When you think of a muscle car, many of your brains will begin twitching at the thought of V8s under the hood of a Chevrolet Camaro, a Ford Mustang or a Dodge Challenger, as these three are the only remaining “muscle cars.”
But not everyone can spring for the price tag of a new V8-engined muscle car variant. A new Chevrolet Camaro SS starts at $36,995, a new Ford Mustang GT starts at $35,355 and a new Dodge Challenger R/T starts at $33,995. You can save anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 by picking a new V6 model over a new V8.
If a V6 model is what you want and what you can afford, I believe everyone has a right to enjoy their cars without any hate from anyone else in the automotive community. But with that said, I am a huge fan of V8s — and if I can bring someone to the V8 side, I will. I figured I could turn my love of V8s into something positive and figure out some V8 alternatives to buying a brand new V6 muscle car.
Here’s what I mean: A new Chevrolet Camaro 1LS starts at $27,395 and a new Dodge Challenger SXT starts at $28,995. The Ford Mustang no longer comes with a V6 option, but an EcoBoost model starts around $27,000 — about the same as the others. So here are some V8-powered options for that price.
The first option, of course, is simply buying any 1- to 5-year-old V8 option of the trio of Camaro, Mustang or Challenger. Take it from a guy who bought a brand new V8-powered Camaro SS a few years ago: I should have just bought one from the year before and saved some money.
My next alternative is an obvious one: the BMW E92 M3. I personally use one as a daily driver, and the E92 M3 is known for being both the last naturally aspirated M3 as well as “the one with the V8.” That V8 screams to 8250 rpm.
If you want a fast, V8-powered Chevy, you don’t have to get a Camaro: The sleeper, V8-powered Chevrolet SS sedan has begun creeping below the $30,000 mark. Many joke about it being a “Malibu with a V8,” but it also seems to be the closest we got to a BMW E39 M5 replacement.
If you need a little supercharging for your V8, there are a few Jaguar XK models which are below the $30,000 mark.
A V8-powered Chrysler 300 could be your best bang for your V8 buck. A high-mile one from the last few years is available for half the price of a new V6 muscle car.
These are but a few of the V8 options you can get instead of a V6-powered muscle car. If you want to stretch beyond a price tag of $30,000 or my 5-year-old limit, there are a few other options. You could go the route of almost any-generation Corvette, or if you love depreciation, you could find yourself behind the wheel of a Maserati Quattroporte.
Have an alternative V8 option? Let me know in the comments.