Ah, the V8. Quite possibly the world’s favourite and most versatile engine layout. Bent eights have powered everything from powerboats to aeroplanes, lawnmowers to motorbikes, lorries and - most importantly – the automobile. You might even argue that the V8 has featured in a broader spectrum of cars than any other engine type; its multifaceted nature has seen it used in everything from screaming Formula 1 cars, ultra-refined Bentleys and, of course, the iconic American muscle car.
And what is the most prominent feature that differentiates these engines? The noise. The voice of a V8 can halve the costs and double the rewards in a man mathematics equation, tugging at heart strings with a muscular tone that, in some cases, is capable of making small children cry on cold starts and setting off car alarms on busy high streets – see the ubiquitous Chevy big-block of the 1960s as example. Of course, at the other end of the V8 spectrum we have the high-revving flat plane crank stuff, like the F136 V8 found in the Ferrari 458, which couldn’t sound much more different. The V8 just comes in so many forms.
This is what brings us onto the debate that user mhurley has started – which car/engine makes the best V8 noise? I myself find the choice a difficult one; with such contrasting tones and characters provided by different V8 engines, it’s hard to compare them directly. That being said, few things sound cooler than the lazy, off-beat grumble of an American muscle car with a lumpy cam, but I’m not sure it would make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as much as taking a Maranello-made V8 to 9,000rpm. So, flat plane crank for me. I think.
Agree? Let us know which V8 gets your vote. Share your thoughts (and noise videos) here.