V8 engines are some of automotive enthusiasts’ favorite sounding powertrains; even triumphing larger, more powerful units like V10 and V12 engines found in exotic supercars like Lamborghinis. V8 sounds vary quite a bit from low, rumbling V8s found in classic muscle cars, to some throating aggressive ones found in German powerhouses, and even high-revving ones found in Ferraris!
Throughout the vast array of choices, we’ve compiled a list of the all-time best-sounding V8-powered cars ranging from classic racing icons to brand new sports cars that shine through despite other modern cars that are equipped with piffling soft-limiters.
10 Ferrari 458 Speciale
The 458 Italia was Maranello’s last naturally-aspirated V8-powered product they manufactured, and it most likely will be too. But we’re not here to talk about the base model 458, we’re here to praise the 458 Speciale and its naturally-aspirated flat-plane crank 605-hp 4.5-liter mid-mounted V8.
Not only was it an extraordinarily potent motor, but because it had a redline of a whopping 9,000 rpm, it screamed into eternity as well! The cherry on the cake however was that instead of the 458 Italia’s triple exhaust exit, the Speciale only had two giant exits in the center of the rear bumper that allowed for a noise like this to exist.
9 Ford GT40
If you’re even the slightest fan of racing, you know exactly why the Ford GT40 was such a momentous car, but if not, here’s a short sentence to the reason behind its fame: In the 1966 LeMans, Ford obliterated Ferrari with the GT40 II when everyone saw Ferrari as unbeatable.
There have been five generations of the GT40 – excluding the newer Ford GT cars of course – and each one of them derives its power from a raspy old-school naturally-aspirated V8 engine. And like all the other cars on this list, here’s a short video to show off its internal combustion orchestra.
8th BMW E90/E92/E93 M3
Usually, M3s don’t come bolstered with rude V8 engines, but rather iconic straight-six ones like found in the new G80 M3 Competition, but back in the day, BMW just released one M3 with a V8, and it was called the E90 M3.
Of course, that designation would depend on whether it was a sedan (E90), coupe (E92), or hardtop convertible (E93), but they all made use of the same bonkers naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V8 engine that produced 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Just like the Ferrari, the secret to its sweet scream lies in its redline, which is just below 8,300 rpm, and that allowed it to sound as awesome as this.
7 Mercedes Benz W204 C63 AMG
Some argue that the C63 AMG manufactured between 2007 and 2015 has the best exhaust grunt of any German vehicle ever produced, and when listening to it, we can see why it has garnered such a reputation. The heart beating underneath this AMG’s hood is no ordinary specimen either, it’s a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 (despite the badge on its side saying 6.3) that pumps out between 450 and 480 hp.
Sadly, this will probably be the last naturally-aspirated AMG car ever produced, since even the new C63 is supposed to be fitted with a four-cylinder engine that’s assisted via an electric motor, even the newest C43 isn’t as raw as its predecessors were.
6 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
We get it, when talking about Aston Martin your mind doesn’t immediately dwell on the idea of glorious exhaust notes, but rather something along the lines of class and understated performance. But back in 2005, Aston unveiled a somewhat budget-friendly Aston called the V8 Vantage.
As the name suggests, it didn’t come with the iconic DB9’s monstrous V12, but rather a 4.3-liter quad-cam V8 engine that spurted out 380 hp, which later evolved into a 4.7-liter V8 with 420 hp. But seriously, if you don’t believe the Vantage will have an adequate grunt to award itself a place on our list, just have a listen to this.
5 Jaguar F Type SVR
Throughout the 2000s Jaguar had a huge change of heart, and they scrapped the idea of a sports car and focused on building luxury sedans like the XF and XJ, but that all changed in 2014 when they unveiled the F-Type, and two years later we got to feast our eyes on the glorious SVR variant thereof.
This will be the first entry on our list to not have a naturally-aspirated engine; it was fitted with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 under its hood which roared out an incredible 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. You’ll notice when people are talking about the F-Type SVR they like using descriptive words like raw, roars, burbling, or even animalistic, and once you hear this cat’s growl, it’s clear to see why.
4 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
Size doesn’t always matter, and the 33 Stradale proves our point exactly. No gargantuan 8.0-liter V8 engine was fitted to this piece of art, but rather, it was powered by a small 2.0-liter V8. But because it was so small, that allowed it to rev up to extraordinary heights of 10,000 rpm, and produce 230 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque.
Keep in mind that the 33 Stradale was built between 1967 and 1969, so back in the day that power was extraordinary. Its one-of-a-kind engine didn’t just make an intoxicating sound, but it allowed the Alfa to be crowned the king of the one-kilometer drag race since it completed it in just 24 seconds which was faster than its competitors like the Lamborghini Miura.
3 Porsche 918 Spyder
When talking about sublime-sounding engines, turbocharged ones usually don’t ever come to mind, but what the engineers at Stuttgart came up with in the early 2010s baffled everyone. On paper, the 918 Spyder definitely sounds like a godly machine; a mid-mounted 4.6-liter turbocharged V8-powered plug-in hybrid supercar that has 875 hp sent to all four its wheels.
That allowed it to reach a top speed of 214 mph and achieve a 0-60 time in as little as 2.4 seconds, but what about its sound you may wonder? Because its exhaust outlets were mounted so close to the engine, right above it, the Porsche 918 Spyder sounds like a V8-powered spaceship.
2 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
If you like supercharger whines, and cars that pop wheelies when launched, you’ll absolutely adore the Dodge Demon. Let’s throw a few statistics out there: 808-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that sends all of its power to the rear wheels, but when it’s fed with 100-plus-octane race fuel, it produces 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque.
This meant that the SRT Demon was able to dash down the quarter-mile drag strip in as little as 9.65 seconds when done properly and reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 2.1 seconds. While all that is enough to deem its legendary status, its hellish sound is where the Demon truly shines, just have a listen at its supercharged wail.
1 Lexus LC500
We’re going to end off this list with the most modern car on our list, which is actually still available for purchase today, the Lexus LC500. The Lc500 is the spiritual successor to the underrated V10-powered LFA, but instead of being powered by a 9,000 rpm V10 engine, the LC500 receives its howl from a naturally-aspirated 471-hp 5.0-liter V8 engine tucked under its hood.
There is one downside, in spite of its supercar looks, and its rather potent engine, the LC500’s performance figures are a tad disappointing: 0-60 takes place in 4.7 seconds, and its top speed is only 168 mph. There is however light at the end of this dark tunnel… the LC500 has no soft limiter, and it also doesn’t automatically upshift when driving, so you can bang on its redline for days on end—just have a listen at this incredible Japanese brute.