is all the rage these days. Everywhere you look there’s another new hybrid or clean diesel gliding quietly into the parking space beside you. It’s hard to deny the feel-good benefit of driving a low-consuming ride, but sometimes there’s just no beating a big, throaty V8. Once upon a time, powerful, fuel-thirsty sedans were as common as could be. If you’re looking for something with four doors and serious horsepower, there are a handful of rides out there worth looking into, even if they are tucked into the back of the dealer’s lot. Check out DriverSide’s top 10 V8 sedans.
If there’s one thing America does well, it’s plopping massive eight-cylinder engines in sedans. The CTS-V boasts General Motors’ mighty 6.2-liter LSA supercharged V8 with 556 horsepower. If the engine isn’t enough to lure you in, Cadillac has refined every aspect of this car, from the sport-tuned suspension to the massive brakes that bring the CTS-V
to a halt. Inside, get ready to be swaddled in the newest chapter of American luxury. What’s more, you can get your Cadillac with a six-speed manual transmission. At $60,700, this ride isn’t cheap, but compared to its European competition, the car has plenty to offer. For starters, it’s the most powerful car on our list and the most efficient. How’s that for progress?
Engine and Drivetrain: supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual or automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 16 city/25 highway
BMW ruffled some feathers when it decided to go with a beefy V8 in the newest M3
instead of the tried and true inline-six of old. The 4.0-liter V8 revs to a mesmerizing 8,300 rpm and produces 414 horsepower. That’s more than enough grunt to scoot you and four friends down the highway in a hurry, but BMW has also blessed this sedan with handling worthy of an M. That means a nearly perfect weight balance and enough structural rigidity to take some serious track abuse, not to mention some menacing styling outside. The 2009 BMW M3 Sedan is proof-positive Germany can do V8 bruisers, too.
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.0-liter V8 engine with 414 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 14 city/20 highway
Lexus is set on writing its own chapter in the V8 sedan histories with the IS-F
. This car boasts some very trick tech, most notably in its 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Complete with paddle shifters, the car automatically matches the engine’s speed with your gear choice – making you look like a driving god (or goddess) in the process. Up front there’s a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque, which is good enough to launch the car to 60 in just 4.6 seconds. Inside, occupants get treated to the equivalent of leather-wrapped racing buckets and all the best Lexus has to offer. Not a bad way to travel.
Engine and Drivetrain: 5.0-liter V8 engine with 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque; eight-speed dual-clutch transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 16 city/23 highway
When it comes to V8 thrust, few companies know the ropes quite as well as Mercedes-Benz. The in-house tuning-gurus at AMG have the utmost experience when it comes to wringing every last pony from big-displacement powerplants. The C63 AMG
is a prime example. With 451 horsepower on tap, this sedan dashes to 60 mph in under 4.5 seconds, thanks in part to the car’s clever seven-speed automatic transmission.
Engine and Drivetrain: 6.3-liter V8 with 451 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque; seven-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive.
MPG: 14 city/20 highway
The 2009 Pontiac G8
GXP represents one of the best deals in this segment. Starting at $38,360, the car offers a naturally aspirated version of the same 6.2-liter V8 found in our top-slot Cadillac CTS-V. Even without the supercharger on top, this motor manages to put an impressive 415 horsepower to the rear wheels. If you’re looking for go-fast fun without all of that luxury business, the G8 GXP is where to look. Though a six-speed auto comes standard, a six-speed manual is also available for just $690. Trust us when we say it’s worth it.
Engine and Drivetrain: 6.2-liter V8 with 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque; six-speed automatic or manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 13 city/ 20 highway
It’s true that you can get this kitty with a naturally-aspirated motor, but where’s the fun in that? The 2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged
delivers the kind of thrust normally left to low-orbit rocketry thanks to its 420 horsepower V8. Of course, the XF line also delivers some of the best exterior styling of any recent Jaguar along with an equally exquisite interior. Though the price tag just barely squeaks under our $65,000 cutoff, the XF Supercharged has an exhaust note that makes a good argument for every penny.
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque; six-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/23 highway
While Hyundai has generated an impressive amount of buzz with its Genesis Coupe, the company’s sedan is no less awe-inspiring. Though the Genesis
comes standard with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, you can drop a little extra coin and have a plenty potent 4.6-liter V8 with 375 horsepower. Ready for the really good news? This beastie can be had for under $40,000 – something the Genesis’ European competition could only dream of. If you can’t fathom dropping that sort of money on a Korean-made cruiser, we invite you to bury the fun pedal on this one just once. It sells itself.
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.6-liter V8 with 375 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque; six-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 17 city/25 highway
If BMW’s potent M3 is just a little too high-strung for your tastes, the 550i might be more your style. Sizeable by anyone’s standards, the 550i dishes up space and the power to move it. Under the hood is a Bavarian 4.8-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and enough torque to kick the rear-wheels into furious motion. At a smidge over $60,000, this car isn’t cheap, but you’re nearly guaranteed to be the only kid on the block with one, and that counts.
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.8-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual or automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/22 highway manual, 15 city/ 23 highway automatic
What? Volvo makes a V8? Oh, yes, the company from the land of Ikea has plopped a meaty 4.4-liter V8 with 311 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque behind the headlights of the S80
. The stout motor puts power to all four wheels via Volvo’s six-speed automatic transmission, so this is one robust sedan you can enjoy in the snow. Get ready to pay a premium for those extra cylinders though. The 2009 Volvo S80 V8 AWD invoices for around $51,850.
Engine and drivetrain: 4.4-liter V8 with 311 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque; six-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/22 highway
From the kingdom of Mopar comes the epic Dodge Charger SRT8. The Charger name has a legacy of big, powerful Hemi V8’s, and despite wearing four-doors instead of the traditional two, the 2009 Charger SRT8 lives up to its past. Under the hood, Dodge has dropped a 6.1-liter V8 with a tire-melting 425 horsepower. Unfortunately, all of those ponies are only available through a five-speed automatic transmission, so you can give up on any ideas of gear-slamming glory.
Engine and Drivetrain: 6.1-liter V8 engine with 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque; five-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 13 city/19 highway