I think it’s time that we all realize the V8 is slowly dying. That’s because, and I know no better way to put this, it is. The V8 is ending its life, and we must all soon come to terms with the fact that V8-powered cars will someday be a thing of the past. Possibly someday soon.
I say this because many vehicles that were powered by V8s just a few years ago no longer are. You can’t get a V8 in a Toyota 4Runner anymore. The Range Rover has ditched the V8 for most of its variants, except the top-end stuff. AMG cars have seen their V8s shrink from 6.2 liters to 5.5 liters to 4.0 liters, to the point where I’m wonder if the next round of shrinkage won’t incorporate a V8 at all. The Lincoln Continental and Navigator now use V6s. The new Ford GT has a V6. The base-level engine in most new full-size luxury sedans, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, is now a V6. The reign of the V6 is upon us.
This saddens me, because I’ve always had — and loved — V8s. Right now, I have four different V8-powered vehicles, comprising my entire fleet of cars — a 2006 Range Rover (4.4-liter V8), a 1997 Land Rover Defender (3.9-liter V8), a 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon (5.5-liter V8) and a 2005 Ford GT (5.4-liter V8). I’ve always felt V8s provide the best responsiveness to virtually any situation, with none of the annoying throttle delay you get in turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder engines. V8s are always ready to go, and they don’t need much throttle to get there. They’re also smooth: A nice, smooth V8 offers a better, more linear torque curve than basically any turbo V6 I’ve ever driven, leading to a smoother ride and driving experience.
But I understand the problem: Emissions regulations are here, climate change is a problem and so maybe the V8 must die to save us all. I believe it’ll be a sad day when the last new production car with a V8 goes on sale — but I also think that day is coming, possibly sooner than we think.