Triton V8

V8 engine

A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft.

In its simplest form, it is basically two straight-4 engines sharing a common crankshaft. However, this simple configuration, with a single-plane crankshaft, has the same secondary dynamic imbalance problems as two straight-4s, resulting in annoying vibrations in large engine displacements. As a result, since the 1920s most V8s have used the somewhat more complex crossplane crankshaft with heavy counterweights to eliminate the vibrations. This results in an engine which is smoother than a V6, while being considerably less expensive than a V12 engine. Racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration, more efficient exhaust system designs, and a "throatier" acoustic quality.


The V8 with a crossplane crankshaft (see below) is a very common configuration for large automobile engines. V8 engines are rarely less than in displacement and in automobile use have gone up to and beyond in production vehicles. Industrial and marine V8 engines can be much larger.

V8s are generally only standard on more powerful sports cars, luxury cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. However they are often optional on vehicles which have a V6 or straight-6 as standard engine. In many cases, V6 engines were derived from V8 designs by removing two cylinders without changing the V-angle so they can be built on the same assembly lines as the V8s and installed in the same engine compartments with few modifications.

The 90° V8 engine is generally too wide and somewhat too long to fit in vehicles with the modern transverse engine front-wheel drive layout, so with a few exceptions its application is limited to front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports/luxury cars and light trucks. However a few compact OHV 90° V8 engines and OHC 60° V8 engines have been used in the transverse, FWD/AWD engine configuration.

V8s are common in purpose-designed engines for racing cars. They usually have flat-plane crankshafts, since a crossplane crankshaft results in uneven firing into the exhaust manifolds which interferes with engine tuning, and the heavy crankshaft counterweights prevent the engine from accelerating rapidly. They are a common engine configuration in the highest echelons of motorsport, especially in the USA where it is required in IRL, ChampCar and NASCAR. V8 engines are also used in Australian motorsport, most notably in the V8 Supercars . Formula One began the 2006 season using naturally aspirated V8 engines, which replaced the V10 in a move to reduce power.

Heavy trucks and railroad locomotives tend to use the straight-6 configuration since it is simpler and easier to maintain, and since the straight-6 is an inherently balanced layout which can be scaled up to almost any size necessary. Large V8s are found in the larger truck and industrial equipment lines, however.

Although it was an early choice for airplane engines, the V8 engine is seldom used in modern aircraft engine since the typically heavy crankshaft counterweights are a liability. Modern light planes commonly use the flat-8 configuration instead since it is lighter and easier to air cool, in addition to which it can be manufactured in modular designs sharing components with flat-4 and flat-6 engines.


In 1902 Léon Levavasseur took out a patent on a V8 engine which he called Antoinette after the young daughter of his financial backer, and from 1904 installed the engine in a number of speedboats and aircraft which were also called "Antoinette", as was the company that built them. In 1909 one of these aircraft tried but failed to cross the English Channel.

The V8 aircraft engine became popular in France from 1904 onward, and was used in a number of aircraft engines introduced by Renault, and Buchet among others. Some of these engines found their way into automobiles in small quantities. Rolls Royce built a V8 car from 1905 to 1906, but only 3 copies were made and Rolls Royce reverted to a straight-6 design. De Dion-Bouton introduced a automobile V8 in 1910 and displayed it in New York in 1912. It was produced only in small quantities, but inspired a number of American manufacturers to follow suit.

The first mass-production automobile V8 was introduced in the United States in 1914 by Cadillac, a division of General Motors which sold 13,000 of the L-head engines in its first year of production. Cadillac has been primarily a V8 company ever since. Oldsmobile, another division of General Motors, introduced its own V8 engine in 1916. Chevrolet introduced a V8 engine in 1917, but after merging with General Motors in 1918, discontinued the V8 to concentrate on economy cars.

V angles

The most common V angle for a V8 by far is 90°. This configuration produces a wide, low engine with optimal firing and vibration characteristics. Since many V6 and V10 engines are derived from V8 designs, they often use the 90° angle as well, but sometimes with balance shafts to reduce vibration or more complex cranks to even the firing cycle.

However, some V8s use different angles. One notable example is the Ford/Yamaha V8 used in the Ford Taurus SHO. It was based on Ford's Duratec V6 and shares that engine's 60° vee angle. A similar Yamaha-built engine is used by Volvo Cars as of 2005. These engines were designed for transverse front wheel drive installation and are narrower than usual for efficient use of space. Since they are not at the ideal 90° angle for a V8, they require a counter-rotating balance shaft and offset split crankpins for complete smoothness. The Rover Meteorite V8 engine was derived from the Rover Meteor tank engine (hence derived from the Merlin aero engine), so shared the Meteor's 60° vee angle.

In years past, Electro-Motive produced an 8 cylinder version of their model 567 Diesel locomotive engine, with a 45 degree cylinder angle.

An extremely narrow-angle V8 was introduced by Lancia in 1922, which had an angle between cylinder banks of only 14 degrees. This created an engine that was not much longer than a conventional V8, but was considerably narrower. It was based on a Lancia V4 engine design that was almost completely square. Because of their compact design and overhead camshafts, these engines were lighter and more powerful than comparable engines of the time. Although Lancia stopped making the V8 design around World War II, the basic concept is used today in the Volkswagen VR6 engine.

Crankshaft design

There are two classic types of V8s which differ by crankshaft:

  • The cross-plane or two-plane crankshaft is the configuration used in most V8 road cars. Each crank pin (of four) is at a 90° angle from the previous, so that viewed from the end the crankshaft forms a cross. The cross-plane can achieve very good balance but requires heavy counterweights on the crankshaft. This makes the cross-plane V8 a slow-revving engine that cannot speed up or slow down very quickly compared to other designs, because of the greater rotating mass. While the firing of the cross-plane V8 is regular overall, the firing of each bank is LRLLRLRR. In stock cars with dual exhausts, this results in the typical V8 burble sound that many people have come to associate with powerful engines. In all-out racing cars it leads to the need to connect exhaust pipes between the two banks to design an optimal exhaust system, resulting in an exhaust system that resembles a bundle of snakes as in the Ford GT40. This complex and encumbering exhaust system has been a major problem for single-seater racing car designers, so they tend to use flat-plane crankshafts instead.
  • The flat-plane or single-plane crankshaft has crank pins at 180°. They are imperfectly balanced and thus produce vibrations unless balance shafts are used, with a counter rotating pair flanking the crankshaft to counter second order vibration transverse to the crankshaft centerline. As it does not require counterweights, the crankshaft has less mass and thus inertia, allowing higher rpm and quicker acceleration. The design was popularized in modern racing with the Coventry Climax V8 that evolved from a cross-plane to a flat-plane configuration. Flat-plane V8s on road cars come from Ferrari (the Dino), Lotus (the Esprit V8), and TVR (the Speed Eight). This design is popular in racing engines, the most famous example being the Cosworth DFV.

In 1992, Audi left the German DTM racing series after a controversy around the crankshaft design of their V8-powered race cars. After using the road car's cross-plane 90°-crankshaft for several years, they switched to a flat-plane 180° version which they claimed was made by "twisting" a stock part. The scrutineers decided that this would stretch the rules too far.

The cross-plane design was neither obvious nor simple to design. For this reason, most early V8 engines, including those from De Dion-Bouton, Peerless, and Cadillac, were flat-plane designs. In 1915, the cross-plane design was proposed at an automotive engineering conference in the United States, but it took another eight years to bring it to production. Cadillac and Peerless (who had hired an ex-Cadillac mathematician for the job) applied for a patent on the cross-plane design simultaneously, and the two agreed to share the idea. Cadillac introduced their "Compensated Crankshaft" V8 in 1923, with the "Equipoised Eight" from Peerless appearing in November of 1924.

American V8 engines

The United States can be considered the "home of the V8" — it has always been more popular there than anywhere else, and it is certainly now the preferred arrangement for any large engine. With the recent exceptions of the Dodge Viper's V10, the similar Dodge Built Ram Tough V10, and the Ford Triton V10 engine of the same arrangement, there are practically no large engines in the US of post-World War II design that have not been of this type.

A full decade after Britain's 1904 Rolls-Royce Legalimit, Cadillac produced the first American V8 engine, the 1914 L-Head. It was a complicated hand-built unit with cast iron paired closed-head cylinders bolted to an aluminum crankcase, and it used a flat-plane crankshaft. Peerless followed, introducing a V8 licensed from amusement park manufacturer, Herschell-Spillman, the next year. Chevrolet produced a crude overhead valve V8 in 1917, in which the valve gear was completely exposed. It only lasted through 1918 and then disappeared. They would not produce another V8 until the introduction of the famous small block in 1955.

Cadillac and Peerless were one year apart again (1923 and 1924, respectively) with the introduction of the cross-plane crankshaft. Lincoln also had V8 cars in those years, as did Ferro, Northway (supplier to Cadillac, Cole {Indianapolis}, and Jackson {Jackson, MI}), Perkins (Detroit), Murray, Vernon, and Yale.

Ford was the first company to use V8s en masse. Instead of going to an inline six like its competitors when something larger than an inline four was needed, Ford designed a modern V8, the Flathead of 1932. This engine powered almost all larger Ford cars until 1953, and was produced until around 1970 by Ford licensees around the world, mostly powering commercial vehicles.

After World War II, the strong demand for larger status-symbol cars made the common straight-6 less marketable. A straight-8 engine would introduce problems with crankshaft whip and require a longer engine bay. In the new wider body styles, a V8 would fit in the same space as a straight-6. Manufacturers could simplify production and offer the bigger engines as optional upgrades to base models.

In 1949 General Motors responded to Ford's V8 success by introducing the Oldsmobile Rocket and Cadillac OHV. Chrysler introduced their FirePower hemi-head V8 in 1951. Sales were beyond all expectations, so Buick followed in 1953, and Chevrolet and Pontiac introduced V8s of their own in 1955.

A full history of each manufacturer's engines is out of scope in this article, but engine sizes on full-size cars grew throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and into the early to mid-1970s. The increasing size of full-size cars meant smaller models of car were introduced and became more popular, with the result, by the 1960s, Chrysler, Ford, and Chevrolet had two V8 model ranges.

The larger engines, known as big-block V8s, were used in the full-size cars. Big-blocks generally had displacements in excess of , but in stock form are often not all that efficient. Big-block displacement reached its zenith with the 1970 Cadillac Eldorado's 500. Once the 1970s oil crisis and pollution regulations hit, big-block V8s did not last too much longer in cars; luxury cars lasted the longest, but by 1977 or so they were gone. In trucks and other larger vehicles, big-block V8s continue to be used today, though some manufacturers have replaced them with small-block-based V10s or more efficient Diesels.

Smaller engines, known as small-block V8s, were fitted in the mid-size car ranges and generally displaced between and , though some grew as large as Ford's 400 Cleveland. As can be seen, there is overlap between big-block and small-block ranges, and an engine between 6.0 L and 6.6 L could belong to either class. Engines like this (much evolved, of course) are still in production.

During the 1950s, 1960s and, 1970s, every General Motors division had their own engines, whose merits varied. This enabled each division to have its own unique engine character, but made for much duplication of effort. Most, like the comparatively tiny Buick 215 and familiar Chevrolet 350, were confusingly shared across many divisions. Ford and Chrysler had fewer divisions, and division-specific engines were quickly abandoned in favor of a few shared designs. Today, there are fewer than a dozen different American V8 engines in production.

Lately, Chrysler and General Motors have designed larger displacement V8s out of existing modern small-block V8s for use in performance vehicles, such as Chrysler's and Hemis, and the LS7 version of General Motors' LS engines.

Today, the major use for big V8s is in racing, where aluminum copies of the venerable hemi still dominate professional drag racing (Top Fuel and Pro Stock), while "stock" V8s are the standard in NASCAR.

American V8s (by mfg. & date)

British V8 engines

The first British V8 was the 3.5 L Rolls-Royce V-8 (1905) followed shortly by Darracq.

The Rolls-Royce and Bentley V8 still used in modern Bentleys was designed from 1952 and entered production in 1959 in the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S2. Following then current design practice, it featured overhead valves (OHV), a central camshaft and wedge-shaped combustion chambers. Sometime rumoured to be a US engine built under license (possibly a confusion with the 4-speed automatic gearbox), it is in fact a homegrown British design by the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors engineering team, led by Jack Phillips. This can be identified in its design characteristics and then advanced features like the aluminium block with wet liners, gear-driven camshaft, (initially) outboard spark-plugs and porting inspired by the Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine. Early versions were of displacement, growing to in the 1970s. Turbocharging in various Bentley models beginning in the 1980s led to the resurgence of the Bentley marque as the power outputs of the engine were increased in several steps to the current and in the 2007 model-year Bentley Arnage, while meeting all emission standards. The Bentley V8 has thus increased power and torque by more than 150% in its life. It is the highest torque V8 used in a production car. In 2007, the final components that could be traced back to the 1959 engine were replaced.

The most common British V8 is the Rover V8, used in countless British performance cars. This was not originally a British design, but was imported from America, its roots being in General Motors' Oldsmobile/Buick cast-aluminum 215 V8 in 1960. It was of the small (for the U.S. market) size of and very light for a V8. It appeared in production in 1961 on some of that year's Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac models, but because of reliability problems was soon dropped in favor of more conventional iron-blocked units.

As the aluminium block made this engine one of the lightest stock V8s built there were some attempts to use it in racing at Indianapolis. The Australian firm Repco converted this engine for Formula One by reducing it to (using con-rods from the Daimler V8) and fitting a single overhead camshaft per bank rather than the shared pushrod arrangement. Repco-powered Brabhams won the F1 championship twice, in 1966 and 1967.

Rover was in need of a new, more powerful engine in the mid 1960s. The managing director of Rover, on a trip to the USA to sell marine engines, discovered an example of the GM engine in a Mercury Marine experimental shop and was impressed by its light weight and small size. On having it weighed and measured, he found the GM V8 was only heavier and less than longer than the Rover straight-4 and sent it back to the UK for evaluation. It worked extremely well in the large Rovers, being considerably shorter, lighter, and more powerful than the Rover straight 6, so after some negotiation Rover acquired manufacturing rights to it. After extensive redesign to improve the durability and high-RPM performance, which left few parts interchangeable with the original Buick engine, it first appeared in Rover saloons in the late 1960s. GM aided the process by allowing Buick's chief engine designer, who was close to retirement, to assist Rover.

As well as appearing in Rover cars, the engine was widely sold to small car builders, and has appeared in all kinds of vehicles. Rover V8s feature in some models from Morgan, TVR, Triumph, Marcos, and MG, among many others. Land Rover also used the V8 frequently, appearing in the Range Rover in various guises, from in the earlier models to the used in the 1994-2002 model.The Rover V8 is also the standard British engine in hot rods, much like the Chevrolet 350 small-block is to American builders.

The last mass-produced car to use the Rover V8 was in some models of the Land Rover Discovery, which was replaced by an all-new model in 2005. Many independent sports cars manufacturers still use it in hand-built applications.

Recently Land Rover (Ford) added the TDV8 to its list of engines. It is a V8 version of the popular TDV6 found in Discovery models. This diesel engine will be found in the 2007 Range Rovers. The point of interest for this engine is the amount of torque produced by this engine; it manages at a mere 2000 rpm.

The Rover Meteorite petrol or diesel V8 was used in trucks and transporters from 1943, and for marine or stationary use.

Triumph used the Triumph Slant-4 engine as a base of a V8 engine. The Triumph V8 was used in the Triumph Stag, but was not used for additional models.

Edward Turner designed the and hemi-head Daimler V8 engines announced in 1959. The 2.5 saw service in the Daimler SP250 (1959-1964), and, after the Jaguar takeover, in the "Daimler 2.5 Litre V8"/"Daimler 250" (1962-1969) versions of the Mk2 Jaguar bodyshell. The 4.5 was used in the Daimler Majestic Major, (1959-1968) a heavy car with advanced mechanical specification for the time.

The Jaguar company introduced the new AJ26 V8 engine in 1996. It has been developed and updated since, and appears in the S-Type Jaguar and later vehicles from Jaguar. The current V8 used in The Ford Motor Group's British Luxury Division appears in Jaguar and Land Rover, in a 4.2 (Jaguar XJ, XK and S-Type), 4.2 supercharged (Jaguar XJR, XKR, S-Type-R, Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport) and a 4.4 (Range Rover and Range Rover Sport) Note: The 4.4 is not the same 4.4 as used in the Volvo XC90 and forthcoming S80, that is a Yamaha V8.

The specialist sports car firm TVR also produced their own V8 engine in and liter forms for the TVR Cerbera. Designed by Al Melling, the APJ8 engine features a flat-plane crank and 75 degree Vee.

Aston Martin has had many V8 engines in its cars, starting with the 1969 DBS V8, followed by many models badged V8, Vantage or Virage, plus Volante convertible versions. After the Vantage was discontinued in 2000, there were no V8 models until the introduction of the Jaguar derived 4.3l V8 in the 2005 V8 Vantage.

Lotus introduced a V8-powered version of the Esprit in 1996. The engine was an in-house unit, with twin turbochargers.

Radical Sportscars offer a V8 powered car, the SR8, whose Powertec RPA engine is based upon two Suzuki Hayabusa engines joined to a common crank, utilising the original heads with a purpose designed block.

French V8 engines

The French De Dion-Bouton firm was first to produce a V8 engine for sale in 1910. Later examples came from Citroën, with the never produced 1934 22CV Traction Avant, and Simca. Peugeot's upcoming 608 and its Citroën C6 stablemate may have a new HDi V8 as well as a possible petrol V8. The "PRV" (Peugeot, Renault, Volvo) V6 was actually supposed to be a V8, but two cylinders were "dropped" because of the oil crisis of the seventies. Gordini also developed a 3 liter V8 for the Alpine-Renault A310, but a Renault 4-cylinder block was mounted instead because of cost issues.

Czech V8 engines

Tatra used air-cooled V8 engines. These culminated in the 2.5 L unit used in the Tatra T603 range of cars. The most powerful of these was fitted to the racing variant - known as the B-5. This was a higher compression version of the standard engine which replaced a standard single 2BBL carburettor with two 4BBL downdraft units on a new induction manifold. Tatra later produced another air cooled engine, used in Tatra 613 and later, in Tatra 700. These engines were well known for their reliability, good fuel consumption, and specific sound.

In the Tatra 603, two engine driven fans help pull cooling air into the engine bay - when the vehicle is in motion the air enters through intakes in the rear wing panels and is exhausted through cut-outs below the bumper and alongside the engine itself. In the Tatra 613, one large ventilator pushes fresh cold air into the engine bay.

Tatra has used air cooled engines in their heavy duty trucks until the present day...

T77 - 2.97 Litre air cooled V8
T77a - 3.4 Litre air cooled V8 - 75 hp
T87 - 2.97 Litre air cooled V8 - 75 hp
T607 Monopost - 2.35 Litre V8 - 161 hp (later 181 hp in 607-2)
T603 - 2.5 Litre air cooled V8 - 95 hp
T603B5 - 2.5 Litre air cooled V8 - 143 hp
T613 - 3.5 Litre air cooled V8 - 168 hp
T613i- 3.5 Litre air cooled V8 - 200 hp
T700 - 3.5 Litre air cooled V8 - 200 hp (234 hp in 4.36i)

German V8 engines

German V8s (by mfg. & date)

  • Audi
    • 1989-1994 3.6 (PT) - 250 hp - Audi V8 quattro only
    • 1991 - 3.6 (normaly aspirated) - 442 hp - Audi V8 DTM quattro
    • 1992-1994 4.2 (ABH) - 280 hp - Audi V8 quattro / Audi S4 4.2
    • 1995-2006 3.7 - 230 - 280 hp (32v + 40v)
    • 1995-1997 4.2 - 290 hp - 326 hp (32v)
    • 1997-2005 4.2 - 344 hp (40v)
    • 2001-2003 4.0 - 289 hp Diesel (32v)
    • 2003-present 4.2 - 326 hp Diesel (32v)
    • 2004-present 4.2 FSI- 414 hp (32v) - RS4/R8 model(2007)
    • 2005-present 4.2 FSI- 350 hp (32v)
    • 2006 - 4.2 TT - 800 hp - Gumpert apolo s
    • 2008 - 4.2 TT - 888 hp - Audi R8 mtm
    • 2008 - 4.0 - 480 hp Audi A4 DTM
  • BMW
  • Mercedes-Benz
    • 1965-1979 M100
      • 6.3 L
      • 6.9 L
    • 1971-1991 M117
      • 4.5 L SOHC 2v
      • 5.0 L SOHC 2v
      • 5.6 L SOHC 2v
    • 1981-1991 M116
      • 3.5 L
      • 3.8 L
      • 4.2 L
    • 1990-1999 M119
      • 4.2 L DOHC
      • 5.0 L DOHC
    • 1999-present M113
      • 4.3 L E43
      • 5.0 L E50
      • 5.4 L E55 AMG
      • 5.4 L E55 ML AMG
    • 2004-present M155
      • 5.4 L SOHC 3v 302 hp
    • 2006-present M273
      • 4.7 L 325 hp DOHC 4v
      • 5.5 L 380 hp DOHC 4v
    • 2006-present M156
      • 6.2 L "6.3-liter" AMG only engine DOHC 4v 450-510 hp
    • Diesel
  • Porsche
    • Porsche 928 1978–1995
      • 928 4.5 L (16v)
      • 928S 4.7 L (16v)
      • 928S2 4.7/5.0 L (16/32v) - Dependent on whether American or ROW model
      • 928S4 5 L (32v)
      • 928GT 5 L (32v)
      • 928GTS 5.4 L (32v) 257 kW
      • 928GTR ?? L (32v - probably) - MaxMoritz semi works 928 GTR
    • Porsche Cayenne 2002 - present
      • Cayenne 4.5 L (16v)

Italian V8 engines

Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Montreal was powered by a dry sump 90-degree quad-cam 16-valve V8 (type 00564) derived from the Tipo 33 race car. Because of the limited space available for the cross-crank crankshaft, the physically small but heavy crank counterweights were made of a sintered tungsten alloy called turconit . The Montreal V8 was rated at at the flywheel and weighed . There were also eighteen 33 Stradale cars built with a detuned 1,995 cc 260 hp Tipo 33/2 flat-crank engine. The Montreal cross-crank engine was also used in a very limited production run of 22 Alfetta GTV2.6i. The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione sports car has a Ferrari-built cross-crank V8. A similar engine is likely to be used in the upcoming Alfa Romeo 169 and Alfa Romeo 159 GTA.


Arguably, Ferrari had their first contact with V8 power with the "inherited" Lancia D50s in 1955. Ferrari adopted the V8 configuration for themselves for racing in 1962 with the 268 SP. The first V8-powered Ferrari road car was 1974's 308 GT4, with the familiar 308 GTB following closely behind. The company continued to use this Dino V8 engine ever since with the 328, 348, and successors. Ferrari's smallest V8 (and indeed, the smallest ever) was the 2.0 L (1990 cc) unit found in the 1975 208 GT4. The company produced a slightly-larger 2.0 L V8 in the 208 GTB of the 1980s. Five-valve versions of Ferrari's 3.5 L and 3.6 L V8s were found in the Ferrari F355 and Ferrari 360. The old Dino V8 was retired for 2005 with the introduction of a 4.3 L V8, based on the originally Ferrari designed Maserati 4.2 V8, in the F430.


The only Fiat to have a V8 was the Fiat 8V. The engine was a very compact OHV 1996 cc (122 CID) V8 with a 70° V angle and 2 valves per cylinder. The Fiat 8V was designed to partake in the Italian two-litre racing class.


Lamborghini have always fitted V12s in their top-of-the-line cars, but have built many V8s for their lower models, including the Urraco, Silhouette and Jalpa.


Lancia used V8 engines in their top of the range luxury cars in the interwar period. The first V8 engine was available in 1922 in the Trikappa with a 4595 cc (280 CID) making . In 1928 they introduced the Dilambda with a 3956 cc (242 CID) V8 developing . Later in 1931 a the Astura was unveiled with two smaller versions of the existing V8, 2604 cc (159 CID) and 2973 cc (181 CID) with and respectively. All of those engines featured Lancia's trademark narrow angle V (less than 25º).


Maserati have used V8s for many of their models, including the Maserati Bora and the Maserati Khamsin. This engine was initially designed as a racing engine for the Maserati 450S. The company's latest 4.2 V8, found in the Quattroporte, Maserati Coupé, and Spyder, was originally designed by Ferrari, and is related to the 4.3l V8 in the F430.

Japanese V8 engines

Japanese manufacturers are traditionally not known for V8 engines in their roadcars, however they have built a few V8 engines to meet the needs of consumers, as well as for their own racing programs.


Honda, despite being known as an engine company, has never built a V8 for their roadcars. However, they have built V8s for racing, most notably for Formula One and DTM. Audi Sports V8 powered A4 is a design based on the Mugen/Honda MF308 V8 engine which introduced in 2004 produced /(Over torque. Honda is also the sole engine builder for Indy Racing. The Honda Indy V-8 has a 10,300 rpm redline. Also, their affiliate Mugen Motorsports (now known as M-Tec) has also built racing V8s that have eventually found their way into limited production road cars as well as concept cars. Their MF408S engine, which powers cars in the ALMS is also found in a few limited production road cars such as the Mooncraft Shiden, it is more known however for being the engine in the Honda Legend based Mugen Max concept.


Nissan built its first V8, the Y40 in 1965 for its President limousine. The Y engine has been succeeded by two families of V8, the VH series during the '80s and '90s and the new VK series.


Toyota's first V8 engine family was the V series used in the prestigious Toyota Century ultra luxury car. This engine remained in use in the Century until it was replaced by a V12 in 1997. Other Toyota V8 families are the UZ engines and the new UR engines.


While better known as a manufacturer of motorcycles, Yamaha also makes engines under contract from auto-manufacturers. They currently produce a V8 engine in conjunction with Volvo Cars for vehicles such as the Volvo XC90 and the Volvo S80.

Swedish V8 engines

The most well-known Swedish V8 engine is probably the Scania AB diesel, which was released in 1969 for use in the 140 model heavy trucks. At this point, the turbo-charged engine was the most powerful diesel in Europe.

Volvo's 1950s concept car Philip also had a gasoline V8 engine. The car never went into production, but the engine evolved into a 120 hp 3.6 L V8 (in many aspects a "double B18" engine) for use in the light trucks Snabbe and Trygge from the late 1950s on.

Supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has developed a twin-supercharged V8 based on the Ford Modular engine. This engine is unique in that it is a flexible fuel engine and actually produces more power while running on biofuel than on regular unleaded.

Russian V8 engines


The ZIS-110 (1946) was powered by a flathead V8 engine which was an accurate copy of a Packard V8 engine of the 1930-s except for the carburetor which was a Stromberg.

For the ZIL-111 (1959) an all-new aluminium 6 liter OHV V8 was developed, initially it produced 200 hp@4200 rpm.

ZIL-114 (1967) was powered by a V8 giving 300 hp@4400 rpm. It's more modern derivative model, the ZIL-41047, is powered by a ZIL-4104 engine, a 7680 cc carburetted V8 giving 315 hp (232 kW)@4600 rpm.

The ZIL trucks used (and still use) a modification of this engine (cast-iron block, aluminum heads, 6L, 150 hp@3200 rpm, 6.5:1 compresson rate, one 2-bbl carburetor).


Several cars produced under the Volga brand name - the GAZ-23 (1962-1970), the GAZ-24-24 V8 (1974-1992), the GAZ-31013 V8 (1982-1996), as well as both generations of the GAZ Chaika limousines (1959-1982 and 1976-1988) were powered by an all-aluminum OHV 5.5L V8. Theese engines were designated: ZMZ-13 (Chaika GAZ-13, one 4-bbl carburetor), ZMZ-14 (Chaika GAZ-14, two 4-bbl carburetors), ZMZ-2424 (Volga GAZ-24-24), ZMZ-505 (two 4-bbl carburetors) and -503 (one 4-bbl carburetor) (GAZ-24-34, GAZ-31013). Power output varied from 195 to 220 hp. A modification of the same engine was also used in the BRDM-2 military armored vehicle, designated ZMZ-41.

The GAZ-53 was powered by a 4254 cc ZMZ-53 engine, which substantially was a modification of the Chayka's engine with one 2-bbl carburetor and decreased volume and compression rate. More modern version of the GAZ engine for intermediate trucks is designated ZMZ-511.

Spanish V8 engines

Spanish truck and sportscar company Pegaso made around 100 cars in the 1950s and 1960s. There were two types of engines the Z-102 and the Z-103/4 engines

The Z-102 first introduced in 1951 engine was an advanced design sporting quadruple camshafts (two per bank) and had 2 valves per cylinder. It was available with 1, 2 or 4 twin Weber carburettors and either normally aspirated or with one or two superchargers. It had three different capacities, 2472 cc (151 CID), 2816 cc (172 CID) and 3178 cc (194 CID) and made between and .

The Z-103/4 developed in the mid/late 50's (the first prototype was made in 1954) was a much simpler design destined to power a new series of luxury and sportscars. It had a single central camshaft and 2 valves per cylinder actuated by pushrods. It had hemispherical combustion chambers (like the Z-102 engine) and twin spark plugs. It was available with three different cubic capacities as well, 3900 cc (238 CID), 4500 cc (275 CID) and 4700 cc (287 CID). The 3.9-litre engine had a twin Weber carburettor and the 4.5 and 4.7-litre engines 2 quadruple Weber carbs, which gave the later a power output in excess of . The very few engines of this type produced were installed in Z-102 cars.

Australian V8 engines

Holden, including its performance vehicle operations being: Holden Dealer Team and Holden Special Vehicles have been manufacturing V8 performance vehicles since the late 1960s, as has Ford Australia. The performance arm of Ford Australia, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), have recently resurged in the market with the new Falcon BA and BF based models.

The Australian V8 is typically an American manufactured block from either Ford, Chrysler or General Motors yet often uses local heads and auxiliary systems (pistons, exhaust etc.). However, there are a couple of exceptions to this - the Holden small block V8, and the British Leyland alloy small block V8.

The Holden small block V8 was an all Australian designed and manufactured cast-iron 90 degree pushrod OHV engine, manufactured in the capacities of 4.2 L (253 CID), 5.0 L (308 CID), later destroked to 304 CID), and 5.7 L (348 CID). First introduced in 1969, finally ceasing production in 1999, it powered a variety of Holden vehicles including the Kingswood, Monaro, Torana and Commodore, and proved to be a popular and successful powerplant in Australian motorsport (especially Touring cars).

The British Leyland small block V8 was also a pushrod OHV engine, however it was an all alloy block like the British Rover V8 it was based on. The stroke was increased to give it a capacity of . The motor was originally designed and fitted to the Leyland P76 sedan.

Korean V8 engines

Other V8 applications

In aviation

Ship's engines

In motorcycles

Moto Guzzi of Italy built a water cooled DOHC V8 4-stroke motorcycle for Grand Prix racing between 1955 and 1957, referred to as the Moto Guzzi Grand Prix 500 cc V8. It was known as the Otto Cylindri, and had a very high power output but was not developed to its full potential. Each cylinder had its own carburetter.

Morbidelli produced an 848 cc V8 in 1994. Earlier, Galbusera had produced a two-stroke V8 in 1938.

Honda released the NR750 in 1992. The bike had 750cc V4 with oval pistons, 8 valves per cylinder and 2 con-rods per piston, which technically made it a V8.

In motorsport

Up until recently, Formula 1 cars used 3-litre V10 engines. However, the FIA considered speeds were getting too high to be safe (even with the banning of turbochargers in 1989, which allowed engines to develop , from a naturally-aspirated engine was not impossible by 2005, and with better aerodynamics, cars were shattering straight-line speed records.) So, the permitted engine size was cut to 2.4-litre V8 (This reduced average power output of the engines from , in the 2005 season, to a 2006 season average of - equivalent to power outputs that were being achieved on 3 litres around the 1999/2000 seasons.)

In the 'Top Fuel' class of Drag Racing, V8 engines displacing 8.2 L or 500 cubic inches produce up to 8,000 horsepower. Based on the Chrysler Hemi and running on highly explosive Nitro-Methane fuel, these frighteningly powerful units propel the cars from 0-100 mph in 0.8 seconds or less, and from in under 4.5 seconds. During the race the engine will turn over about 1000 times and may then have to be rebuilt.


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