserved, Ford decided to revive the evocative RS badge—which turned out to be just the right decision.

Close up of radiator on blue Ford Focus RS

The Birth of the Ford Focus RS

Still in development, the pre-production car was shown at the Birmingham Motor Show in 2000 and the 2001 Geneva Motor Show, but the production took longer than expected. So the Focus RS hit the showrooms in late 2002, a year and a half later than originally planned.

In the meantime, Ford unveiled the 170-horsepower SVT Focus for the US market in 2001, whereas Europe got the spiced up ST170 in 2002.

Despite the development being carried out in the United Kingdom, Ford produced the Focus RS in the Saarlouis plant in Germany between 2002 and 2003, making it available in 4501 copies only. Unsurprisingly, the UK market was the biggest one, with 2147 cars being right-hand drive, whereas the remainder was scattered throughout Europe.

The RS model was based on the pre-restyle Focus, despite the regular model receiving a refresh in 2001. However, halfway through the production run, it did get a number of mild changes colloquially known as Phase 2.

From a cynical point of view, the Focus RS was a parts bin special, but the choice of high quality suppliers and how all their parts worked together made the final product well worth the RS badge (and the wait). The Focus RS was received as an instant hit, praised for its physics-defying handling, and revered for its turbocharged power delivery—all at a competitive price of only 19,995 pounds.

Front and left side view of blue Ford Focus RS in field near forest

For a multitude of reasons, the Focus RS became a hot topic in all echelons of European car culture. On the streets, the tracksuit-wearing crowd was charmed by its looks and performance, whereas the racing community appreciated all the engineering that went into it, making it a solid foundation for rallying.

So, two decades later, how does the original Focus RS hold up? Is it still hailed for all its traits and what made it a crown jewel of the Focus range in the first place? Let’s see!

Chassis, Body, & Interior of the Ford Focus RS

Exterior Impressions of the Ford Focus RS

The looks of the Focus were the most distilled expression of Ford’s New Edge design language, but the final execution didn’t sit well when the Focus came out in 1998. Unlike the whimsical Ka supermini and the handsome little Puma, the Focus was just too odd and radical, especially for a car in a segment that had to appeal to the widest of audiences.

Rear three quarter view of blue Ford Focus RS

Under Jack Telnack and Claude Lobo’s guidance, John Doughty blended straight lines and curves with sharp angles and clean geometric surfaces, making the Focus stand out from its relatively conservative contemporary competition. Today, this clean and simple look has aged exceptionally well, making the original Ford Focus an exemplary piece of turn of the millennium car design.

For the RS model, the structurally sound 3-door Focus shell underwent a comprehensive overhaul, transforming the clean, futuristic silhouette into a car that would be more aggressive and appealing to the new generation of hot hatch aficionados.

Front view of blue Ford Focus RS in field

With flared wheel arches, a tailgate spoiler, a unique front bumper adorned with a gaping air intake, fog lights, and air extracting louver-like vents, the Focus RS looked quite like its increasingly popular rallying counterpart.

Beneath the surface, the unibody shell was strengthened throughout, increasing the car’s rigidity and ability to withstand punishment when pushed to its limits. As a final touch to this special treatment, the original Focus RS could be painted any color the customer wanted—as long as it was Imperial Blue.

Interior of Ford Focus RS

Inside the Ford Focus RS

The true blue theme continued on in the interior as well, with Sparco bucket seats finished in black and blue vertical stripes with black Alcantara accents. Breaking the tradition, Ford chose Sparco over Recaro as a supplier for all other RS-specific parts, so the interior got bespoke aluminum pedals, a handbrake lever, a gear stick, and a ball-shaped knob, too.

Sparco bucket seats in Ford Focus RS

Other details unique to the RS were custom blue gauges and a steering wheel wrapped in blue and black leather with a blue 12 o’clock marker. Rather inexplicably, the water temperature gauge inside the instrument cluster was omitted in favor of a turbo boost gauge, prompting many owners to find aftermarket solutions for reading out vital engine parameters.

Ford Focus RS engine start button and serial number stamp

Finally, the last RS-specific interior bit was a unique carbon fiber gearbox console with a green starter button and a stamped serial number of each car produced. The Phase 2 model got “ENGINE START” written around the green button, as well as additional stitching on the seats.

Ford Focus RS Engine & Transmission

The Focus RS was powered by a transversely mounted 2.0-liter DOHC inline four from the Zetec-R family, yet branded as Duratec RS. This 16-valve four pot has a cast iron block and aluminum head and was thoroughly re-engineered to withstand additional power coming from forced induction.

That being said, Duratec RS got forged pistons and connecting rods, sodium-filled valves, a more capable water pump, an oil cooler, and high flowing injectors.

Ford Focus RS Duratec RS engine

The aviation grade Inconel-made Garrett GT2560LS turbo was developed exclusively for the Focus RS, allowing the Duratec RS to produce a total of 212 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 229 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 RPM. This power gave the 2,817 lb car a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 144 miles per hour—quite a punch for an early 2000s hot hatch and still respectable today.

In Phase 2, the car got a new engine map, making it less thirsty and more friendly for daily use.

Ford Focus RS instrument cluster with turbo boost gauge

Power delivery was as direct as could be, with Ford bypassing turbo lag by cooling the compressed intake air via a liquid circuit with a separate radiator instead of using a conventional intercooler system. By saving space like this, the engineering team improved responsiveness, cutting on lag one would usually find in turbocharged cars of similar vintage.

Via a composite AP Racing clutch, the engine was mated to the only transmission that could fit the Focus and withstand the engine’s torque output. It was the Ford MTX-75 transmission, a close-ratio 5-speed unit with a short shifter kit, sending power to the front wheels through a bespoke Quaife automatic torque biasing differential.

Ford Focus RS MTX-75 transmission

Distributing torque to the wheel with more traction, the worm gear Quaife ATB diff was a key piece for the Focus RS’ exceptional handling, though the car also gained a reputation for torque steer, especially in wet weather and despite Tickford’s efforts to minimize it.

What definitely didn’t help is that the original Focus RS had a front-biased weight distribution of 59.5:40.5 and no form of traction or stability control, making it too challenging in the hands of inexperienced drivers.

Ford Focus RS Suspension & Handling

The Focus’ main selling point was its MacPherson suspension at the front (similar to what you’d find in a Mustang) and what Ford called Control Blade at the rear. Richard Parry-Jones’ brainchild, this compact multi link suspension blended the packaging of a trailing arm setup with geometry of a double wishbone suspension.

In this setup, the Control Blade steel trailing arm took care of the braking and traction loads, whereas the long rear lateral arm controlled the toe and two shorter front lateral arms controlled the camber.

This engineering solution increased ride quality and enhanced the car’s maneuverability in many ways, giving the engineers greater ability to fine tune it on the RS model, while the clever design also lowered the center of gravity by eliminating the need for rear shock towers. The fact that it was fairly cheap to produce and easy to assemble created a breakthrough in the segment, giving the Focus a huge advantage on the market.

For the RS, the engineering team completely overhauled the suspension, redesigning new front arms, lower arms and trailing arms, stronger bushings, and anti-roll bars, and installing stiffer Sachs dampers.

As a result, the Focus RS was lowered by 25mm (compared to the standard version) and, in addition to that, it had revised geometry and wider track on both axles, matching the Focus WRC 03 rally car’s track.

As the final piece of the handling puzzle, the RS got a quicker steering rack too—amping up its responsiveness and allowing for more direct feedback at the steering wheel.

Ford Focus RS Brakes, Wheels, & Tires

Stopping power was granted through a Brembo system with 324 mm ventilated and grooved steel discs at the front and and 280 mm solid discs at the back. The rotors were gripped by four-piston calipers front and single-piston floating calipers in the rear.

Ford Focus RS Mark 1 OZ Racing 18 by 8 inch wheels

The Focus RS was exclusively equipped with lightweight 18×8-inch five-spoke OZ Racing wheels with a 4×108 bolt pattern, and wrapped in 225/40ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport high grip tires.

Legacy of the Ford Focus RS

Offering a raw and thrilling analog run for quite an affordable price, the original Ford Focus RS succeeded in becoming another street racing hero for the Playstation generation, while McRae’s rallying escapades between 1999 and 2005 wrote its name in Y2K’s motorsport history.

Although the road going Ford Focus RS wasn’t directly a homologation car for the radical Focus RS WRC 03, strong associations between the two cemented the car’s cult status—making it a worthy successor to everything the Escort had accomplished in past decades.

Front view of blue Ford Focus RS parked in grassy field

But before it became cherished as a legitimate modern classic, Focus RS was first loved for its immense tuning potential. Its bulletproof engine and turbo setup made it ideal for various modifications, be it for road, track or rallying use. This in turn means that the number of surviving examples is limited even further, especially those in their original condition.

As it usually goes with limited supplies of cars that happen to be amazing, the increasing demand for this model has driven values back up to its original price tag. And the fact that it is another phenomenally fast Ford that America never got will make it even more valuable when it reaches 25 years of age.

The automotive industry has shown us too many times that looks can be deceiving. With its street-fighter-esque, cartoonish features providing cover for a mature and compelling sports car, the Mark I Ford Focus RS is one of the brightest examples of how the art of deception can amaze you once you look beyond the surface.

All photos by Djordje Sugaris.

New Cars Powered By V8 Engines

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 a place 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-metal,” the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a roar—because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

As you begin to drive off towards the sunset, you’ll probably receive the odd jeer from EPA employees, people who hate nice sounds, and various other types of sticklers. But nothing’s going to stop you from reaching your destination. At the end of this journey begins a new one; at the race track perhaps, or maybe the backcountry roads and mountain highways?

Here are all the new cars powered by V8 engines—including sports cars, supercars, and hypercars—available for purchase in 2021.

Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Vantage

  • Base price: $149,086
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 505 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Aston Martin Vantage is Aston Martin’s “entry-level” sports car. Its singular purpose is raw and unwavering: to overwhelm the senses through its world-renowned design, agile performance, and dedicated craftsmanship. Its heart beats with a high-powered 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing that visceral Aston Martin roar.

New for the 2021 model year, the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster is the drop-top version of the British automaker’s gateway car. It continues to embody all the same awesome characteristics of its fixed-roof counterpart, amplifying the overall experience with that wind-in-the-hair feeling only the Roadster can provide.

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator—95 kg lighter than the base model and boasting a seven-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, manual performance—Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car.” Only 200 will be produced.

2021 Aston Martin DB11

  • Base price: $198,995
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 513 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 s
  • Top Speed: 208 mph

The Aston Martin DB11 is the most powerful and efficient ‘DB’ production model in Aston Martin’s history. Available as a coupe or Volante with the optional 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 or standard 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the DB11 takes Aston Martin’s grand touring heritage to unprecedented heights.

New for 2021 are the optional Shadow Edition models. Their blacked-out trim packages add subtly sinister touches to Aston’s DB11 coupe and convertible. With a black-painted grille, 20-inch wheels, and badging, the Shadow Edition bits add an extra hint of aggression to the DB11’s svelte bodywork.

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car of the DB11 range. However, unlike the other models, it comes exclusively with the top engine option—a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12.


2021 Audi RS 6 Avant

  • Base price: $110,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Probably the hottest performance-oriented station wagon on the market right now, the 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant sheds the conservative styling of the car it is based on but remains in line with the high-performance estate concept. Derived from the already-excellent Audi A6 sedan, this souped-up station wagon adds RS-specific bodywork and exclusive go-fast goodies.

The Audi RS 6 Avant is a powerful car with a mild-hybrid powertrain. At its heart is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too—the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. This is the first RS wagon to come to America, and Audi wants to make it count.

2021 Audi RS 7

  • Base price: $115,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with the specs to back up its appearance. This strikingly athletic yet elegant four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance.

At the heart of the car is the twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Like the RS 6, it can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.


2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

  • Base price: $198,725
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp
  • Torque: 569 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Flying Spur gets a new model for 2021. Known as the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8, the biggest difference for this trim is the use of a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that produces 542 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque; it also features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Bentley says more of its customers want to hustle their cars around instead of being chauffeured and that the more efficient and fun V8 Flying Spur will be the more popular choice with this crowd.

2021 Bentley Continental GT V8

  • Base price: $207,825
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience. A grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking. The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering breathtaking acceleration accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine.

With the new Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible, open-air grand-touring is always exhilarating. With its spirited V8 engine, innovative technology, sleek, contemporary design, and exquisite attention to detail, you are both completely in touch with the road beneath you and fully connected to the world around you. A great all-around GT that is our top pick when it comes to both value and overall experience.


2021 BMW M5

  • Base price: $103,500
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Updates for 2021 are not under the hood for the M5. There have been no changes in the power department, but the M5 does receive a freshened-up appearance with redesigned front and rear bumpers, new headlights and taillights, and a larger grille. Convenience features such as a larger touchscreen, Android Auto, and cloud-based navigation have also been added.

Where else can you walk into a dealership and buy a sedan that has 600+ hp, all-wheel-drive traction, four doors, and stunning performance both in a straight line and on the race track? This car can really do it all, which more than justifies its 6-figure price tag. The 2021 BMW M5 is more than just your regular sports sedan; it is an epic sports car and the leader in its class.

For us, it’s really a no-brainer to spend the wee-bit extra to step up to the BMW M5 Competition. Just a touch more powerful, the M5 Competition comes with 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Where you really get your money’s worth is through the stiffer dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a .28” lower ride height.

All things considered, the M5 Competition is a sharper, stiffer, and even more performance-oriented version of the M5.

The Competition model gets a new full Merino leather color scheme, a new Track drive mode, and new shock absorbers. These dampers benefit from a recalibrated control system that BMW says should improve ride comfort, especially at high speeds.

2021 BMW M8

  • Base price: $133,000 (Coupe), $142,500 (Conv), $130,000 (Gran)
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Big updates for 2021 include BMW announcing that the coupe and convertible versions of the M8 will no longer be available in North America, with the Gran Coupe remaining as the sole body-style option. The Gran Coupe can also be optioned with a new Donington Grey Metallic paint.

The BMW M8 is available in three body configurations: coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. It borrows its twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine from the M5, which makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The M8 also gives drivers the ability to switch between all-wheel drive and 100% rear-wheel drive, making the car both thrilling and well-suited for any situation thrown its way.

In keeping with the Competition formula as used in the rest of the lineup, the Competition version of the M8 offers up a more hardcore, track-focused version of the base car. The BMW M8 Competition also borrows its engine from its M5 counterpart, producing an additional 17 horsepower over the regular M8. While we don’t expect many M8s to show up to the race track, the Competition package is nevertheless a worth-it option for the more discerning pilots out there.

This car is available in coupe, convertible, and gran coupe body styles. However, only the gran coupe body style is available for the US market.


2021 Chevrolet Camaro (LT1, SS)

  • Base price: $34,000 (LT1), $37,500 (SS)
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 455 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 455 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is the model’s first foray into V8 territory, which allows it to offer a relatively low-priced entry into the world of 8-cylinder performance. Already producing as much as 455 hp, the LT1 is a fantastic choice for those who want an unadulterated, no-nonsense sports car. Stepping up to the 1SS and 2SS doesn’t add any more power, but it provides more performance and convenient amenities—such as a transmission cooler, rear Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, wider wheels, a different front bumper, and a standard 8″ touchscreen.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Base price: $63,000
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

Step up to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and you’re looking at a 650 hp supercharged version, making it the most powerful Camaro available. Driving this car can make 0-60 mph happen in a blistering 3.5 seconds. The all-new range-topping Camaro ZL1 is slated to come with the Corvette’s Z06 engine as standard, providing phenomenal value when it comes to performance.

The track-oriented 1LE package adds performance upgrades that allow the car to handle and brake more capably. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and it offers drivers their choice of an engaging manual transmission or a lightning-quick automatic.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)

  • Base price: $60,995
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 490 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 194 mph

Probably the most exciting thing to come from the American brand (and perhaps the entire automotive industry) for a long time is the new mid-engine 2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8. It is expected to go full-tilt against the likes of exotic brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren on the performance front while costing substantially less to own.

On paper, its bang-for-buck looks untouchable and potentially industry-disrupting. It comes in both coupe and convertible body styles.


2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

  • Base price: $61,270
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

While the Challenger can be purchased with a V8 engine (starting with the R/T models), we’re going to focus on the Hellcat models here. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat continues to evolve, with the 2021 model year treating fans and enthusiasts to even more madness (and variety) than ever before.

While the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine is a mainstay, the coupe can now be configured with up to 3 different engine options—Hellcat, Redeye, and Super Stock—which produce 717 hp, 797 hp, and 807 hp, respectively. These options allow it to become one of the most powerful production cars in the world.

Widebody packages are available for both the base and Redeye trims (and come standard on the Super Stock) to give the car an even more pronounced and aggressive appearance —one that certainly matches the monster lurking beneath the hood.

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat

  • Base price: $72,670
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

The Dodge Charger is, for the most part, the sedan version of the Challenger, and it too offers up the company’s exclusive Hellcat experience. For 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat—and its new Redeye version—are offered exclusively with the widebody package. These versions produce 717 hp and 797 hp (respectively) from the same 6.2L supercharged V8 used in the Challenger, although no “Super Stock” version is available for the Charger. Yet.


2021 Ferrari Portofino M

  • Base price: US$245,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

The Ferrari Portofino has been, for a couple of years, the Italian marque’s 2+2 grand touring cabriolet. It was, and still is, a powerhouse of comfort and technology—as capable of crossing continents as it is of driving a few blocks to the grocery store.

Now, however, it is getting its first refresh, thanks in large part to the success of the Ferrari Roma, which itself was a hardtop coupe evolution of the Portofino. Named the Portofino Modificata, it is shortened to Portofino M for branding purposes.

The highlight of this update has to be the newly developed eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The everyday drop-top has also been refined on some other aspects, which now makes it even more convenient. A boatload of safety tech has also been added—plus, now the engine offers 20 hp more.

2021 Ferrari F8 Tributo

  • Base price: US$276,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 s
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Billed as the replacement for the 488 GTB, the Ferrari F8 Tributo inherits much of the outgoing model’s DNA. Mind you, this is largely (if not entirely) a positive thing, as the F8 Tributo notably improves in areas that had room for it while retaining the essence of what worked so well before.

Considered the ‘entry-level’ mid-engined car in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless more than the sum of its parts; it is a highly-capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of ‘everyday supercars.’

Producing 710 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 3,250 rpm, the F8 Tributo’s 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 is nothing to balk at, despite being standard for the times.

The Ferrari F8 Spider replaces the 488 Spider and is officially on sale in Ferrari dealerships. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.

The Spider is rear-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission changes the gears. Peak torque comes earlier in the rev range than the 488. The aero kit, headlights, taillights, and body also look different than the 488 GTB.

We drove both the F8 Spider and Tributo back-to-back, and our pick is the Spider. It is just as fast and dynamic as the coupe—but it feels faster, louder, and more visceral—thanks in part to its open top.

Like the F8 Tributo, the 2021 Spider accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to 124 mph in just 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Fast enough, I think!

2021 Ferrari Roma

  • Base price: US$222,630
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rom
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This vehicle is stunning to look at, with a minimalist (by today’s standards) grille and a shark-nose front end. It’s long, lean, and so utterly Ferrari that it makes all the right places on a true car enthusiast ache with desire.

Inside the car, you can see one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari. There’s a large digital instrument cluster, a unique vertically-oriented infotainment screen in the center with some controls in front of it, and the passenger has their own small horizontally-oriented infotainment screen.

Now onto even better stuff; the rear-wheel-drive Ferrari Roma gets a 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with new cam profiles and a speed sensor that allows the maximum rpm to rise by 5,000 rpm. In other words, this is an Italian Stallion that can truly sing. The engine also has a single-piece exhaust manifold designed to make the most of its efforts. All told, it makes 612 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Ferrari 488 Pista

  • Base price: US$350,000
  • Engine: 3.9 liter twin turbo V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.85 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari 488 Pista is the marque’s latest Special Series model, and, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, it epitomizes the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars. Ferrari’s naturally aspirated V8s shrieked and snarled into the redline; the Pista barks and roars its way there. A different special series animal for sure, but an animal nonetheless. Almost perfect.

The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is powered by the same engine used in the coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.9L V8, which produces a magnificent 711-horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The Spider is a convertible with a removal hardtop, though some would argue it functions more closely to a targa top vehicle. The Spider weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale

  • Base price: US$507,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, plus 3 electric motors
  • Power: 989 hp (combined)
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a stunning new hybrid supercar that produces 989 hp from a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This hybrid setup utilizes a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 combustion engine linked with three electric motors.

Two of those electric motors are mounted on the front axle, and one is mounted between the engine and the gearbox. The combined maximum output of the V8, together with the electric motors, makes this Ferrari good for 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. This powertrain is the most powerful of any Ferrari and easily places the SF90 Stradale atop the Ferrari lineup.

The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model produce a whopping 860 pounds of downforce at speed; the whole profile of the car is extremely low, allowing it to slice through the air at high speeds. It also has a two-piece rear wing, derived from the company’s participation in Formula 1 racing.


2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

  • Base price: $53,400
  • Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power: 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
  • Torque: 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 s
  • Top Speed: 107 mph

Instead of starting with the Mustang GT, we have moved straight to the limited-edition Ford Mustang Mach 1, which gets a 480-hp version of Ford’s 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The Mach 1 comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while a 10-speed automatic is an optional add-on. There is a unique front end and heritage-inspired look with black stripes on the hood and bodysides.

The car also benefits from advanced aerodynamic and cooling upgrades, courtesy of the awesome Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. We recommend opting for the Mach 1’s Handling package to experience the full potential of the model.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

  • Base price: $72,900
  • Engine: 5.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm
  • Torque: 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

There’s a lot to love about the GT350’s bigger brother (especially with the GT350 being discontinued for 2021)—the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 hp V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks quickly, too. It’s almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the track, according to some credible sources.


2021 Jaguar F-Type R

  • Base price: $103,200
  • Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8
  • Power: 575 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 186 mph

The Jaguar F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive version.

The platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior that keep the model feeling fresh and consistent with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the new offerings.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, the F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the lineup and is equipped with an arsenal intent on squaring off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG models. With sharp handling and blistering acceleration—thanks in large part to its all-wheel-drive system—the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.


2021 Koenigsegg Jesko

  • Base price: $2,800,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 1,600 hp
  • Torque: 1,106 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 300+ mph

Koenigsegg’s new Jesko hypercar, named after his father, who helped him start his company, claims over 300 mph as its top speed. While Koenigsegg hasn’t yet proven this in the real world, the Agera successor has achieved this feat in simulations, and the company certainly believes it to be as good as true.

There are two different versions of the car; Koenigsegg designed one for a high-speed run (called the Absolut) to achieve the aforementioned 300+ mph, and another with some serious downforce for the racetrack. No matter the variant, you get a new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a new suspension setup, redesigned engine, and a special gearbox.

2021 Koenigsegg Regera

  • Base price: $2,000,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 + 3 electric motors
  • Power: 1,500 hp
  • Torque: 1,475 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 255 mph

The 2021 Koenigsegg Regera is definitely part of the small and exclusive group of hybrid hypercars. Koenigsegg launched the model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then, it has generated much hype amongst many car lovers and enthusiasts.

Besides a regular engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also carries an electric unit that produces up to 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque with a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car—in combination with its 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8—produces an amazing 1,500 hp, simply making it the most powerful hybrid hypercar in the world.


2021 Lamborghini Urus

  • Base price: US$218,009
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 641 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 7.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Yes, we know that the Lamborghini Urus is, by all accounts, an SUV. However, it’s also a Lamborghini, and this list just wouldn’t be complete without one. It really doesn’t matter anyway because the Urus is practically a supercar, and it has the credentials to back it up.

The Urus is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that is good for 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Performance is astonishing for the big SUV, with the 0-60 mph trek over in a mere 3.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 190 mph.

It looks aggressive, and we think it has just the right level of Lambo styling cues without going overboard. On the inside, the Urus has decent luggage space and a generous helping of electronics and infotainment equipment. The Urus remains Lamborghini’s only sport utility vehicle in the lineup for the 2021 model year.

Self-proclaimed as the world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, we like to call it a luxurious, sporty SUV—where outlandish performance meets comfort and versatility. It offers best-in-class driving dynamics and is easily the best-performing SUV on the planet. The Lamborghini Urus is anything but your typical grocery hauler.


2021 Lexus LC500

  • Base price: $92,950
  • Engine: 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 s
  • Top Speed: 168 mph

The range-topping Lexus LC500 luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally-aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. Notable features include the adjustable suspension, which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.

For 2021, the car remains virtually unchanged, although Lexus has recently released a convertible version of the LC500. The convertible roof will open and close in about 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

Because of the open-top, the car required some additional structural components for rigidity but remains mechanically identical to the coupe otherwise.


2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

  • Base price: $109,890
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp @ 6,750 rpm
  • Torque: 538 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

Car and Driver said of the Ghibli, “As a sports sedan, the Ghibli’s a winner, but it doesn’t live up to expectations on the luxury side of the spectrum.” The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo offers more of the same—but with more power, more fun, and more performance. These additions work extremely well, and for enthusiasts, this model offers a nice upgrade to the car they know and love.

2021 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

  • Base price: $142,390
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp
  • Torque: 524 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

The Quattroporte is a good car, but not a great one. It sits in a kind of limbo area where it is both a GT and also a sports-focused car.

Fortunately, the addition of the twin-turbo V8 makes it way better. It becomes more powerful, more sporty, and the performance is transformed. This year, it becomes a car that a true enthusiast can love—the Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo.


2021 McLaren 540C

  • Base price: US$184,900
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 533 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 3,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 10.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This car’s an entry-level assassin. A mid-mounted 533-hp 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 drives the rear wheels of the 540C. Despite its lower price, the McLaren 540C inherits performance-aiding technologies from its pricier siblings, such as a system that applies the brakes to a rear wheel to help the car around corners.

Boasting 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.5, a top speed of 199 mph, and a power-to-weight ratio of 412 horsepower per ton, this is definitely a car for impressing your friends. What more could you want for your money?

2021 McLaren 570S Coupe

  • Base price: US$191,100
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

This is the car you buy when you are sick of your Porsche. It is a true sports car experience: very driver-centric and with truly epic performance. We have found the McLaren 570S as the perfectly positioned car in the McLaren range.

It has more performance than you could ever need on the road. It is lightweight, has direct steering, and has amazing driving dynamics. It looks like a supercar but also comes with enough interior amenities to be comfortable as a daily driver.

Between a 911 Turbo or 570S, I know which one I’d take. Queue the 570S, please.

2021 McLaren 570S Spider

  • Base price: US$211,300
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

Basically a 570S with a retractable hardtop, the McLaren 570S Spider is awesome. Gone are the days where convertibles were compromised; McLaren seems to have figured out how to make them as good as their coupe siblings.

The Spider has the same twin-turbo V8 as the coupe, as well as the same carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis. Take the top down (15 seconds), and you add a whole host of sounds and sensations that are unique to the Spider. Performance is on par with the 570S coupe (within a 10th of a second to 60 mph and 124 mph).

2021 McLaren 570GT

  • Base price: US$203,950
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 204mph

Practical, Fast, Luxurious. The McLaren 570GT is an intriguing model to consider now that the company has launched a focused GT model. It adds extra comfort and practicality to the 570 body style. Performance is still tremendous, but it takes the edge off in some ways (which is good).

Every bit a McLaren, this car is optimized for the road, turning the ultimate sports car experience into one that’s perfect for daily use, longer journeys, and weekends away. It has a practical, real glass hatch for extra storage, and its panoramic glass roof makes the car feel airy and spacious.

2021 McLaren 600LT

  • Base price: US$242,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

The limited-edition McLaren 600LT is the ultimate version of McLaren’s 570S/GT range (think of it like the 458 Speciale as to the 458). It uses a variation of 570S’ McLaren’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, in this guise making 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

It has a dual-clutch automatic transmission and is rear-wheel drive. The handling is perfectly balanced and reassures you with its predictable nature, making the ride a little firm due to its track-nature approach.

Standard carbon-ceramic brake discs, extensive carbon fiber, and that massive wing let you know this is a limited edition car designed for the track. It’s as capable of eye-watering performance it is deserving of the LT name.

2021 McLaren 600LT Spider

  • Base price: US$256,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 201 mph (196 mph with top down)

Like the 600LT coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 with 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque shoots the McLaren 600LT Spider to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Getting to 124 mph takes just an extra two-tenths of a second compared to the hardtop. You step on the throttle, wait for a tinge of turbo lag, then boom, the ferocious revving and blistering straight-line speed hit you. Rinse and repeat.

Unlike most convertibles, this Spider will also handle in the corners. It is easily my favorite car on the market today. There is no shortfall versus the coupe; this is an epic car that loses nothing to its sibling. This is what a supercar is meant to be: an enchanting machine.

2021 McLaren 620R

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 3.8 L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 200 mph

The car is basically a 570S GT4 race car for the road. It’s a limited-run coupe that McLaren will build only 350 of. The McLaren 620R is the most powerful of the Sports Series range.

That engine makes a monstrous 612 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The car also gets the 570S GT4’s suspension, braking parts, and many of the different adjustable aerodynamic components. The price of this speedy car is a whopping £329,000 in the UK, including taxes.

2021 McLaren GT

  • Base price: US$210,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.0 sec
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

This car offers luxury and refinement, the McLaren Way. The McLaren GT—which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’—is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they’ve been known for producing in the past.

The car retains the ubiquitous mid-engine layout seen throughout the rest of the McLaren lineup. It is based on the same exceptional platform used on the 570S—namely, its Monocell II-T carbon-fiber chassis. Despite this, McLaren has gone to great lengths to ensure that the GT also creates its own unique identity, with two-thirds of components used on this model also being exclusive to it.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are its particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cubic ft. of storage space. Despite its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone here by the likes of Aston Martin, offering plenty of room for bags, skis, and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience.

2021 McLaren 720S

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph

The McLaren 720S is a sensational supercar, easily the best of the current breed. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It looks gorgeous too.

The 720S has advanced suspension that does a remarkable job of smoothing out imperfections while being sporty and keeping the car flat when pressing on. It boasts unrivaled chassis tuning, absurd amounts of speed, unparalleled acceleration numbers, and a package that looks stunning. This is simply the best supercar for sale today and the sweet spot in McLaren’s current model range.

2021 McLaren 720S Spider

  • Base price: US$315,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.9 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph (202 mph with top down)

The latest iteration of the current 720S—monikered “Spider”—is a convertible variant of the 720S, which comes with a folding hardtop. The McLaren 720S Spider retains the same DNA as the Coupe, utilizing a modified version of its carbon-fiber tub chassis to accommodate the folding roof and its mechanism.

Thanks to its brilliant aerodynamic design, the Spider still achieves a remarkable top speed of 202 mph with the top folded. McLaren does a lot of things better than anyone else, and producing convertible variants that are as good as its coupe counterparts is no exception.

2021 McLaren 765LT

  • Base price: US$368,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 755 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 205 mph

The McLaren 765LT replaces the 675LT as the newest limited-production track car in McLaren’s Super Series range. As with previous LT models, weight-saving is the key focus for the 765LT, losing 160+ lbs compared to the 720S.

For the first time, McLaren has also adjusted some of the 765LT’s inner workings. Horsepower from the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been upped from 710 hp to 755 hp, and torque is rated at 590 lb-ft—an increase of 22 lb-ft.

2021 McLaren Senna

  • Base price: US$960,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 789 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Named after Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna is a track-focused hypercar. Its aggressive appearance tells you immediately that this thing is designed to destroy lap times.

The McLaren Senna is the fastest McLaren road car ever around a racetrack, with downforce numbers up there with proper race cars. It is an intensely involving and immersive experience.

With a dry weight of 2,600 pounds, it delivers the fastest lap times of any road-legal McLaren to date. There is also a track-only version of the Senna, known as the Senna GTR.

2021 McLaren Senna GTR

  • Base price: US$1,800,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 813 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

A More Hardcore Senna. Adding some track-focused updates to the McLaren Senna hypercar gets you the McLaren Senna GTR. Freed from all road and motorsport rules, it pushes things to the max.

Pared-back, pumped-up, then unleashed for track use only—it is, simply put, ferocious. We’re talking 1,000 kg of downforce and a power-to-weight ratio of 684 horsepower per tonne. This is a serious car for the serious racer (or a seriously rich person who wants to be a racer).

This isn’t a road car, folks, so don’t even think about it if you are looking to burn a few million dollars on something you can drive to your local cars and coffee meets.

2021 McLaren Elva

  • Base price: US$1,900,000
  • Engine:4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 804 bhp
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: < 3 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 sec
  • Top Speed: TBD

The McLaren Elva is a completely roofless and windscreen-less Speedster. McLaren will fit a permanently fixed windscreen where legislation (or the customer) requires it, but all other cars will be built without a windscreen for a true open cockpit feeling.

The Elva shares the Senna GTR’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, with the addition of a new exhaust system for the proper auditory experience. All told, the engine makes 804 hp, which is up from the Senna GTR’s 789 hp. The car also gets a cross-linked hydraulic suspension system, carbon-ceramic brakes with titanium calipers, and a feather-light curb weight.

McLaren hasn’t yet specified what the Elva tips the scales at, but the company claims it will be the lightest McLaren road car in the lineup. The McLaren factory will build just 399 examples of the Elva.


2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

  • Base price: $68,100
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed:155 mph (limited)

Upgrading the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C 63, this year’s model offers a handcrafted biturbo V8 and paddle-shifted multi-clutch 9-speed to put 469 hp in your hands.

Adaptive AMG Ride Control and a limited-slip diff make it quick on its feet, and it has an exquisitely detailed cabin. It’s available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

  • Base price: $75,700
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

A handcrafted biturbo V8 unleashes 503 hp and class-leading torque. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies. And from the cabin, innovation and inspiration lead to invigoration in every curve and on every surface. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

  • Base price: $107,350
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

With a handcrafted 603 hp and variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Sedan is one of the quickest Mercedes-AMG models yet. It’s also one of the most rewarding and luxurious sedans ever to take track tech to the road.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

  • Base price: $111,750
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

Sending 603 handcrafted horsepower deftly to the pavement via variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Wagon outperforms any other wagon on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: open it up.

2021 Mercedes-AMG S 63

  • Base price: $151,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

With 603 handcrafted horsepower and torque-vectoring AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the AMG S 63 might be the most self-assured sedan on the road. Its innovations and appointments make it one of the most reassuring, too. However, it is going to be replaced by a newer model soon. Available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63

  • Base price: $140,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s

It has twice the doors and twice the seats of any AMG GT before it. Yet it builds on every dominant trait: Brilliant handling. Exquisite appointments. Seductive style. And a handcrafted biturbo V8 sending 577 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S

  • Base price: $161,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 630 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The S version of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 offers all of the same advantages, but with an extra kick in the power department. Its biturbo V8 sends a whopping 630 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT / GT Roadster

  • Base price: $115,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 1,900 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s

Developed from the racetrack up to be a pure sports car, the AMG GT’s 469-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 and rear transaxle help create an ideal balance of reduced weight, control, confidence, and composure.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT C / GT C Roadster

  • Base price: $150,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 550 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s

The coupe version of the AMG GT adds extra power with a 550-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 engine and rear transaxle. Drivers still get all the performance and control the convertible version offers, creating an unparalleled experience.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R / GT R Roadster

  • Base price: $162,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 6,250 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s

The 577-hp AMG GT R condenses half a century of motorsports success into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened, and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis, and soul.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

  • Base price: $325,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 720 hp @ 6,700 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series marks the return of an iconic name to the world of super sports cars. It’s as unorthodox as it is untamed. This car has emerged from uncompromising engineering paired with unprecedented performance—especially on the race track.

World’s Most Affordable V8 Sports Car Adds More Editions, We Can’t Complain!

More special trims for the 2022 Ford Mustang. We now have the first-ever Stealth Edition Appearance Package for the EcoBoost and a new California Special for the V8 powered GT that features GT Performance Package option.

The Stealth Edition Appearance Package features 19-inch aluminum wheels finished in Ebony Black, black pony badges, a performance rear wing, black mirror caps and new clear LED tail light covers.

Additionally, the interior also features a unique instrument panel badge and lighted sill plates available in matte and gloss black. The Stealth Edition is readily available in Atlas Blue, Carbonized Gray, Dark Matter and Shadow Black.

The new California Special Appearance Package pays homage to the original version’s blacked-out grille, rear fender scoop and side racing stripes. The package is available for the 2022 Mustang GT Premium fastback and convertible models.

The exterior features the side stripes trademark running from the front fender to the rear fender scoop, California Special badge finished in Ebony Black, Race Red script on the trunk lid, honeycomb grille with ‘GT/CS’ badge and a large front splitter from the GT Performance Package.

The new California Special features a set of five-spoke 19-inch painted wheels and a signature strut tower brace with California Special badge on top of the engine. Additionally, a performance rear wing from the GT Performance Package is also available for the fastback model whereas spoiler delete is standard for the California Special convertible.

The interior elements include rich black Miko suede-trimmed door inserts and suede-trimmed seats with ‘GT/CS’ logo, red stitchings with custom embroidered ‘GT/CS’ floor mats and the instrument panel is finished in carbon hex aluminium with California Special signature on the passenger side.

The California Special Package is available in Atlas Blue, Carbonized Gray, Cyber Orange, Dark Matter, Grabber Blue Metallic, Iconic Silver, Rapid Red, Shadow Black and Oxford white.

Best Sports & Performance Cars From The 1970s

The 1970s: Discomania. The Hippie Movement. Bell-bottom jeans and platform shoes. Those lava lamps that everyone seemed to have on their nightstand. Oh, and let’s not forget Happy Days – which was actually about the ’50s, but I digress – and that still-sorta-catchy Y.M.C.A song by Village People. There are so many more memorable things to mention from that decade, but let’s get to talking about how the ’70s were also responsible for producing some amazing automobiles.

We say that these cars were ‘amazing’ both because of, and in spite of, the political climate as it related to petroleum during the era. The ‘gas crisis’ as they called it, was a period when gas prices were relatively exorbitant due to severe shortages caused by an oil embargo. In significant numbers – particulary in the US – consumers began to shift towards buying smaller, economical, and more fuel-efficient vehicles. While some of the cars on this list were net beneficiaries of this change, others would need to make an even more convincing value proposition in order to persevere; some would do just that, even to this day.

Through the lens of a car enthusiast, the decade was typified by European wedge-shaped exotics, indisputably-American muscle cars, and peculiarly impressive Japanese imports. While angular silhouettes appeared to be the dominating design philosophy, there was also a cohort of manufacturers who opted for sleeker, more curvy lines. Performance by today’s standards will of course seem meager, but that didn’t preclude the existence of roaring 12-cylinder configurations and large-displacement engines. However, it was also an opportune time for manufacturers to develop and improve smaller power plants, many of which would end up being the key reason behind their respective models’ successes.

Here’s our shortlist of 15 such cars, which we have curated:


BMW M1 Red

The BMW M1 is a bit of an enigma. Those who love it, really love it – and for all the right reasons too. First off, it should be stated that we have the M1 to thank for beginning a long line of BMW M cars which have come to define, and propagate BMW sports car performance globally. The M1 was BMW’s first mid-engined sports car and fashioned the much adored wedge-shaped silhouette; the dominating design philosophy for exotic cars at the time. It featured an impressive 3.5L naturally-aspirated inline-6 engine which produced 273 hp. So, what’s not to love? Well, BMW would have to eventually chalk the M1 up as a learning opportunity, as the car ended up being a commercial flop.

Starting off as a collaboration between BMW and Lamborghini, the car had lofty ambitions right off the bat as well; to dominate all the racing series’ it was envisioned to compete in. This particular plan never came to fruition as Lamborghini – tasked with building the cars – ended up filing for bankruptcy before production ramped up. BMW managed to scrape together some new partners to get a production version on the road, but only 455 units were ever built before it was axed for good; its asking price of 100,000 DM had a lot to do with that.

Some of those units were even built for competition, but none of them ever saw any noteworthy success on the circuit. While the BMW M1 didn’t realize its main objectives, it nevertheless remains one of the best and most important BMW cars produced to this day.

Chrysler “Aero Warriors”

1970 Plymouth Superbird

The Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird were produced under the direction of their parent company, Chrysler. Dubbed the “Aero Warriors”, the two “sister” cars which were part of an ensemble which included the Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. All of these cars earned those nicknames because of their huge nose cones and enormous rear spoilers that made them legendary among the competition. They are considered to amongst the very first stock cars to be modified aerodynamically.

Due to homologation requirements, both Dodge any Plymouth had to produce the Aero Warriors in substantial numbers. Dodge would only end up producing 503 examples of the Charger Daytona, though in Plymouth’s case, 1,920 Superbirds would roll off the assembly line. While the race versions got full blown Hemi engines, most of the cars got 440 Super Commandos or 440 6-packs rated at 385 hp. Only a small fraction of models would come equipped with the top-gun Hemi 426, which produced 550 hp. The Aero Warriors were so successful in competition that NASCAR had to change the rules to make the playing field more even in 1971.

Porsche 930 (911 Turbo)

Porsche 930 Turbo

In 1974, Porsche introduced the first production version of a turbocharged 911. Although it was referred to as the Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe, the car was marketed as the Porsche 930 in North America. Porsche had injected all of its sportscar experience with exhaust-gas turbochargers into its series production models. At the onset only a small number of Turbos were planned. However, in the light of its amazing impact, production figures were boosted. Compared to other 911 trims, the Turbo was visually unique with wider wheel-arches, larger wheels and tires, and a large and soon-to-be-iconic “Whale Tail” rear spoiler. Early models were equipped with a 3.0L 260 hp engine. which was eventually upgraded to a 3.3L unit producing 300 hp, for the 1978 refresh.

The Porsche 930 Turbo is widely considered to be the original “widowmaker”, as it was the first car to really become synonymous with the term. This reputation was earned due to the car’s difficulty to be controlled at the limit, and was one of the scariest road-going Porsches ever built. A less foreboding distinction the 930 had is that it is the very first turbocharged 911, making it the forefather of the long and successive line of series production 911 Turbo models that followed it.

Lamborghini Countach

1974 Lamborghini Countach

The Lamborghini Countach represents the early beginnings of the legend that has become ‘Lamborghini’ as we know it today. Sure, the Miura came first and wowed crowds, but it was the Countach that took the brand to an entirely new level. Once again, designer Marcello Gandini managed to draw a fascinating, unconventional car that left everyone speechless. Lamborghini wanted to build the most spectacular supercar ever made; one that would be far more advanced than its time, one that would make an even bigger impact than Miura did, one that would become the poster car plastered on every young person’s bedroom walls.

The first generation of the Countach was given the codename “LP 400“. The bodywork was made of aluminum alloy, bonded to a lightweight tubular spaceframe chassis which was designed by Paolo Stanzani. The suspension was designed such that it was double-wishbones all around, coupled with strong ventilated disc brakes. The engine was originally supposed to be a 5.0L V12 good for around 440 hp, but overheating and reliability problems would force Lamborghini to settle on its proven Bizzarrini-designed 3.9L V12.

The innovations in engine and transmission placement worked marvelously, with the first-gen Countach producing 325 hp @ 7,500 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm – this translated to a very quick 0-60 mph sprint in just 5.9 seconds, and an impressive top speed of 181 mph. Lamborghini has just released a remake of the Countach, but will it ever be able to compete with the original car?

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

1970 Pontiac Trans Am

In March of 1969, Pontiac quietly announced a new performance/trim option for its popular Firebird model, but things did not stay silent for long. Dubbed the Trans Am (after the Trans American Racing Series), it quickly became a pony car icon and one of the best-known American muscle cars ever produced, ultimately dethroning the mighty GTO as Pontiac’s most popular performance model. This event also marked the end of the first generation Firebird, though the Trans Am would pick up right where things left off when the second generation car was introduced in 1970.

Styling changes aside, the Trans Am remained entirely familiar in terms of being Pontiac’s flagship performance model. Although things started out with a bang for the second-gen series – and particularly the Trans Am models – the aforementioned oil embargo amongst other factors, would see the car subjected to significantly decreased power outputs halfway through the model’s lifecycle.

While the the option of having a V8 engine persevered through the entire 11 years that the model was produced, the most powerful engine option from 1975 onwards, produced just 220 hp in comparison to the 370 hp which was available during the 1970 model year. Examples equipped with the “Ram Air IV” V8 are the most powerful, and generally most desirable versions of the Trans Am, and were exclusive to the first 2 model years.

Lancia Stratos

1972 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

Built from scratch to contest the World Rally Championship, the Lancia Stratos was the first car of its kind. It practically changed the rally sport, and kickstarted a new era where auto manufacturers would commonly produce road cars thinly disguised race cars in order to navigate the often times, convoluted homologation requirements. The Lancia Stratos is definitely up there as one of the most badass looking cars on this list. Its eccentric design – even in its rally form – made it more akin to an exotic road-going supercar than it did to a purpose-built rally machine.

It was homologated in 1974 as a Group 4 contender in the World Rally Championship, after a production order of 500 examples commenced in 1973. Like the road-going Stradale version, the Group 4 rally car used Ferrari’s by-then-phased-out Dino 2.4L V6 engine but tuned to 265 bhp for the 12-valve version and 320 hp for the 24-valve version. However, regulations for that year meant that only the 12-valve version of the car would be allowed to compete, although this did not encumber it from success whatsoever.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

The Carrera RS debuted in October 1972 at the Paris Motor Show, and is considered to be Porsche’s de facto first-gen 911 halo car. It’s surely one of the best road cars of all time. It was the fastest production 911 and had proven pedigree on the racing circuits. Some feel it is still the best 911 ever produced by Porsche, and definitely makes the Top 10 on our “Best Porsches Ever Made” list. Initial production for the 2.7 was only 500 cars and it sold out almost immediately. Three versions were available, including a lightweight Sports trim, a Race trim or more the opulent Touring trim for the road. The lightweight version was substantially lighter with thin-gauge body panels, lighter windows and a stripped out interior.

Fitted with flared wheel arches, a distinctive ducktail spoiler, and a highly tuned flat-6 engine, the brilliant Carrera 2.7 RS is the model against which all subsequent high-performance 911s are judged. The 2.7 RS road car also served as the platform for homologating the parts needed for racing. The 210 hp 2.7L flat-6 engine – benefitting from Porsche’s experience gained from the 917 racing program – elevated the 911 into the 2500 cc – 3000 cc class, alongside heavyweight opposition such as the Ferrari Daytona and DeTomaso Pantera.

Fun fact: the ducktail rear spoiler is the first proper wing to feature on a 911 from the factory, while the widened wheel arches allowed more rubber to come in contact with the road. What a superb machine.

Datsun 240z

1969 Datsun 240Z

The Nissan S30 (Datsun 240Z) was the first generation of Nissan’s two-seater grand touring “Z” coupe. The Z models had a production run which lasted from 1969 to 1978. All models had a 4-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and Chapman struts in back. Front disc brakes and rear drums were standard on all models. The 240Z and 260Z used twin-variable venturi Hitachi one-barrel side-draft SU-like carburetors. The first-generation “Fairlady Z”, launched in November 1969, was available with the same high-performance ‘432’ engine – an inline-6 DOHC 24-valve unit which produced 160 hp – as seen in the Skyline GT-R (PGC10).

The carburetors were changed beginning in the 1973 model year in order to comply with emissions regulations, though the earlier carburetors offered superior performance as compared to the later Weber carburetors. Fuel injection – L-Jetronic electronic fuel injection, designed by Bosch – was added for the 280Z in 1975 for US models. This was primarily done in order to cope with the increased difficulty manufacturers faced in getting enough power output through the use of carburetors, while still being able to satisfy US emissions regulations. The Datsun 240Z is easily one of the most beautiful cars on this list.

Lamborghini Miura P400 SV

1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Gallery

The Lamborghini P400 Miura is considered – by virtually anyone qualified to make the call – to be the first “supercar” ever produced. That’s a pretty hefty distinction to have, but it certainly didn’t get there without earning it. Although the Miura’s chassis design could be mistakenly interpreted as a race chassis, Ferruccio Lamborghini had a strict “no-racing” attitude when it came to the purpose of the car. He even wrote a policy in the company’s bylaws that prohibited the model from being used for racing; instead, the Miura was destined to be a production road car of the highest order.

The first completed prototype was painted orange and personally driven by Bertone to the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, where it became the highlight of the event and overshadowed the Ferrari 330 GTC which was also a debutant.

The “Spinto Veloce” (SV) model is the final and most developed version of Lamborghini’s seminal supercar. Like all Miuras, it has an exotic specification and sleek profile which epitomizes Lamborghini’s image more than any other model. The main focus of the SV was a new rear suspension that made the car much wider. Longer wishbones were fitted that added 1.5 inches of length. Furthermore, larger Campagnolo cast magnesium wheels were added with wider Pirelli Cintaurato tires. While it’s common to hear the Miura being described as the world’s first supercar, we prefer to expand on this by calling it the first modern supercar, since the Ferrari 275 GTB and Mercedes 300 SL came immediately before it.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C3)

C3 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

While all Corvettes are iconic, and although each has its own loyal following of owners and enthusiasts who claim that “their generation” is the best, there is little doubt that the third-generation Corvette is one of the most iconic generations of them all. The C3 still holds the record for having the longest production run for any generation of the Corvette. It was during this generation that we saw the Corvette “grow-up” from being a powerful track car and Le Mans racer, to an iconic sports car synonymous with the American Dream.

Introduced in 1968 and produced until 1982, the third-generation Corvette has a storied history full of highs-and-lows throughout its 15-year production run. Much of the car’s evolution during this generation was closely tied to the economic and political climate in the United States during the late ’60s and ’70s. While early model years (1968-1972) featured big engines producing massive horsepower, stricter Federal emissions regulations would force Chevrolet to reduce engine output ratings in later models (1973-1982).

At the same time, these changes forced Chevrolet to improve upon their engineering standards; by innovating methods to reduce the car’s weight and enhance its overall design, the automaker was able to keep the Corvette relevant, even with all the restrictions in place.

Ferrari 308 GTB

Ferrari 308 GTB

There is often some confusion with the Ferrari 308/208/328 model range so we will take a minute to explain the differences here. Firstly, the 308 replaced the Dino 246 GT and GTS in 1975. The two-seater Ferrari 308 came in both a 308 GTB berlinetta and 308 GTS Targa top body style. Both were mid-engined and powered by naturally-aspirated V8s. The 308 models were produced by Ferrari from 1975 to 1985. The similar 208 GTB and 208 GTS were equipped with a smaller (initially naturally-aspirated, later turbocharged) 2.0L engine.  The 308 range was updated in 1985, when it would become the 328.

The beautiful Pininfarina designed body had a pronounced wedge profile, with a rectangular egg-crate aluminum radiator grille below a slim full width satin black front bumper. However, there were numerous key design elements of the Dino 246 GT carried through into the body details. These included the scalloped door intakes, twin circular rear light assemblies, and the vertical concave rear screen bounded by buttressed sail panels.

The 308 was equipped with a transversely mid-mounted V8 engine with four twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburetors, single coil ignition, and dry sump lubrication (in European models). The European versions produced 252 hp @ 6,600 rpm. For US market cars, power was detuned to 237 hp in order to satisfy the relatively stricter  emissions regulations.

De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera

The De Tomaso Pantera is the product of one of the very few (but more prominent) American x Italian automotive collaborations. Mixing Italian design language with the soul of a cast-iron American V8 engine, the Pantera had plenty of appeal on both sides of the pond. It was unlikely result of Lee Iacocca and Alessandro de Tomaso coming together to produce a version of the AMX/3; a move that set off a chain of events which would eventually bring Ford Motor Company to the exotic car landscape – and the rest as they say, is “history”.

The overall design that De Tomaso envisioned was brought to fruition by Dallara, with a possible production capacity of 5,000 cars / year originally proposed. The car had all the right ingredients  to be a success, including a double wishbone suspension, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and most importantly: a 351 Cleveland V8. Once the design was finalized, coachwork was done by Vignale and the shells were then shipped to De Tomaso in Modena upon completion, where the suspension and drivetrain would be put in.

In 1971 Road and Track described the car as “Exciting-but not a finished product.” De Tomaso himself argued that an exotic car couldn’t be delivered to corporate engineering standards, at least not for $10,000 USD a unit. In 1973 the model was replaced the Pantera L which had less power and larger rubber bumpers. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most fascinating cars ever produced.

Ford Mustang Mach 1

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

The “Mach 1″ was a performance package that Ford began offering for its quintessential American muscle car in 1969. The Mach 1 designation would be available for Mustang until 1978, when the model was overhauled and entered its third-generation. Within the Mach 1 range was variety of engine options, with the potent 428 fitted with the “Cobra Jet”, serving as a cheaper alternative to the BOSS 429. For drag racing a “Super Cobra Jet” engine was available, and was essentially the same package with a reinforced drive shaft.

To compete with the Mopar HEMI engine in NASCAR, Ford launched the BOSS 429 V8 that same year. It was built as a limited production Mustang Fastback to meet the required homologation of 500 units. The ’69 BOSS is considered to be the ultimate Mustang from this era, after the less popular “clydesdale” body was used for the 1970 version. Ford prepared the 429 for inclusion into NASCAR’s Grand National Division. They modified a version Ford’s big block V8 design known as the ‘Ford 385 engine’ and changed the stroke from 3.85 inches to 3.59.

Built as a full-on race engine, the exhaust ports were so large it was nicknamed the ‘Shotgun engine’. Power was legally claimed to be 375 hp, although more than 500 hp was possible with just a few tweaks. To meet emissions regulations, a mild cam was fitted along with a smog pump and small carburetor.

Ferrari 512 BB

1976→1981 Ferrari 512 BB

In 1976, Ferrari enlarged their flat-12 engine to 4,942 cc and created the Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer (commonly abbreviated to ‘BB’). As a replacement for its flagship 365 GTB/4 model, the BB marked a big shift in Ferrari’s design protocols. For starters, switching to a horizontally opposed boxer engine layout for its new flagship car was new territory for the company. It also marked the significant milestone, of mounting the 12-cylinder engine behind the driver for the first time in a Ferrari car.

Mindful that a longitudinal engine with the gearbox behind would add inches to the wheelbase and/or diminish cabin space, Ferrari had decided that the BB should have its transmission placed below the engine. This would allow a shorter wheelbase and a roomier cabin. Most of the magazines and press at the time, loved the clean Pininfarina design and were shocked by its blistering performance. Acceleration was strong, with the sprint from 0-60 mph over in just 5.4 seconds. Handling and overall dynamics were class-leading at the time. Over a five year production run, nearly 1,000 512 BB models were produced.

Mazda RX-7

1986→1988 Mazda Savanna RX-7 GT Limited

It’s not a very well kept secret that the FC3S Mazda RX-7 was generally considered – and at times, even marketed – as a poor man’s Porsche 924. The rotary-powered car was inherently unique because of how it moved, but its decidedly ’80s-era Japanese styling also contributes to its overall charm. Boxy features, pop-up headlights and a delightfully analog interior, the RX-7 depicted that era of JDM-ness to an absolute ‘T’.

The Turbo II was a cut above the other models, featuring – as its name suggests – a turbocharged power plant instead of the naturally-aspirated wankel engines seen in the rest of the line-up. The rear-driven Turbo II outputs 182 hp and 183 lb-ft of torque with the help of a single turbocharger. Mazda recently announced that it will be offering a heritage parts program for the RX-7, which will make it easier for owners to restore their cars with factory parts.

Ford Mustang Mach E Gets Ready for Police Work in America

A new Ford Pro Police Pilot has officially passed the intensive Michigan state Police 2022 model year evaluation, the all-electric police pilot vehicle was built on the 2021 Mustang Mach-E SUV.

The thorough tests included acceleration, top speed, braking, high speed pursuit and emergency response handling characteristics.

The success of the Mustang Mach-E proved that Ford is capable of building tough, reliable and capable electric vehicles for even challenging jobs. Michigan State Police will release the results of other vehicles they’ve tested in Fall.

The 2022 Ford GT Heritage Edition

Let’s travel back in time … to April 3, 1964, at the New York International Auto Show, where Ford unveiled a new prototype of what would become one of their most important cars for years to come … the 1964 Ford GT prototype, chassis GT/101, that became America’s only Le Mans-winning supercar from 1966 to 1969 … only to repeat that feat again in 2016 with the next generation of that 1964 prototype.

In 2021 only one of the 1964 Ford GT prototypes still exists, chassis GT/105, and she is still boasting the same livery as 57 years ago, and this car was the perfect candidate to park next to the brand new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition during Monterey Car Week where Ford debuted this special edition of the current Ford GT as she enters her final year of production.

“This is the first Ford GT Heritage Edition that goes beyond celebrating race wins – this one goes deep, and honors the earliest of Ford supercar heritage,” said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. “The Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition is a modern interpretation of the original, with no mistaking what this car is paying tribute to.”

The new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition is finished in the classic Wimbledon White paint complete with Antimatter Blue graphics, including an over-the-roof triple racing stripe as a tribute to the five original GT prototypes. Being a 21st-century supercar, this new Ford GT comes with exposed carbon fiber components and 20-inch Antimatter Blue-painted carbon fiber wheels, a touch unique to Ford GT, as well as an exposed glossy carbon fiber front splitter, side sills, mirror stalks, engine louvers, and rear diffuser. The standard Brembo® brake calipers get a silver with a black graphics finish while black lug nuts finalize the modern look.

On the inside, the color-match with the blue exterior details comes in the form of blue Alcantara carbon fiber seats with silver stitching and embossed GT logo, the instrument panel is done in Ebony leather whit Lightspeed Blue Alcantara,  the pillars and headliner are finished in Ebony Alcantara. Antimatter Blue appliqués on the instrument panel, door register bezels, and seat X-brace are coordinated with the bespoke wheels.

“There are a lot of milestone moments in the history of Ford GT that we’ve celebrated, but the team was unanimous in believing the original prototype was the right vehicle this time around,” Severson said. “That 1964 prototype unleashed the creative genius of the Ford Advanced Vehicles team and paved the way for the Ford GT program. It put all of this in motion.”

Back in the Sixties only 5 Ford GT prototypes were built, GT/101 and GT/102 got scrapped after Le Mans and Monza crash testing, which lead to much-needed improvements for the next three cars, GT/103, GT/104, and GT/105 … GT/103 would win at Daytona® in 1965 with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby behind the wheel, at that same race GT/104 came in third with Bob Bondurant and Ritchie Ginther. While both GT/103 and GT/104 have been repainted today, the GT/105 is the only one that still wears her original livery from the Sixties.

This new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Heritage Edition isn’t the first highly limited edition model in this production series, which started in 2006 with the 2006 Ford GT Gulf Livery Heritage Edition as a commemorative edition for the GT40’s back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans titles in 1968 and 1969, a total of 343 units were produced in this first Heritage Edition series.

The second special edition came in 2017 with the 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition to celebrate the Ford GT40 MK II No. 2 that Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon drove at 1966 Le Mans, only 27 units were ever built, a year later we saw the 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition that was built to honor the Ford GT40 MK IV No. 1 race car that was victorious at Le Mans in 1967, only 39 units of this 2018 model were built. Probably one of the most iconic Heritage Editions is the one of fifty 2019 Ford GT ’68 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition that was an homage to the Ford GT40 MK I No. 9 race car that won the 1968 Le Mans endurance race.

In 2020 Ford released another 50 unit limited edition as the 2020 Ford GT ’69 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition honoring the Ford GT40 MK I No. 6 race car that took the 1969 Le Mans victory, while the 2021 Ford GT ’66 Daytona Heritage Edition is still in production at the time of writing, this one is a tribute to the Ford GT MK II No. 98 race car, and now we get the ultimate 2022 Ford GT ’64 Heritage Edition that is the sixth one in this series.

You can now get your name on the order list for the 2022 Ford GT, if you’re an approved Ford GT customer, production of this model is set to start in January 2022.

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.


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, 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.

Ford GT test mule spied, and rumors of a new engine are swirling

This isn’t what we expected to see today, but one of our spy shooters just caught a Ford GT mule rolling around Allen Park, Michigan. We’d all but put the Ford GT off to the side at this point, as production was expected to wrap up shortly. 

There’s always the chance of a special edition-something at the end, but we didn’t expect to see any GTs with emissions testing pipes driving around Ford’s test laboratory where it performs EPA testing on future vehicles. The longstanding assumption, of course, was that the GT would use its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine until the end. Any suggestion otherwise seems easy to dismiss and semi-unfathomable at first blush. However, the presence of this test mule, and some recent reports that we’ll get into, throw this assumption into doubt.

We’ll start with a recent Ford Authority report, wherein they cite an unnamed source telling them Ford is testing a GT in metro Detroit with an engine other than the twin-turbo V6. The report goes on to say that this mystery powertrain GT sounds “very different” from the V6 we’re accustomed to at this point.

Next up, our spy shooter is also telling us he’s heard rumors of a different engine making its way into the GT. The rumor, and we’re not giving it any more credit than that, points to the 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 with a pair of turbos strapped to it — there are even more rumors to back this rumor up. It sounds fairly far-out to us, but do keep in mind that the 7.3 is a significantly more compact pushrod motor, not a DOHC design like the 3.5-liter V6 is. Maybe Ford could make it work.

Where is any kind of evidence for these musings? Well, the spy shots do indicate that Ford is up to something with the GT’s powertrain. For one, this engine’s oil cap (circled in red in the closeup) is sitting atop the glass where a standard GT’s trunk would extend to. That’s a clear hint that all isn’t normal underneath the engine cover. Plus (and it’s very difficult to tell), the exhaust routing in and around all of the chassis and suspension components doesn’t look identical to that of a regular GT. The blurriness of the photo and general mess going on underneath keep us from getting a super clear comparison, but some of the twists and curves in the exhaust appear slightly changed. All that said, we’ll need a better photo comparison to come to any grand conclusions.

All of the above put together is enough to put us on high alert for Ford GT news. Ford is up to something with its mid-engine supercar, and it seems certain at this point that it won’t be letting the GT go silently into the night.

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