A Dying Breed - The Most Powerful Naturally Aspirated Engines Made In 2016

Ferrari F12tdf engine bay 6 photos
Photo: Ferrari
Audi R8 V10 Plus - 610 HPLamborghini Huracan LP610-4 - 610 HPDodge SRT Viper - 645 HPLamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV - 750 HPFerrari F12tdf - 780 HP
Naturally aspirated engines are not going to be available for long in production cars, so we are now witnessing their final days.
Performance vehicles, especially those made by specialist automakers, are slowly ditching N/A units for turbocharged solutions. In some cases, the solution brings more than a single turbocharger, and hybrid systems are now often employed to boost performance.

We sincerely admire the continuous struggle for performance while keeping emissions as low as possible, and we find it inspiring to see that some companies have made a few outstanding naturally aspirated engines this year. In some cases, the cars that featured the engines we will list below are already sold-out, so you missed your chance at buying them brand new.

The same cases also represent vehicles most of our readers cannot afford to buy, but we are mentioning them because they exist, and dreaming about cars is a healthy thing in every petrolhead’s life. Evidently, none of the engines below is a champion in fuel economy, CO2 ratings, or whatever Eco-friendly thing that you might find in a downsized city car.

However, nobody is judgmental here, because they are meant to perform to the maximum of the ability of their naturally aspirated engines. Surprisingly, in real life, some of the cars below fare well when driven with care.

Audi R8 V10 Plus - 610 HP

Audi R8 V10 Plus \- 610 HP
Photo: Audi
The German sports car, which happens to be the top example of the company’s RS range, is the only car from this country that entered our short list of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines sold in 2016 in production cars. It is also the only representative of the German premium trio that’s on the list.

The Plus variant of the R8 is equipped with a 5.2-liter V10 engine, which provides 610 HP at 8.250 rpm. Peak torque is 560 Nm (413 lb-Ft), and it is supplied at 6.500 rpm. The direct-injected gasoline unit can help this version of the R8 reach 330 km/h, or 205 mph. The 0-62 mph acceleration time is 3.2 seconds, which is pretty swift, to say the least.

Audi only offers this model with its signature all-wheel-drive system, and a seven-speed automatic gearbox handles the resources. The same engine was first used in the Lamborghini Gallardo, and it is presently offered in the Huracan.

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 - 610 HP

Lamborghini Huracan LP610\-4 \- 610 HP
Photo: Lamborghini
The Italian brand is notorious for its naturally aspirated engines, which equip all the models in the current Lamborghini portfolio. At the same time, Lamborghini’s leaders are against introducing hybrids in their offer, but turbocharging solutions will eventually come in production. As you might have noticed, the Huracan’s unit is identical to the one of the Audi R8 V10 Plus.

It also delivers 610 HP at 8.250 rpm, and its torque is also 560 Nm (413 lb-Ft) at 6.500 rpm. The 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time is 3.2 seconds, just like the Audi R8 V10 Plus. The top speed of the Huracan LP610-4 is 325 km/h, which is slightly smaller than the corresponding Audi.

Lamborghini differentiates the Huracan with its carbon fiber components that form a perfect match with the aluminum in its chassis. The Huracan is the successor of the Gallardo model, and it comes with less weight, more power, and an improved fuel economy.

Dodge SRT Viper - 645 HP

Dodge SRT Viper \- 645 HP
Photo: Dodge
In this story, we talked about naturally aspirated engines as a dying breed, especially in performance cars. Well, the Dodge Viper is probably the best example of this variety, as its production will be concluded with the 2017 model year, which is currently still being made. This model is also fitted with the world’s largest naturally aspirated engine available on a production car.

As you already know, the V10 engine has a displacement of 8.390 cubic centimeters. Its maximum power is rated at 649 HP, and it is delivered at 6.150 rpm. Peak torque is an impressive 813 Nm (600 lb-Ft), which comes at 4.950 rpm and takes your breath away. Did we say that it only comes with a six-speed manual and rear-wheel-drive? It does, and that's the only option.

The acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is 3.5 seconds, while top speed is 202 mph (325 km/h). We are surprised that the Dodge Viper did not obtain better sales results over its career, particularly as it appears to be a bargain when performance is concerned. If you own one of these, take good care of it, because it will become a prized possession over time.

Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV - 750 HP

Lamborghini Aventador LP750\-4 SV \- 750 HP
Photo: Lamborghini
The Sant’Agata brand is the only one to have two products on this short list, which only goes to underline its commitment to naturally aspirated engines in performance models. This time, the Super Veloce version of the Aventador is featured, and it is a definitely a gem of the Italian company.

Its 6.5-liter V12 engine delivers 750 HP at 8.400 rpm, and peak torque is 690 Nm, available at 5.500 rpm. The multi-point gasoline injected unit can help the Aventador SV accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 2.8 seconds, which is enough to make most people sick. Top speed is 217 mph (349 km/h), more than sufficient to brag about when specs are concerned.

Just like the Huracan, this car comes with all-wheel-drive as standard, and a seven-speed automatic gearbox is the only option in the list. In spite of its massive V12 engine, its unladen weight is just 1.525 kilograms, which is comparable to that of a mid-size sedan that doesn't have all-wheel-drive.

Ferrari F12tdf - 780 HP

Ferrari F12tdf \- 780 HP
Photo: Ferrari
Italy has given us many memorable automobiles, but the F12tdf is something that you do not see every day. Ferrari has only made 799 examples of the souped-up F12, and all of them were sold-out by the end of 2015. However, some of these cars were manufactured and delivered in 2016, so it has every right to be on this list.

The direct-injected gasoline engine of this car delivers 780 HP at 8.500 rpm, while peak torque is 705 Nm (520 lb-Ft) at 6.250 rpm. Along with the highest output of a naturally aspirated engine available on a production car made in 2016, this unit is also the highest-revving. Those of you that have paid attention to our list might have noticed that the Viper has more torque than the F12tdf, which reaffirms our statement that the Dodge is an incredible bargain.

Ferrari’s fantastic creation can accelerate from 0 t0 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds, and its top speed is 340 km/h (211 mph). While some might argue that the Lamborghini Aventador SV is faster to 100 km/h, the Ferrari only comes with rear-wheel-drive, which justifies the minor difference in time.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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