All posts in “Audi”

2020 Audi R8 Decennium gets six-speed manual conversion

One of the best manual transmissions ever put on the market was the gated six-speed in the first-generation Audi R8. That silken, row-your-own warrior departed to the afterlife with the introduction of the second-gen car in 2015, replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. But if money can resurrect whole and long-dead car brands, it shouldn’t have any problem with a few hunks of metal in a bell housing, no? It won’t, so long as there’s a well-heeled customer on one side, Underground Racing on the other, and a 2020 Audi R8 Decennium in the middle. Oh yeah, and a couple of turbos.

The Dallas-based customer owned one of the 222 R8 Decennium special editions that Audi produced to commemorate a decade of the 5.2-liter V10 and motorsports success — only 50 of the cars came to America, each producing 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. He requested a twin-turbo kit from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Underground Racing, the shop specializing in R8 and Lamborghini builds. While they were toiling in back of the car, he also requested they swap that dual-clutch for a manual. The result is a riotously double-boosted V10 with 1,500 horsepower and six forward ratios chosen by hand. Underground Racing told Road & Track they started with the gearbox from a 2012 Audi R8 and reworked it with custom parts to make it fit, manage the power, and be daily-drivable. The task also involved installing a JRR engine management system to shepherd the reconfigured drivetrain.   

In the cabin, UR removed the square section that houses the seven-speed dual-clutch shifter, replacing it with what looks like a custom fabbed gate giving off Ferrari vibes. It’s quite nice. Intriguingly, the R8 retains its paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. UR says these paddles have been equipped with “rolling antilag,” plus “launch control, drift mode, and more.” Curiouser and curiouser. The R8 Decennium was finished off with tweaks like a custom billet intake and custom-finished, center-lock wheels mimicking those on the Huracán Performante,  

With one six-speed conversion done, UR says it’s ready to do the same for any other manual-craving R8 owners, but the swap can only be added onto a twin-turbo kit. That means spending at least $49,000 for the Base Twin Turbo System that takes an R8 up to 800 wheel horsepower on 93 pump gas, before adding the cost of the manual transmission work. Underground Racing says it will release pricing for the six-speed manual kit soon, and we assume the new gearbox will be included in UR’s two-year, 24,000-mile warranty for peace of mind along with power and proper shifting. 

Ken Block’s Audi S1 Hoonitron

I am sure we all remember the legendary Audi Sport Quattro S1 we’ve seen attacking the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event, also known as the ‘Race to the Clouds’ as the finish line is so high up on the mountain it is usually above the cloud deck, and it is that very special car that inspired the looks of the latest development from Audi, the S1 e-tron specifically created for drift artist Ken Block … so this car is called the Hoonitron.

This is a one-off creation from Audi that will be featured in the upcoming video Ken Block is producing over the next few months, and being basically an S1 e-tron, we are looking at an all-electric car, powered by two electric motors, the Quattro name reveals it already, this is an all-wheel-drive car with oodles of power sitting on a lightweight carbon fiber chassis.

The Audi S1 Hoonitron is built to full FIA safety standards while the designers still managed to translate the raw design style of the classic Sport Quattro into the present day for the exterior styling of this 21st century S1 Hoonitron, note that development of this one-off was conducted at Neckarsulm by Audi Sport themselves, keep in mind the impressive Audi RS e-tron GT is built at that location too.

“Audi gave me the opportunity to test it for a few days in Germany,” says Ken Block. “I’m familiar with a wide variety of cars using internal combustion engines and transmissions, but there were a lot of new things for me to learn here. Spinning into a doughnut at 150 km/h directly from a standstill – just using my right foot – is an all-new experience for me. Our work was focused on getting the car and I used to each other. My thanks go to the whole Audi Sport squad for their outstanding teamwork.”

The futuristic design with a clear inspiration from the classic Sport Quattro was created by Audi Design in Ingolstadt, Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief designer, and his team commented: “When we first heard about this project, the whole team was thrilled immediately: we had the opportunity to develop a car that combines an icon of our brand with the future, the challenges were tremendous: “It was about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak. The timeline was extremely tight: while our design process normally takes one to one-and-a-half years, we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design. We were constantly in touch with Ken Block and his team and engaged in intensive exchanges.”

Back in the day, it was Audi that motived Ken Block to get into rallying in the first place, so having the brand you admire from the start create a bespoke car just for you is simply magic, so Block and his team will be creating a new episode in his Gymkhana series, this time using the S1 Hoonitron … therefore the working title for his latest video currently is ‘Elektrikhana’.

Ken Block: “The S1 Hoonitron combines a lot of what Audi was already famous for in the nineteen-eighties, for instance, the car’s spectacular aerodynamics have now been translated into a totally modern form. I think it’s cool that the Audi designers have been inspired by their own past and uniquely transferred the car’s technologies and appearance into the present.”

I for one am looking forward to checking out Elektrikhana when it’s published online, I’m sure it will be as least as impressive as Block’s previous work …

ABT RS6-S and RSQ8-S: New Packages with up to 690hp

ABT has revealed new Aero packages with carbon fibre parts for the RS6 and RSQ8 models which will be launched in mid-January 2022. The new packages carry the badging RS6-S and RSQ8-S.

Both the Avant and SUV models are powered by identical V8 engines with four litres of displacement generating a standard output power of 591 hp and 590lb-ft of torque.

The ABT Power S Performance upgrade based on the high-tech ABT Engine Control (AEC) increases the power output from standard to 690 hp and 649 lb-ft of torque.

ABT offers an extensive aerodynamics package made of visible carbon with many similarities for the models and differences as well i.e, both kits consist of a unique front lip with the respective model name in red lettering. The SUV has been fitted with side skirt add ons at the front and rear part of the vehicle whereas the Avant has side skirt add ons at the front and side blades at the rear.

Both S models have been equipped with the two-part rear spoiler and the ABT stainless steel exhaust system with four tailpipes measuring 102 mm.

The new RS6-S features anti-roll bars at the front and rear and 22 inch ABT high performance HR wheels for optimum performance. The new RSQ8-S has been fitted with similar wheels but with one size larger at 23 inches.

The interiors of the models feature upgraded seats, integrated entrance lights and customized door sills, shift knob finished in glossy carbon, start-stop switch cap and steering wheel badge. An additional package consisting of carbon fibre dashboard and seat frame covers for both models will also be available.

Audi denies McLaren purchase report

BERLIN — Early Monday morning, Audi denied reports that the company was closing a deal to purchase McLaren, leaning on a previous statement saying that the company is continuously looking at different ideas for cooperation and saying that the rumor of a completed purchase was “wholly inaccurate.”

“As part of our strategic considerations, we are constantly looking at various cooperation ideas,” an Audi spokesperson said in response to an earlier Autocar report that indicated a deal to purchase the supercar manufacturer was in the works to help the company secure a Formula 1 team. The report cited a source who said Audi had taken over the British sportscar maker. 

“McLaren’s technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers, including other carmakers, however, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group,” Audi said. 

McLaren later joined Audi in denying the story, using a statement saying, “McLaren Group is aware of a news media report stating it has been sold to Audi. This is wholly inaccurate and McLaren is seeking to have the story removed. McLaren’s technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers, including other carmakers, however, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group,” the spokesperson said.

Audi said to Reuters it was “looking at various cooperation ideas” but neither confirmed nor denied whether it was in discussion with McLaren about a possible sale.

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt announced in October that he would be step down after eight years leading the financially troubled company, which is now searching for a successor. 

This article contains reporting by Reuters.

Top 10 Non-Rally All-Wheel Drive Race Cars

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

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

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

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

Porsche Cisitalia Typ 360 in showroomVia: Drivetribe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #4: Matra MS84

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

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

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

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

Non-Rally AWD Race Car #5: Porsche 961

White Porsche 961 on trackVia: Total 911.

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

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

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

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

Blue Bugatti EB 110 SS LM on trackVia: Twitter.

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

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

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

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

Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO on trackVia: Top Gear.

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

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

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

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

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

Alfa Romeo 155 Ti DTM on trackVia: Collier Automedia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toyota TS050 Hybrid on race trackVia: Toyota.

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

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

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

The 10 Best Cars that Came with V10 Engines

V10 engines, like many of their internal combustion counterparts, are an endangered breed today as carmakers continue to explore alternatives like hybrid and all-electric powertrains. But even in their prime, ten cylinders arranged in a ‘V’ were never as popular as other engine types. Automobile manufacturers would either go all out by using the monster V12 in their vehicles or take the conservative route by opting for compact and less-complicated V8 units.

The V10 engine did have its moments, though, and these engines found their way into some pretty impressive cars—as you will discover in a moment. Here’s our list of the 10 best cars that came with V10 engines.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #10: Porsche Carrera GT

Silver Porsche Carrera GT outside buildingVia Mecum.

The magnificent Porsche Carrera GT is considered a legend today, and rightfully so. This hypercar debuted with a host of revolutionary technology that set it apart from the competition.

It was the first car to utilize carbon fibre reinforced plastic for both its monocoque and engine carrier. It also led the line when it came to the use of forged magnesium wheels.

Then, there’s that glorious mid-mounted aluminum V10 power plant at the heart of the vehicle’s performance. It was derived from Porsche’s cancelled LMP 2000 racing program and shares similarities with the 3.5-litre F1 engine of the 1992 era.

The 5.7-litre packs a pretty potent punch, too, able to crank out 605 hp at 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm. It delivers all that power with one of the best-sounding engine notes ever emitted by a production car.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #9: Lexus LFA

 Forest green Lexus LFA parked in city near railingVia Mecum.

Lexus did not muck around when it decided to create its first-ever and only supercar to date. The LFA program took off in 2000—an entire decade before the car itself went into final production in 2010.

This supercar earned praise for its excellent grip and handling, but it received the loudest plaudits for its V10 beating heart. The engine unit howls like a banshee, all the way to a 9,000 rpm redline, churning up an impressive 552 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. It also supplied enough grunt to rocket the LFA to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a 202 mph top speed.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #8: Lamborghini Gallardo

Red Lamborghini Gallardo parked on street with brick wall in backgroundVia Mecum.

The Lamborghini Gallardo is one of the company’s most successful models. Over 14,000 units were sold during a production run that spanned ten years (from 2003–2013).

The Gallardo’s engine played a crucial role in that success story. In its base form, the V10 put out 520 hp and 374 lb-ft of torque. That power could propel the sports car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and up to a 196 mph top speed.

Later variants were even more powerful. Tweaks to the engine led to a power bump, resulting in 552 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 2014 Gallardo LP560-4 model.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #7: 2006 Dodge RAM SRT-10

Silver 2006 Dodge RAM SRT-10 parked in front of treesVia Mecum.

During the 2000s, pickups were mostly seen as work trucks; just a means to haul small cargo from one point to another. The hulking Dodge RAM SRT-10 did not quite fit that mould, though, when it debuted in 2004.

A lowered ride height, among other modifications, meant this truck was not a very practical road-hauler. What it did have was a reputation as one of the fastest production trucks in the world—enough to earn it some serious bragging rights.

The SRT-10 could barrel its way to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. That bonkers performance came courtesy of a Dodge Viper-sourced V10 engine, good for 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #6: 2008 Audi RS6 Avant

 Blue 2008 Audi RS6 Avant parked in front of brick wallVia Top Car Rating.

The 2008 Audi RS6 Avant created quite a stir when it hit the market. Here was a formidable super wagon that boasted well over 550 hp and had enough of an arsenal to surprise the unwary sports car driver on the highway.

The 5.0-litre V10 at its core was a reworked version of the same engine unit in the Audi S6. It produced a thumping 580 hp at 6,250 rpm and 479 lb-ft of torque from just 1,500 rpm.

That power combined well with Audi’s famous AWD Quattro system to send the RS6 to 60 in about 4.4 seconds. That’s over a second faster than a Mustang sports car from the same period.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #5: Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Red Lamborghini Huracan Evo cornering on trackVia Mecum.

Lamborghini had found a winning formula with its V10 engine, and the carmaker stuck with it when designing the successor to the Gallardo. The Lamborghini Huracan was named after a fighting bull—and true to form, the supercar was no slouch.

The naturally aspirated V10 engine in the Huracan Evo is a 5.2-litre powerhouse that generates 631 hp, up from 602 hp in the base model. The Huracan Evo was designed to be more of a daily driver compared to the hardcore Performante variant, but it can still check off the 0 to 60 mph sprint in about 2.5 seconds.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #4: 2005 BMW M5

Silver 2005 BMW M5 parked in showroomVia BMW Blog.

This sports sedan marked the end of an era for BMW’s ‘M’ division. It was the last M5 super-saloon that got a naturally aspirated engine, but what an engine it was!

The engine in this car was developed at the same facility used by BMW to build Formula One engines at the time, and it displayed a similar level of technological advancement. Back then, the powertrain packed the most powerful ECU unit ever fitted on a production car.

The 5.0-litre V10 was primed to produce an impressive 500 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. That power output put it right in the mix with rivals like the RS6 Avant and the Mercedes Benz E55 AMG.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #3: 2016 Dodge Viper ACR

2016 Dodge Viper ACR cornering on trackVia Car and Driver.

The Dodge Viper thrilled gear heads for over two decades before it finally bowed out in 2017. But there was no way this all-American sports car was just going to slip quietly into the sunset, and the swansong 2016 Dodge Viper ACR was one of the most potent variants.

This performance car was a beast on race tracks, with a slew of aero upgrades and a gigantic wing for maximum downforce as it attacked corners. It did not disappoint in the power department, either—a massive 8.4-litre V10 shoehorned into the car’s hood provided up to 645 angry horses at peak 6,200 rpm.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #2: Audi R8

White Audi R8 parked outside near chain-link fenceVia Mecum.

You don’t need to be clairvoyant to know that the Audi R8 is on its last legs. The model line has been trimmed for 2021 and will eventually be phased out as Audi repositions itself for an EV future. Whatever happens, though, the Audi R8 will no doubt leave behind very fond memories.

This car debuted at the 2006 Paris Motor Show as a V8 model, but it soon gained a V10 powertrain—one that has been a part of the supercar ever since. The first V10 was based on the same engine that powered its sibling rival, the Gallardo. It had 525 hp for the 2008 model, but that number has been bumped up over time with various modifications and tweaks.

The V10 in the 2021 Audi R8 boasts up to 602 hp—the same output as the Lamborghini Huracan RWD.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #1: Volkswagen Touareg V10 TD1

Silver Volkswagen Touareg V10 TD1 parked on roadVia Car Throttle.

The infamous Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal has left a permanent stain on the reputation of the V10 engine that powered this vehicle. It’s such a shame, because the powertrain showcased the best of the carmaker’s engineering prowess when it first launched in 2004 with the Volkswagen Touareg TDI.

This SUV had a well-appointed luxurious interior that targeted the upper-middle-class segment. Even better was its 10-cylinder twin-turbo 5.0-litre diesel engine. Horsepower output was just about average at 309 hp, but it had a truly impressive 553 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm. Fifth Gear journalists demonstrated the strength of the torquey Touareg TDI when they used it to haul a Boeing 747 aircraft!

[Review] 2022 Audi TT RS

For those not in the know, Kyalami Green in Audi-speak is a bright shade that closely resembles Porsche’s more aptly-descriptive Viper Green. That name at least tells you this is a green hue with fangs—a green that stands out like no other and which attracts the attention of others.

While reviewing this car, I was even asked by two gentlemen in the supermarket car park if they could photograph it. And on my return, there was a middle-aged lady hovering around Ingolstadt’s fiery little coupe, muttering flattering words in its direction.

Hoping some of the compliments might have been aimed in my direction, I said to this lady how unusual it was for a grey-haired old codger like me to be piloting a sporty machine decked out in such a daring colour. “Ah no,” she opined, “you look cool in it!” Happily, my wife heard every word but pretended not to have done so—although she did admonish me for having the drive mode set in DYNAMIC, which maximises all the stunning aural effects that envelop the TTRS on the move.

Front view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Design

Exterior Details

On a more serious note, it’s not just the colour that attracts the eye in the case of this Audi supercar. It’s as much the simply fabulous, glossy paint finish and the wafer-thin shut lines together with the beautifully detailed (optional) gloss black trimmings that all combine to massage the senses.

The basic shape of the TT is familiar enough, having retained most of the eye-catching yet simple elements of the revolutionary original, and although its dimensions have grown across the three-and-a-bit generations that have followed, it remains a compact sportster endowed with decidedly cosy cabin dimensions exaggerated by the marked roof curvature and long, sloping tailgate.

As you might expect, opening and shutting the two hefty doors is a pleasure, thanks to the reassuring thunk they make and the precision feel of the process—the effortlessness of which almost seems surreal within a structure solid enough to make a Tiger tank feel like a packet of corn flakes. All of this simply reinforces the feel good factor.

Cabin of 2022 Audi TT RS

Interior Details

For those lucky souls who enter the cabin, there are even more details to appreciate. Take a close look inside the door jambs and around the sills and you’ll notice that the paint finish is consistently flawless (and that nasties such as spot weld points are absent).

This fastidious detailing is maintained throughout the cabin, which in this instance featured gorgeous quilted nappa leather and alcantara seating, as well as acres of soft-touch surfacing and a mix of textures including (optional) carbon fibre.

It’s certainly a cosy environment, although the low seating position and proximity of the beautifully lined roof ensure that entering and exiting needs a conscious effort for a frame as well worn as mine.

Finding a perfect driving position is not difficult though, thanks to the multi-adjustable seating and leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel, which also sports alcantara inlays (as does the stubby shift lever).

This is what I call, in relative terms, old school Audi detailing. Hard surfaces are hard to find, and rotary MMI controllers and tactile switch gear provide functionality beyond mere touch. This makes operating the brilliantly informative and clear multi-functional driver display more intuitive than might be the case in some of the later Ingolstadt productions, where the eye needs to wander off the road. Truth be told, though, the ambience of the TT is not so much luxurious as it is clinically precise.

Cabin display of 2022 Audi TT RS

Cabin Display

The extent of the information on display is terrific and includes:

  • Front and rear camera images
  • A G-meter
  • Boost levels
  • Sat nav
  • Audio
  • A full run-down on the car’s state of play, with details like:
    • Fuel consumption
    • Range/level
    • Odometer
      Dual speedo displays
    • Engine revs
    • Tyre pressures
    • And more

Naturally, there’s also cruise control on board, along with keyless stop/start, auto air con, electric folding mirrors (optional gloss black in this instance), and electric one-touch windows.

Trunk of 2022 Audi TT RS with rear seats folded

2022 Audi TT RS Comfort

Two occupants will enjoy the low-set front pews that offer more support than observation alone might suggest, but the vestigial and very upright pair of seats in the rear are there to transport wee ones on urban hops only. They’re much more useful when folded to extend the surprisingly capacious (if shallow) load area that provides 305L (10.77cu/ft) with seats in place.

Engine of 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Performance

Those fortunate enough to own a set of keys for such a sporting bolide will be much more interested in what lurks under the clamshell bonnet, and here the TT RS truly excels. The straight-five injected and turbocharged engine has been refined over the years, during which time it has earned a multitude of international awards.

Notwithstanding its ballistic 294kW (395HP)/480Nm (354lb/ft) peak outputs, it idles with unusual smoothness and lack of aural fuss. But give the gas pedal a decent prod and those five cylinders, with their unusual firing order, transform into a snarling, mildly off-beat symphony that’s sure to be accompanied by the broadest of smiles and simply devastating forward momentum.

Audi’s famed quattro driveline ensures that no energy is fruitlessly expended in spinning wheels as the scant 3.7 second 0-100km/h (62.2 mph) elapsed time indicates—but this diminutive coupe does more than scamper off the line like a scalded hare.

With the aid of a slick and decisive 7-speed dual clutch S Tronic gearbox that’s very willing to drop cogs in DYNAMIC mode in particular, this engine has muscles to flex from as low as 2000rpm. Traversing urban roads with constantly variable traffic flows never triggers a feeling of lethargy from the five-pot mill.

Indeed, it is rarely necessary to employ the services of the wheel-mounted paddle shifters, since the transmission boasts sufficient grey matter to do the right thing most of the time. If the mood arises, though, using a heavy foot and flexible fingers to work those shifters really does produce the most electrifying performance—aided by activating the sound flap in the exhaust system, which terminates in two large circular pipes that warn would-be-challengers to approach with caution.

For the record, this test unit featured the deletion of the usual 250km/h (155mph) speed limiter to allow for a top speed of 280km/h (174mph).

Green 2022 Audi TT-RS parked on side of road near ocean and mountains

This car’s straight line performance is nothing less than electrifying, as are the brakes. But the RS does more than leave vapour trails in its wake, as its small dimensions, huge 255/30ZR20 Pirelli P-Zeros, quattro drivetrain, inherently stiff springs, and (optional) adaptive suspension prove. All these inputs combine with surprisingly responsive steering to produce a machine that can change direction with pleasing certainty, backed by limpet-like grip.

Sure, it’s not a scalpel in the mould of a Porsche Cayman, but to expect such precision would be a tad unfair, given that the Audi’s underpinnings owe more to a Golf hatchback rather than an out-and-out sportscar. What it offers is a ride, even in the sportiest setting, that feels distinctly firm—but with a measure of pliancy that blunts the worst effects of sharp ridges and deep-set manhole covers (even if it doesn’t entirely eliminate them).

Close-up of tyre on 2022 Audi TT RS

As might be expected, that sport-biased rubber can set up a bit of a din on coarse tar. But in cruise mode on smoother surfaces, the TT RS is decently refined, thanks to excellent suppression of wind noise and an almost total isolation of mechanical interference—until that gas pedal is exercised in a downward direction!

Side view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Mileage

Speaking of gas, the RS recorded a fuel consumption of 11.9L/100km (19.77mpg (US) over a weeks’ varied use with plenty of urban running and bursts of acceleration thrown in. However, a specific motorway check over 30-minutes’ running at around 130km/h (80mph) produced a most encouraging 8.2L/100km (28.68mpg (US).

Rear view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

Final Thoughts on the 2022 Audi TT RS

Sadly, it seems this Audi TT RS will be the last of the breed, as politics and a change of priorities in the world of car manufacturing will soon see the end of fossil fuelled vehicles, especially those of this ilk. Anyone seeking a last chance to take ownership of a surprisingly practical compact sports coupe with stunningly classy build quality and a level of performance almost unmatched in this price range should take the bull by the horns without delay. If all these gloomy predictions do indeed come to pass, then the RS is a truly marvellous swansong for the TT concept.

The new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD

Just imagine how much fun you could have behind the wheel of a 570 PS topless Audi R8 … with rear-wheel drive only? A lot, if you know what you are doing, having a car like this that only propels the rear wheels is the most fun possible behind a steering wheel, but it does demand a level of expertise and some respect for the boundaries, with the Lamborghini Huracán EVO RWD as a counterpart, the Audi R8 V10 just had to have an RWD version too, and right from the start buyers were lining up for this special model, today Audi launched the ‘Performance’ edition, adding 30 PS onto the power output, available as a Coupe from €149,000 with the Spyder demanding a mere €13,000 premium.

The new Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD will be available to order starting October 21st, and all units will be built mainly by hand at the Böllinger Höfe plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, the exact same place where the famous LMS GT4 racecar is assembled from roughly 60% the same parts as these streetcars, the front radiator grille with her large air intakes on either side, the front splitter, the rear vents, and even the oval tailpipes on these R8 V10 Performance RWD are inspired by said GT4 racer.

The new Audi R8 V10 Performance V10 can be ordered in ten different colors, even Ascari Blue Metallic that was previously only available for the R8 V10 performance quattro, as standard with the “R8 performance” design package, the interior boasts beautiful black Alcantara leather, with contrast stitching in Mercato Blue and carbon inlays. The Multifunction plus steering wheel comes with four control satellites in these Peformance versions, each for using Audi drive select, to start the engine, to activate Performance Mode and control the engine sound as well as to pilot the Audi virtual cockpit.

Both pilot and co-pilot can be seated in new R8 bucket or sports seats that are available now, either upholstered in luxurious leather or track-inspired Alcantara while a bespoke RWD badge is mounted on the fascia in front of the passenger, just to remind you are being seated in a supercar that has been specifically tuned for ‘controlled drifts’ in Sport mode.

This new Performance model can reach 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds (the Spyder takes 0.1 seconds more due to her increased weight) while the top speed is a staggering 329 km/h (327 km/h for the Spyder) powered by that magnificent 5.2-Liter V10 FSI engine, as already mentioned power has been increased to a total of 570 PS with torque now at 550 Nm, all being driven to the rear wheels only through Audi’s 7-Speed S tronic automatic gearbox.

The Audi R8 is still a lightweight aluminum body built over a spaceframe chassis, but large parts are made from CFRP, carbon fiber reinforced plastic to keep the weight down, the R8 V10 Performance Coupe puts down 1,590 kg while the Spyder version adds another 105 kg to reach a total of 1,695 kg, but despite the weight penalty, I would go for the Spyder all the way, I love convertible cars, and with that impressive V10 just inches behind your head, the sound going through a tunnel with the roof down must be mindboggling.

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.

Audi

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.

Bentley

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.

BMW

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.

Chevrolet

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.

Dodge

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.

Ferrari

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.

Ford

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.

Jaguar

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.

Koenigsegg

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.

Lamborghini

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.

Lexus

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.

Maserati

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.

McLaren

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.

Mercedes

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.

Best of the Current Audi Model Lineup

The four-ringed German marque has really come into its own in the last decade, with Audi now setting a benchmark for what a luxury sports car – at an accessible price – can and should be. These days they’re propagating this philosophy with the volume cranked all the way up, producing a comprehensive range of SUVs, sedans, estates and supercars.

While the most significant updates for the 2021 model year have been reserved for their entry-level offerings, their top performance vehicles (basically anything with an ‘R’ or ‘RS’ in the name) are also bearing some good news. For 2021, we’ve seen the debut of the RS6 Avant, RS7 and RS Q8 for North American markets. Then of course, there’s the all new e-tron GT – Audi’s high-performance grand-touring EV saloon – which looks to shake up a playing field currently dominated by the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.

The Audi R8 continues to retain its position as ‘poster boy’ atop the performance hierarchy, even though the old-guard has been rumored for retirement no later than 2023. In celebration or in spite of this (depending on how you look at it) Audi has announced that the R8 will be permanently available with a rear-wheel drive base model going forward. In the past, the rear-wheel drive R8 – which first featured briefly in 2018 as the R8 RWS – was a limited-run version of the otherwise exclusively all-wheel drive car.

With the company changing its focus to EV production and technologies, it will be interesting to see how things play out for Audi over the next decade. Will Audi be taking the lead on this next generation of transportation? How will their philosophies and definition of an “engaging driving experience” be affected by this transformation?

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

Audi R8 RWD

Audi R8 RWD

This has to be the best car that Audi currently has in its model range. Now a standard, instead of a one-off offering, the rear-wheel drive version of Audi’s famous R8 supercar is wonderful for so many reasons. Not only does it provide a notably lower price of entry into ownership of a brand new R8, it also brings about the puristic thrills that its heavier and more expensive all-wheel-drive counterpart can’t. Yeah, it’s not going to be as quick as the Performance model, but it sure as heck is going to be more fun to drive. Touted as a proper sports car engine, its V10 makes peak power at 7,800 rpm and smoothly revs all the way to a euphoric 8,700 rpm redline, all the while providing a delightful symphony of sound via its howling engine note.

Audi RS 6 Avant

2021 Audi RS6 Avant

Audi is reinvigorating the currently stale hot-hatch segment, with its greatly anticipated RS 6 Avant finally making its way over to the western hemisphere. Featuring a mild-hybrid powertrain, this is not your average station wagon. The aggressive and attractive RS-specific bodywork makes a loud statement that this is no ordinary grocery getter. Ok, so it’s not exactly cheap either – with a base price north of 6 figures – but it’s easily my favorite Audi, and is the best car in the lineup that is not an R8. At the heart of the car is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that 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.

Audi e-tron GT

Audi e-tron GT

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. This isn’t the marque’s first EV model, as it joins up with a roster currently occupied by Audi’s e-tron SUVs. However, the e-tron GT does have the distinction of becoming the first fully-electric car to don the company’s legendary RS badge via the highest and most expensive trim level currently on offer. The base model e-tron GT predictably comes with less of the go-faster, stop-harder and look-sexier ingredients that are typically reserved for an RS model, but it does share the same 93.4 kWh battery with its more glamorous stablemate.

Audi RS Q8

Audi RS Q8

The Audi RS Q8 is the fastest version of the marque’s Q8 series of sport utility vehicles. It’s also the fastest dang SUV around the Nordschleife too – not too shabby for something you can ferry the kids to-and-from school in, and it will definitely earn you bragging rights amongst all the parents in the neighborhood. The model gets a high-performance 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which punches out exotic-level performance figures – namely, 592 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a lot of power for just about anything out there, never mind something that seats 5 adults comfortably. For 2021, the RS Q8 gets only one change; it now comes standard with a built-in toll-road-payment transmission feature.

Audi RS 7

Audi RS 7

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 performance credentials to back up its bold 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 a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, 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. If you’re looking for an ideal luxury-performance sports sedan, and aren’t quite ready to make the leap over to an EV, this would be the one to get.

Audi RS Q e-tron preparation for Dakar

In January 2022 the next edition of the famous Dakar Rally will start, and over the years we’ve seen some really spectacular cars, bikes, and trucks competing in this grueling desert race, but the 2022 edition will see a rather special entry at the starting grid, the Audi Sport RS Q e-tron … yes, you are reading that correctly, a hybrid rally car.

You can only do so much testing in Germany or Spain, so to get some more ‘real time’ data Audi Sport took their RS Q e-tron together with the three driver crews to Morocco, none other than previous Dakar record winner Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekström would be taking this highly complex prototype into the desert where temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (or 104°F) were measured during these hard test sessions.

“We expect much lower temperatures at the Dakar Rally,” says Andreas Roos. “Nevertheless, we deliberately went to Morocco to test our concept under the most extreme conditions. Components such as the MGU, for example, were basically not developed for use in such high ambient temperatures, but the drivetrain and other components were also pushed to their limits or even beyond by the heat. The insights we gained in Morocco are invaluable, but they also show us that we still have a lot to do before the Dakar Rally and there is not much time left.”

To make sure this Audi RS Q e-tron has any chance at finishing the Dakar rally, they developed a bespoke high-voltage battery, where the main focus is on managing the temperature while being able to pull the maximum amount of power from this power cell for sustained periods of time, in a hot and dusty environment like the Dakar desert.

Power in the Audi RS Q e-tron comes from two Formula E electric motors, found in the FE07, one on each axle, while a turbocharged 2-Liter four-cylinder engine taken from the 2020 DTM RS5 race car will charge the 50 kWh battery as a generator … total power output is said to be 671 hp before regulations might come in to restrict that number.

In January we will be seeing three RS Q e-tron start the Dakar Rally, over the two weeks following the departure there will be daily stages, some nearly 500 miles, that will really put the new Audi electric powertrain to the test, and the Dakar Rally is only the first stop for Audi Sport, as they have left Formula E and the DTM now to focus entirely on Le Mans next.

Are EVs Ready for Dakar? Audi RS Q e-tron Hits Moroccan Desert Ahead of Dakar 2022

Audi Sport tested the Audi RS Q e-tron in Morocco for almost 2 weeks under extreme conditions, the vehicle had already done extensive tests in Germany and Spain with all three drivers included. The drivers were ; the Dakar record winners Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz alongside rallycross veteran Mattias Ekstrom.

Additionally, the co-drivers were also present during the tests to form a unit in the Dakar Rally as well as to ensure the cockpit feels comfortable.

The extreme conditions the test team encountered in Morocco included high temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius at times and sandstorms which hampered the tests and caused interruptions which needed to be solved after next test.

The team is expecting lower temperatures at the Dakar Rally 2022, components such as MGU were not developed to be used in high temperatures but the drivetrain and other components were pushed beyond their limit.

The high-voltage battery equipped in the vehicle was developed for the Dakar Rally specifically , the battery features optimum temperature management as well as maximum performance.

The Audi RS5 DTM car is powered by a new generation 2.0L turbocharged engine that can produce up to 670hp with the boost function. This number is somewhat irrelevant to the RS Q e-tron as the key drivetrain power source comes from MGUs. Oddly enough, the total system output of the e-drivetrain is also 670hp or 500kW.

Audi grandsphere concept at IAA 2021

Audi is planning to create three ‘sphere’ concept cars as an indication of how they see the future of automobiles, the first one we could admire during Monterey Car Week, called the Skysphere, was a luxury GT Roadster that could effectively ‘stretch’ her wheelbase to offer more interior space, the second one in the sphere series is the grandsphere concept unveiled at the IAA, the International Motor Show in Germany, usually held in Frankfurt, but for the 2021 edition moved to Munich.

All of the Audi ‘sphere’ concepts will come with level 4 automatic driving, we’ve seen that on the skysphere already, where the car would really transport the occupants from point A to point B without them even touching the steering wheel, as that part of the interior isn’t needed anymore in this mode, it actually folds away, out of view. And that’s exactly what we are seeing inside this larger grandsphere concept too, and it will make its return in the third car in the series, the urbansphere which we’ll be able to admire in 2022.

Audi and CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group’s global software think tank, are working together to create new technology, and their Level 4 is nothing less than changing the interior concept of a car as we know it today, still being a driver-oriented cockpit with seats for three or four passengers, but once the auto-driving mode is engaged, both the steering wheel and the pedals are moved out of sight to create a serene environment for all occupants.

Audi calls these concepts ‘spheres’ because all three are designed from the idea of the interior being the most important part of the car of the future, the occupants’ living and experience sphere while traveling, in case of this grandsphere, Audi calls it a private jet for the road, with an overall length of 5.35 m (17.6 ft.) with a 3.19 m (10.5 ft.) wheelbase that’s even longer than the current Audi A8 Long, the grandsphere is all about luxury and comfort once you open the ‘suicide doors’ found on this concept, the front doors are hinged from the front, but the rear doors open from the rear to allow much easier access into the luxurious interior as there is no B-pillar on this model.

The Audi grandsphere will also come with a pathway identification … this means the car will recognize who is approaching the vehicle, and will automatically open the doors to welcome them, but it goes way further than that, depending on who the car senses, the ambient light changes, climate control settings are restored and the seats move into their predetermined position … even the infotainment system picks up on where a passenger stopped streaming a video before getting into the car, only to resume that video on one of the displays found inside the grandsphere.

A feeling of openness and breadth is created, helped by the absence of the steering wheel and pedals, but also because of the large window surfaces on the Audi grandsphere, even the entire roof is transparent on this concept, even the side windows use a futuristic concept where the upper half gets a very distinctive angle while the widest part of the side window is just above eye level.

Because the Audi grandsphere is all about comfort and luxury, the front seats are considered first-class seating now, especially as the car will drive itself, the passengers have an amazing view over the completely clean dashboard through the fast windshield, despite the size of the grandsphere and the roominess inside, this is actually a 2+2 seater, the rear offers a two-person bench with an armrest that goes around the side, integrated as a seating option in the back when the two front seats are in their most backward position.

With the seats in their upright position, the Audi grandsphere can be perfectly ergonomically controlled when outside level 4 zones as the car has to be driven using the pedals and steering wheel, however, when in ‘auto drive’, the back can be tilted 40 degrees and passengers can relax or use the infotainment system. ultimately, with the back folded down to 60 degrees, the result is a perfect resting position. The headrest can be moved 15 degrees forward while vents emit filtered and temperature-controlled (even scented if desired) air, and then there are speakers that are inaudible to other passengers and allow for a private aural zone while being transported in the Audi grandsphere concept’s first-class cabin.

There is leather inside the Audi grandsphere, instead, you’ll find wool or synthetic textile material combined with wood and metal to offer the most pleasant touch, either sourced from sustainable cultivation or made from recycled material, and while every car needs displays, in case of this grandsphere these are actually projected onto the wooden surface, and while the car is in the automated driving mode, the entire dashboard fascia becomes a CinemaScope screen for entertainment or video conferencing.

The Audi grandsphere comes with the innovative MMI touchless response, using haptic controls and even eye movement detection to interact with the driver, this concept comes with eye-tracking, gesture or voice control, and it comes with a level of AI as the system will ‘learn’ the preferences of the driver and frequently used menus … in the end, the system will be able to offer personalized proposals to the occupant, and if you really want to ‘tune out’, there are VR glasses in the armrests.

Being a concept for the future, the Audi grandsphere is an all-electric car and should come with a 120 kWh battery module using the entire vehicle base between the axles, the massive 23-inch wheels are mounted on axles that have their own electric motor, one for the front axle, one for the rear axle, so this Audi has the famous quattro drive system … power output is an impressive 530 kW with 960 Nm of torque.

Similar to the Audi e-tron GT, the grandsphere comes with an 800-volt charging capacity, this means a depleted battery can be charged up to 270 kW almost instantly when connected to a fast-charging station, it takes only 10 minutes to add 300 km (186 miles) to the range, going from a 5% load to an 80% load on the 120 kWh battery takes less than 25 minutes, the grandsphere comes with a range up to 750 km (466 miles), and while maximum speed is limited to offer more range, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes little over 4 seconds.

I have to admit, if this is the future we are heading into with electric cars, I’m not too worried, this car looks good, a sleek 4-door GT sedan, I wouldn’t call it a supercar or hypercar like the Koenigsegg Gemera, but this Audi grandsphere is intended for a different kind of customer … the future is electric, and the Audi grandsphere is a glimpse of what’s to come in the next decade or so.

Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars

No one would argue that the past year-and-a-half has been a truly challenging period for human civilization, though it has not seemed to put even a dent in the momentum of the vehicle electrification movement. If anything, automakers were presented with a unique opportunity to showcase their credentials in this space; with the disruption of routine living circumstances, this was a moment when the global audience’s attention could be more easily procured, if done in the right way.

As it happened, a slew of new electric vehicles would be announced and even enter production during this time, bringing with them much excitement, fanfare, and most importantly a positive outlook on the future, albeit through an automotive lens. Nevertheless, automobiles are a topic that most people have in common, and the industry certainly didn’t fall short on providing its fair share of feel-good moments during this gloomy time – definitely for the car enthusiasts, and probably for the green movement too.

EVs (such as the Porsche Taycan) ordered by customers before the pandemic started, were generally delivered on-time if not ahead of schedule (like mine). During the pandemic, production levels remained vigorous, along with the unveiling of new models – some of which are simply game-changing. The emergence of cars such as the Rimac Nevera, Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista proved that automakers were generally unfazed by the chaos of the past 2 calendar years, delivering the goods as promised and not finding any reasons to have done anything but.

There’s no shortage of hybrid options either, with many of the world’s most impressive machines displaying the incredible potential of this technology. The likes of Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale and Lamborghini’s Sián have been showcasing that hybrid engines are not just a stop-gap measure before electrification proliferates. Rather, they are viable complement to fully-electric cars, both now and likely into the distant future. Bio fuels could play a key role in this development, and possibly even prolong the existence of the combustion engine for some time to come.

Here are 15 of the Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars, you can buy today.

Acura NSX Type S

Acura RSX Type S at Race Track

Acura has just announced that they will be producing a limited-edition NSX Type S variant for the 2022 model year, which will also serve as the swan song for the brand’s halo car (now in its second generation). Officially unveiled during Monterrey Car Week, the Type S will be the “quickest, most powerful and best-handling production NSX ever” according to the automaker, with an enhanced version of the 3.5L twin-turbocharged hybrid engine now producing 600 hp and 492 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed DCT and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) have also been optimized to get the most out of the car’s improved performance. The NSX Type S will also come standard with a carbon-fiber roof, as part of its weight reduction protocols.

Distinctive design cues and more aggressive aerodynamics are also at the core of the car’s improved driving character, with race car components – such as a GT3-inspired rear diffuser – being among the most easily distinguishable features. The NSX Type S will also come with redesigned front and rear bumpers, unique 5-spoke wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, and a retuned adaptive suspension system. Optional features such as Gotham Gray exterior paint and an available Lightweight Package – which includes carbon-ceramic brakes and more carbon fiber components – are also exclusive to the Type S. Limited to a production run of only 350 units.

Rimac Nevera

Rimac Nevera

Although it is not the first EV to be powered by 4 permanent magnet electric motors, the Rimac Nevera does come with its own unique electric drivetrain design. By strategically placing a pair of 200 kW electric motors in front and another two 500 kW electric motors in the rear, the engineers were able to give the rear-biased Nevera an ideal 48:52 (front:rear) weight distribution. However, a deeper inspection reveals more intricacies in the design, as the planetary gears for each of the 4 wheels are purposed in such a way that the Nevera is also optimally balanced from left to right as well. Genius.

It’s probably a good thing that this Rimac was built with a predisposition to exhibit ballet-like agility, because it’s going to need all the grace in the world to tame all that’s brewing within. In combination, all of the 4 electric motors can generate up to 1,914 hp (1.4 mW) and 1,740 lb-ft of torque (2,360 Nm). This allows the Nevera to absolutely annihilate the popular 0-60 mph benchmark in just 1.85 seconds, with an equally impressive 1/4 mile time of just 8.6 seconds – good enough to make it the fastest production vehicle ever made, by some margin. Top speed is stated as 258 mph (412 km/h).

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Ferrari SF90 Stradale at Race Track

At first glance the SF90 Stradale sounds like a car we should all fear; a soul crushing proposition. It is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (Ferrari’s first) with four-wheel-drive, built on a new ‘multi material‘ platform and has even more electric driver aids than ever before. It is enough to make old-school Ferrari fans and drivers run straight for the exits (probably to pick up a 458 Speciale instead). But those who are willing to consider the outcomes with an open-mind are sure to be satiated, if not entirely blown-away.

In the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the company has partnered its F154 V8 engine with a 7.9 kWh battery, which allows the twin-turbocharged V8 hybrid to produce up to 986 hp in total. The three electric motors combine to deliver 217 hp, an can even bring the SF90 Stradale to a speed of 84 mph and complete over 15 miles, all on their own power. Aside from a mind-boggling 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds, this configuration also makes the SF90 the first mid-engined Ferrari to be all-wheel drive. Handling is also greatly enhanced with torque vectoring now being available on the front-axle. 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 make a whopping 860 lbs of downforce at speed, and the whole profile of the car is extremely low so it can slash through the air at high speeds.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Mamba Green Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

The Taycan Turbo S is the ultimate Porsche EV. The absolutely mind-boggling 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque it instantaneously produces, rockets the car from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds – hypercar territory, that is. It manages to combine this with 911-level handling characteristics and is infused with the same essence we’ve come to expect in all Porsche sports cars. Porsche ceramic composite brakes (PCCB) are standard fare on the Turbo S, as are the otherwise optional 21” Mission-E Design wheels. To provide even more extra stopping force, the Turbo S is also fitted with larger front and rear rotors than what is installed on the 4S and Turbo models.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models, we’re now entering the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover / estate. While a number of the Cross Turismo models’ design elements bear an obvious resemblance to the sedans, they offer something very distinct as well.

Lamborghini Sián

Lamborghini Sian

Amongst this list of very special cars, the Sián is perhaps the most special. That’s because the Lamborghini Sián is the most notable example of an automobile which uses a supercapacitor – the ‘super’ added because, well, you need a really, really big capacitor to help power a car. In this configuration, the supercapacitor collects and stores energy (primarily from regenerative braking). In certain moments (such as a launch), the supercapacitor dumps all of its energy into an electric motor which immediately and briefly adds an extra 34 hp on top of what the Sián’s 785 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine produces. This means that up to 819 hp is sent to all 4 wheels, with the electric motor integrated into the transmission to reduce weight and improve responsiveness.

As long as the supercapacitor keeps getting recharged – which can be achieved with just seconds of hard braking – there will always be that extra bit of power boost at the car’s beckoning. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. For one, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle… at least for now.

Tesla Model S Plaid+

Tesla Model S Plaid+ Rolling Shot

Tesla recently announced that they’ve added a new trim for their Model S and Model X. The base “Long Range” models will still use dual-motors, while the new high-performance models will be replaced with “Plaid”. While this is mostly down to marketing and rebranding, the Model S will have also have a Plaid+ option later this year; for performance junkies, this is the most significant news as this package incorporates Tesla’s latest battery technology. The Plaid+, with it’s brand new architecture, is said to be capable of 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds and a range of up to 520 miles on a single charge.

Needless to say, figures like those will surely lead to an upheaval of the current status quo in EV-land and will have competitors scrambling to keep up. Word is, these claims are far from anecdotal, as an 1,100 hp prototype version of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ has already beat the Mclaren P1’s lap time at the legendary Laguna Seca raceway in California, USA. Tesla is already taking orders on its website, where it starts at a price of $131,100.

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg unveiled its Regera hybrid hypercar model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then it has generated plenty of hype amongst car enthusiasts and performance junkies. Besides a regular combustion engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also utilizes 3 electric motors which dole out 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque via a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car now produces 1,500 hp (which the company likes to market as 1.11 MW), making it the most powerful hybrid supercar in the world. Its combustion engine is a 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces an out-of-this-world 1,100 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque without electric assistance.

Koenigsegg has gone on to claim that the Regera can theoretically reach top speeds of over 400 km/h, although this has not yet been made official.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija in London

Lotus has been hyping their new fully-electric automobile, going as far as saying that the Evija will be a “mind-blowing supercar”. The car features two electric motors which output its outrageous 2,000 hp. The battery is placed in the middle of the car where a typical internal combustion mid-engine car would have its beating heart, helping it to achieve an ideal weight distribution. Lotus sought to strike the perfect balance between a track car and a road car, and that extends to the cabin – a minimalist, driver-focused interior design but with plenty of the comfort and convenience features you’d expect in a civil grand tourer. The Lotus Evija has been named as ‘The One to Watch‘ in Top Gear’s 2021 Electric Awards .

The Lotus Evija was built with a simple goal – to be the absolute pinnacle of world-class engineering and the most powerful performance car ‘For The Drivers’. It harnesses Lotus’ technical expertise, fine-tuned over more than seven decades, to create a masterclass of automotive excellence. Judges at the IDA commented that the Lotus Evija “paves a way towards a more sustainable future whilst embodying an exceptional aerodynamic aesthetic”, and that “its seductive style elevates the Evija to be the world’s most premium sustainable car”.

Audi e-tron RS GT

Audi e-tron GT Rolling Shot

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. Audi has marketed the e-tron GT as a fully-electric grand tourer, as a opposed to a sports saloon EV like the Porsche Taycan. This sets clear expectations right away of what makes the e-tron GT an entirely unique offering – not quite as powerful (compared to the Turbo and Turbo S), a little less nimble and sharp in the handling department, slightly more utilitarian with extra cargo room and a typically impressive Audi-esque interior.

The entry-level e-tron GT  produces 469 hp, which can be boosted up to 523 hp when using launch control. This is good for 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph, making it most comparable to the Porsche Taycan 4S which ends up being a smidge quicker using the same measuring stick. Stepping up to the RS model will net you 590 hp with 637 hp available in overboost mode. This allows the RS e-tron GT to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is slower than Tesla’s and Porsche’s quickest EV models by 1.3 seconds (Model S Plaid) and 0.8 seconds (Taycan Turbo S) respectively.

Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina Battista Canyon Drive

When the Pininfarina Battista was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, it was touted as the first fully-electric hypercar. Having been teased with bits and pieces up to that point, the Battista would finally secure its place in history as the first complete amalgamation of a zero-emissions hypercar. I doubt that anyone would be offended – least of all, Pininfarina – if the Battista was mistaken as ‘just another’ one of Ferrari’s super cars. Afterall, the design elements are deliberately signature from the company; and that’s really the best part of it all.

Beneath the silhouette lies something less familiar – the absence a typically mid-mounted combustion engine, for one. The Ferrari…. I mean…. Pininfarina Battista is fully-electric, and beyond that very notion, things only start to get even more crazy. The Battista utilizes 4 motors – one for each wheel – which produce a combined 1,900-horsepower and 1696 ft-lb of torque. That level of performance and technological sophistication won’t come cheap either, with each car priced at around $2.3 million USD.

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Side Profile

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro isn’t just another version of the original Aston Martin Valkyrie with some added aerodynamic parts. They’ve also increased the wheelbase of the original chassis by 380 mm, and added 96 mm and 115 mm to the front and rear track width respectively. These changes effectively lengthen the entire car by 266 mm, essentially making it a ‘longtail’ version, as their rivals McLaren would call it.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro still uses the same Cosworth-built naturally-aspirated V12 engine with a 6.5L displacement – but now with 1,000 hp available at a screaming 11,000 rpm. Significant weight has been shed on the Valkyrie AMR Pro by removing the entire hybrid system, using an extremely light carbon fiber body, and incorporating carbon fiber suspension components. Thanks to its aerodynamic efficiency, the Valkyrie AMR Pro offers track performance previously only seen on Formula One cars.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes AMG Project One at Race Track

After months of teasing and speculation, Mercedes-AMG has officially unveiled the world’s first road legal car equipped with a Formula 1 powertrain – the 1,000 hp Project One. Its 4-digit power output comes from an improved version of the hybrid system found inside the W08 F1 car, which also includes a turbocharged 1.6L V6 engine and four electric motors. The two front electric motors on the Project One are of the latest and greatest technologies available, with each unit being capable of revving up to 50,000 rpm and producing 160 hp on their own.

The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger, while the fourth is mounted directly on the car’s combustion engine, producing another 120 hp of the Project One’s total power output of “beyond 1,000 hp”. Mercedes-AMG has also claimed that the turbo lag on the Project One is not only eliminated in this setup, but the response times should now be shorter than those cars powered by a naturally-aspirated V8.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Rolling Shot

Porsche has provided no shortage of options within any of its model line-ups, with the relatively recent addition of E-Hybrid models serving up even more choices for those seeking a more eco-friendly experience from the brand. While the Taycan is the only model fully-committed to electrification, the E-Hybrids are an impressive alternative for those who aren’t quiet ready to make the big step over to the other side. Currently, E-Hybrid models can be found within the Panamera and Cayenne model line-ups, and are destined to be in the mix with other models such as the Cayman, 911 and Macan in the not so distant future.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the range, and is the only model (notwithstanding the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid) to feature a hybridized version of Porsche’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. On its own, the petrol engine produces 563 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Sport Turismo estate-style body would definitely be our pick, as it also provides a greater sense of both utilitarianism and style to boot.

Koenigsegg Gemera

Koenigsegg Gemera

Hinted at for a long time under the codename ‘KG12′, the latest Koenigsegg megacar has been revealed: The 2022 Koenigsegg Gemera. The Gemera is Koenigsegg’s first proper 2+2 GT car, or due to the power it produces, ‘mega-GT’ if you will. The car outputs a combined total of 1.27 MW of power, or by more traditional measurements, 1,700 HP and 2,581 lb-ft of torque. This is achieved through the combination of an extremely powerful, 2.0L twin-turbocharged camless + freevalve inline-3 engine – nicknamed the ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’ – which produces 600hp all on its own, and is partnered with three electric motors.

Two electric motors are placed at each rear wheel, with a third motor attached to the crankshaft of the engine to boost power to the front axle. All three motors have a combined output of 1,100 HP. Koenigsegg has confirmed that orders can be taken through the Expressions Of Interest website, and that the base price is $1.7 million USD.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail Wallpapers

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities.

This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren spokesperson, Wayne Bruce). More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

50 Best Engines of All Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferrari Colombo V12Ferrari Colombo V12 Engine

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

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

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 Engine

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

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

Jaguar V12

Jaguar V12 Engine

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

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

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 Engine

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

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

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 Engine

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

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

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 Engine

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

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

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 Engine

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

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

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE Engine

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

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 Engine

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

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

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12 Engine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

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

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo

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

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V

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

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10

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

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

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

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

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

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

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

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

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

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

VW Touareg V10 TDI

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

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10

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

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

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

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

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

Ferrari F106

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

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

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

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

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

BMW S63

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

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

Lexus 2UR-GSE

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

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

Ferrari F136

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

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

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

McLaren M830T / M840T

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

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

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

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

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

Audi 4.2L FSI

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

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

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

Mercedes-AMG M178

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

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

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

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

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

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

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

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

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

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74 engine

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

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

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

BMW S54B32

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

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

Nissan RB26DETT

Nissan RB26DETT engine

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

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

Porsche MDH.NA

Porsche MDH.NA

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

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

Honda C30A

Honda C30A engine

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

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

Alfa Romeo ‘Busso’ V6

Alfa Romeo 'Busso' V6 engine

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

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

Nissan VR38DETT

Nissan VR38DETT engine

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

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

Jaguar JRV-6

Jaguar JRV-6 engine

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

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

Toyota 2JZ-GTE

Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine

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

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

Alfa Romeo 690T

Alfa Romeo 690T engine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honda F20C/F22CHonda F22C engine

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

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

Volvo Redblock B230FT

Volve 2.3L B230FT engine

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

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

Ford EcoBoostFord Mustang EcoBoost Engine

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

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

Toyota 3S-GTE

Toyota 3S-GTE engine

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

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

Honda K Series

Honda 2.0L K20C1 engine

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

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

Mitsubishi 4G63T

Mitsubishi 4G63T engine

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

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

Volkswagen EA888

Volkswagen EA888 engine

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

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

Subaru EJ20

Subaru EJ20 engine

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

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

Saab B234R

Saab B234R engine

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

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

Fiat MultiAir Turbo

Fiat MultiAir Turbo engine

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

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

Skysphere, the electric roadster concept from Audi

The future of cars is electric, we have been told that time and time again, many car builders have already committed to stop building internal combustion engines in the not too distant future, while even supercars and hypercars are going electric, or at least hybrid for the next few years, and while I personally do love the sound of a Lamborghini V12, I know it will be a dying breed within a few years, and despite cars like the Rimac Nevera that is all-electric and would obliterate anything from Sant’Agata or Maranello in an acceleration battle, I’m old-school and would still go for a Raging Bull … but that’s just me I guess.

I do look at cars like the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla S, those are some seriously quick cars that can seat four people, but they just don’t give that same sensation in terms of looks like a Lamborghini Urus (if you really need to seat four or five people) or an Aventador, Bugatti Chiron … and other hypercars … but it seems Audi is evolving into the right direction with their latest Skysphere concept, an all-electric two-seater roadster that looks amazing.

Apart from amazing looks and a futuristic design, the Audi Skysphere comes with something really amazing … to offer the client the option of either a sportscar they drive themselves and a comfortable GT with autonomous driving in one single car, the Audi Skysphere can stretch itself by 250mm … yes, you are reading that correctly, the Skysphere can lengthen her wheelbase at the touch of a button to offer more interior space, complete with body panels that slide on top of each other in the ‘Sport’ setting, only to extend in the ‘Grand Touring’ mode.

If that doesn’t blow your mind, get ready for this one … in the ‘Grand Touring’ autonomous driving mode, both the steering wheel and the pedals disappear … since you don’t need them anyway as the Skysphere drives herself, these items would take up unnecessary space in the cabin, so they are moved into an invisible area to give the passengers the best possible feeling of space while the Audi Skysphere worries about the road ahead and other drivers with multiple sensor systems to safely transport the occupants to their destination … I know about self-driving cars already, but this is another level altogether.

But Audi wants to take this autonomous driving even further, the Skysphere can pick up her passengers completely on her own, keeping track of their individual destinations, and when she dropped off the occupants, the Skysphere will drive herself onto a parking spot and take care of recharging her batteries … all on her own, no more waiting in line at the charging station when someone else has taken your spot and you see the battery level drop in fear.

Since this concept car was conceived and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, we’ll be seeing a public unveiling at the Monterey Car Week later this week, on the legendary fairways of the Pebble Beach golf course to be exact, a really nice anecdote is the fact this Audi Skysphere took inspiration from the Horch 853 roadster, an impressive convertible, that was about 5.20 meters in length that was the definition of modern luxury back in the 1930s, the Horch 853 won the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 2009.

But unlike the Horch 5-Liter straight 8-cylinder engine, the Audi Skysphere comes with 465 kilowatts of power and 750Nm of torque from an electric motor to the rear wheels, with an overall weight of 1,800 kg, the acceleration should only take 4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, this is a luxury, convertible GT, not a supercar, with a battery capacity of 80 kWh the Skysphere should come with a 500 km range.

The Audi Skysphere comes with active suspension to offer different handling characteristics, in comfort or Grand Touring mode, the individual wheels are selectively raised or lowered to compensate for unevenness and undulations in the road surface taking information from the navigation system’s digital predictions and the active chassis’ sophisticated control and actuation systems. Fitted with massive, aerodynamically styled 23-inch alloy wheels with 285/30 tires the Skysphere offers both minimal rolling resistance and a sporty, active driving style with high longitudinal and lateral acceleration.

Seen from the side, the rocker panels seem to protrude into the rear wheel arch, a requirement for the varying wheelbase, being attached to the front end of the car, as it moves, the panel slides to the rear under the fixed door, during this process, the wheelbase is reduced from the standard size of an A8 L to the significantly more compact size of the curve-compatible Audi RS 5, a 25 centimetres difference. Also, note the multitude of LED lights both at the front and the rear of this Audi Skysphere change between the Sport and the Grand Touring mode.

Entering the interior is achieved via rear-hinged doors, so-called suicide doors, that unveil a very special Art Deco style design, the comfortable seats look like designer furnishings, upholstered in sustainably produced microfiber fabric, and offer legroom usually only found in first-class airplane seating, other items in the interior are made from environmentally certified eucalyptus wood and synthetically produced imitation leather.

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. But if you prefer roaring V10s, or hearty V12s, check these links out. However, if V8s are more your cup of tea, read on.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, curated for your reading pleasure:

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

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 Supercharged Hemi Engine

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

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

BMW S63

BMW S63 Engine

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 that produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Though it’s 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

Lexus 2UR-GSE Engine

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 a 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 the 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

Ferrari F136 Engine

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

McLaren M830T / M840T Engine

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren‘s engineers are truly the world’s V8 engine artisans, 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

GM Small Block LT1/LT2 Engine

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small block 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 than 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

Audi 4.2L FSI Engine

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

Mercedes-AMG M178 Engine

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

Ford 'Voodoo' Flat-Plane Engine

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made especially 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 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 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!

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 fewer 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 fewer 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, particularly 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.

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

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 Engine

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 in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo Engine

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

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V Engine

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

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10 Engine

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

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 Engine

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 that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) Engine

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)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) Engine

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)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) Engine

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 as 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

VW Touareg V10 TDI Engine

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

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10 Engine

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.

Rarest ABT ever sold out

We’ve only published the article on the release of the limited edition Johann Abt Signature Edition a few days ago, the car is based on the amazing Audi RS6, of which only 64 units would be built to celebrate the 125th anniversary of ABT Sportsline GmbH, and today the CEO Hans-Jürgen Abt already announces this celebration model is already sold out, all of the 64 units are spoken for in a matter of days.

Today ABT Sportsline GmbH is a globally recognized tuning company, but it all started back in 1896 when Johann Abt laid the foundation for the success, and as an homage, each of the 64 units of the 800 hp Johann Abt Signature Edition will come with a small part of the actual anvil Johann used to form metal on back in 1896 and the years after that before machines took over this method, keeping in mind many artisans still use what is known as the ‘English wheel’ to form metal parts to this date.

The first customer will be receiving his (or her) Johann Abt Signature Edition in July already, the car seen on these photos is the production prototype and comes with a plaque stating ‘0 of 64’, over the next ten months or so ABT will be building 6 of these individual conversions per month due to the extreme level of complexity needed to put together these high-power ‘wagons’, one motorsport mechanic will oversee the process from start to finish.

Enjoy some more photos of this amazing Audi RS6 conversion:

Super Hatch Territory: 2022 Audi RS3 to Launch in July, Rivals A45 S AMG

During a briefing on the company’s R and RS models, Audi released images of the upcoming Audi RS3 Sportback and Sedan. The official launch will take place in July and while no information on the cars was dished out, we expect the new model to usher in a new level of performance while retaining the popular 5-cylinder engine.

The outgoing RS3 model stood out as the most powerful hothatch on the market up until the launch of AMG’s A45 S. The 2017 facelift brought increased power to the 5 pot engine, a total of 395hp and 480nm of torque. This was a significant increase from the pre-facelift models that had an output of 362hp and 465nm of torque.

With the super hatch market leveling around the 400hp mark, we expect the new RS3 Sportback and Sedan to have an output within that range. 400hp on the lower end and 430hp on the higher end, 480-500nm of torque is expected.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan
2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan