My Favorite V8 Cars
When we often think of V8 cars nowadays we often think of classic American Muscle cars with their big six, seven, and sometimes eight litre engines, however, with climate change being one of the toughest challenges we are facing currently, people are now, if they aren’t buying electric, trying to buy smaller more economical engines squeezing the already tight market. We are told this rather sudden need is because of not only climate change but the ever-growing need for small practical cars, so, sadly, these challenges, might signal the end of V8s in cars. And with the saddening news about DriveTribe's future, I thought I would make these last posts on the platform some of my best to give DriveTribe the send-off and tribute it deserves, So I have compiled a list of some of my Favourite V8 cars produced, some from the twentieth century and some from the twenty-first. So without further ado please enjoy this Tribute to Drivetribe and to quote James May “Like, Comment, Follow.”
I want to kick off this list with the Saleen S7, a car that is, in my opinion, one of America’s best Supercars, yes I’m going to call it a supercar, and that’s because it was different from the rest of the market, I mean sure, we did get the Ford GT but that was flawed and problem-ridden and you could never get your hands on one since they were only given to loyal Ford buyers. Yes, if you got the naturally-aspirated S7 both cars produced the same amount of horsepower 550, but, if you get the twin-turbo engine that’s when you saw the difference with 750 horsepower at your disposal. Both cars were paired with a 6-speed manual but the Ford only has a 5.4-litre supercharged Ford module V8 engine, with a 0-60mph of 3.5 seconds, while the S7 has a 7.0-litre Ford Windsor V8 with a 0-60mph of 2.8 seconds, I’m sorry if I’m making it sound like a head to head I’m just laying out the facts, but, I want to now talk about the S7’s flaws. Because just because it’s good doesn’t mean it’s perfect, the brakes, for example, were terrible, some people found it hard to control because of the driver aids which were nonexistent, but, at least the transmission was terrible￼, however, if you don’t like the S7 you don’t have to stare at then very often since there are only 60 of them in the world, a bargain if you only paid 250,000usd for one when they were new. I don’t know how I can explain why I like this car, I respect it for what it did, but there are so many reasons that I don't think I could explain it in one article, I’m sure you all have one car that you like but you can’t explain why, and this is, for me, that car. It has firmly secured the number three spot in my dream garage for V8s, a title it truly deserves.
The Ferrari 355, the car that starred in the James Bond film Goldeneye, is my second favourite V8, because, we’ll come on it’s a Ferrari, you’ve got to like them that’s the law. But that’s not the reason why I like the F355 the reason is the engine, because yes, it’s only a small 3.5-litre 5V F129 B/C V8, different from the typical V8s on this list, but it still has enough power to produce 375 horsepower with a 0-60mph time of just 4.7 seconds, 1.3 seconds faster than its predecessor the still rather new Ferrari 348, the F355 produces 35 more NM of torque with an official reading of 363 compared to the 348s mere 323 Newton Meters. The other thing I love about the F355 is the styling, its short sloping bonnet, and flat almost brick-like rear, nothing, in my opinion, can beat the style of the 355 because it is just superb, in some areas. You got a choice of transmissions you could either get a six-speed manual or a 6-speed F1 automated manual, however, there have been complaints from 355 owners about having to be careful when changing gear because of poor gearbox ratios and lack of drivers aids, they find if you change gear at too high of an RPM, the rear wheels will start to spin, but what do they know they’re only owners, that’s their complaints, but, I now want to express some of my own mainly involving styling. Both complaints lie with the convertible and body material, you'll get what I mean in a second, to start this rant I want to talk about the convertible because it looks terrible, you have to wonder who was in that design meeting got up and said yes let's cut a hole in the roof and just tell people to put the roof in the nonexistent gap behind the seats, I mean seriously Ferrari you should have done better, but, the biggest problem by a mile is the material because the panels on the 355 looks, from a distance or photograph, like a bucket, quite literally, if you go look at a 355 you'll get what I mean. But, even though the 355 isn’t perfect it is still my second favourite V8 ever produced, I admit it’s not a massive compliment considering it's coming from an obscure British bloke who spends his days writing rants for the internet, but it’s still on a list, not just mine but also at one point on Jeremy Clarkson’s. Which is one of the highest compliments any car can get from arguably one of the world's best motoring journalists.
Honorable Mention-Jenson Interceptor
The Jenson Interceptor like the Ferrari F355 starred in a few films, but, for the Interceptor it was a bit more modest than James Bond at first, it starred in a movie that I never knew of until I started researching for this post, it was called ‘The Junkman’ and has a rating of 6.8/10 on IMBD, but the Interceptor also starred in the James Bond film ‘Solo’, because that’s your dating status of you own one, anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself back to the Interceptor. When it comes to the Interceptor it seems Jenson couldn’t decide which engine to put in, because when it was launched in 1966 it had a Low Deck Big Block V8 producing 335hp until 1971 when someone said, right this engine we’ve tested it we know it works with the market, so why don’t we put in a less powerful 255 horsepower High Deck Big Block V8 and then in five years change it again to a Small Block LA V8 to meet emission regulations, the small block produced only five brake horsepower less than the previous engine, presumably because they were all made by Chrysler. Despite all these variants, the interceptor never hit big with only 6,408 ever produced, It’s safe to say the lack of quality and strikes in factories put off a lot of people despite it only costing 26,650 pounds in 1976. But, I want to finish off the Jenson Interceptor by talking about styling, I know, it’s a car website but I’m going to talk about it anyway, don’t worry I'll make it quick. The Jenson Interceptors long straight bonnet moving towards the sloped rear boot is a style that I like to a great extent, even if it falls apart when it leaves the factory, but, I can see why it starred in a Bond film it has the shape and dare I say elegance for a 007 character. But, despite all the ups and downs of the Jenson Interceptor, I think it deserves to be number one on my honorable mentions, and in fact, if the Saleen S7 was a bit worse the Interceptor would be number three on my list.
NO.1-Ferrari 458 Speciale
I want to finish off my V8 dream garage list by talking about the Ferrari 458 Speciale, not only my Favourite V8 but my favourite Ferrari in general, like the F355 I first sat down to learn about the 458 after watching James May drive it up America’s east coast during season sixteen of
Top Gear, you know that now obscure car show on BBC one and two, and ever since then I wanted to learn about any 458 that Ferrari released until 2013 when at the Frankfurt Motorshow the Speciale edition was unveiled, at 208,000 pounds the Speciale was 30,000 pounds more than the standard 458 but that extra thirty grand gets you a vented bonnet, Forged wheels, a taller rear spoiler, redesigned bumpers, and movable front and rear flaps. The engine was also revised it was fitted with a 4.5￼ liter Ferrari F136 F V8 with the Speciale being able to produce 35 more horsepower than the standard car with an official figure of 597 horsepower compared to the original 458’s 562, the Speciale has a 0-60mph time of 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 210mph, there was also only 3,000 ever produced making it rare. But, the thing that I love most about the Speciale is not the exclusivity, the speed, the looks, it’s the feeling, as soon as you sit inside a Ferrari you know, it’s hard to explain but it’s almost like this sudden buzz, the sudden realization of, wow! I’m in a Ferrari, I'm sorry, I just can’t quite explain it, because you have to have been in a Ferrari to understand what I mean. Anyway, reader, it’s time to talk about the important topic of reliability, because according to reports the 458 had transmission failures during 2010 and into 2011￼, and the 458 was even recalled multiple times once for the Crankshaft which tended to fail causing a sudden engine seizure which according to Ferrari may result in a crash, now, I’m no crash expert but if your engine suddenly seizes at speed of course your going to crash, but, what do I know. However at least if your engine didn’t try to kill you the brakes would take over that job for you because a few years ago Ferrari recalled nearly 10,000 vehicles due to a potential brake fluid leak which could lead to low brake fluid resulting in a partial or full loss of braking. And who could forget about the 458’s tendency to catch on fire, as Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond made very clear to James May on their east coast road trip. From the differentness of the Saleen S7 to the Jenson Interceptor to the superb 458, this was my, an obscure British bloke, list of all-time favourite V8s and small tribute to DriveTribe, one of, if not the best car website ever.