PH Blog: V8 = v. good

So I'm enjoying my third V8 in a row, courtesy of a supercharged Range Rover Sport. And enjoying is the operative word.

But, really, why would you? When I booked the car the press office said "You'll be wanting a diesel then..." And I was all geared up to say, "Of course!" what with some fairly burly Christmas miles coming up. But then I thought, sod it, why not go the whole hog.

You'd have to be mental of course. The diesel Range Rover Sport is brilliant, as I discovered earlier in the year when I took one to the 'ring earlier to further my investigations into the goings on there.

30mpg+, plenty of grunt. What on earth would make you want to spend another £8,000 and suffer an mpg figure of half that, on a good day?

Well, because it makes you feel good, that's why. Maybe it's the time of year but I'm thinking it's a bit like whisky. Sure, you can have a nice bottle of Bells and it'll taste warming and all the rest. Or you can spend quite a bit more and have a nice Highland Park. Same effect, similar taste but oh so much more satisfying.

But can you really get to appreciate that V8? I've actually really been enjoying just tickling along with it barely on tickover, relishing that gentle vibration through the seat and the bassy vibration that permeates the Rangie's structure. Oh sure, I guess we're not far off electric cars that'll effect a convincing impression of this via a subwoofer and suchlike without supping a drop of unleaded. But it wouldn't be the same. In the Range Rover the engine is a bit like that in a big ship - distant, barely stretched but massively powerful.

I'm actually driving slower than I have in ages in the Sport. But I'm loving every minute. And as much as the diesel ticked every box the supercharged V8 retains a sense of magic that'll make those fuel bills, for the likes of us, kind of justifiable. Or maybe that's the whisky talking.



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  • EighteenMPG 24 Dec 2011

    Just bought my first V8, an old 735 E38, on exactly the same reasoning. I have also experienced the same effect on my rather rapid driving style.....unexpected but not unpleasant, I'll admit. Need to release a few more decibels and then I'll be more than happy.

  • goron59 24 Dec 2011

    I'm on my second v8. Love them. They'll be gone in a few years, so if you can, enjoy them now.

  • sjabrown 25 Dec 2011

    I've yet to own a V8 engined vehicle. Was tempted by this BMW 740 (well inside shed territory: ) but chickened out and gained another peugeot from ebay.

  • WeirdNeville 25 Dec 2011

    I'd love a V8 - preferably fitted to an E39 M5 or failing that a 540i Touring (proper 'box though!).

    The thing is, when you factor in all the other costs of running a car, unless you do silly miles the petrol bill pales into insignificance. Because my car has a large engine, it was worth nothing. So I bought it for £700. Which means that with zero depreciation, 20p a mile on fuel equates to 30p a mile total running cost!

    I worked out that the diesel equivalent of my car, costing £1000 more, only pays for itself somewhere after 21,000 miles. And that's ignoring the added complexity and cost of modern diesels.

    Big cpaacity petrols: The educated, frugal, exciting choice.

  • Godzilla 25 Dec 2011

    Well I actively hunted down a relatively rare 4.4 V8 petrol XC90 because the Volvo dealer told me the more highly stressed but much less powerful turbo diesel 5 pot would clog up its diesel particulate filter if used exclusively for short school runs (which is the main use of the vehicle) and return a palty 22mpg vs the 17/18mpg of the petrol.

    Bearing in mind diesel costs more than unleaded and the low mileage we do, the chances are we could never recoup the microscopic saving in fuel consumption.

    And now I get to listen to a lovely woofly Yamaha V8 (as adopted by Noble for the M600) and be able to pull safely and briskly out into school run traffic with 315hp on tap.
    The only downside is the painful 460 quid a year road tax (which unfortunately falls due the same day the GT-R's 460 quid needs paying!), something Dan doesn't need to worry about with his endless chain of free press cars. wink

    Now if only Akrapovic would do an exhaust for it to really complete our fleet...

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