Lancia, which is a shadow of its former self due to FCA's poor management, made V8s as narrow as 14 degrees back when the Italian automaker was independent. First used by French racecars in 1904, the V8 really came into its own with the Cadillac L-head V8 series from 1914 and Ford's Flathead series from 1932.
Even though V8s are slowly but steadily going extinct due to emission and fuel economy regulations, said engine configuration has never been as powerful as it currently is. The following list comprises the world's 20 most powerful production V8s as of July 2023, starting with the 6.2-liter small block of the sixth-gen Camaro.
20. Chevrolet LT1– 455 hp and 455 lb-ft
Not surprising in the least, the LT also premiered in the Corvette, namely the 2014 model year Stingray. If equipped with the Z51 performance package or specified in Grand Sport attire, the seventh-generation Corvette belts out 460 ponies and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm).
Equipped with direct injection, the LT1 has been exclusive to the Camaro ever since Chevy ended series production of the C7 (in 2019 for the 2019 model year). As a result, the pokiest iteration available today offers 455 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 455 pound-feet (617 Nm) at 4,400 revolutions per minute.
19. GM L5P Duramax – 470 hp and 975 lb-ft
From a displacement of 6.6 liters, it used to make 445 horsepower at 2,800 revolutions per minute and 910 pound-feet (1,234 Nm) at 1,600 revolutions per minute. Until recently, that is, because the Detroit-based automaker has updated the L5P for model year 2024.
Revealed with much pomp in September 2024, the redesigned Silverado HD has up to 470 horsepower at 2,800 revolutions per minute and 975 pound-feet (1,322 Nm) at 1,600 revolutions per minute to its name. In other words, it still doesn't hold a candle to the Ford Motor Company's Power Stroke (more on this engine later).
18. Toyota 2UR-GSE – 472 hp and 395 lb-ft
In production since 2006, the UR engine family is presently represented by the 2UR-GSE of the Lexus LC 500, RC F, and IS 500 F Sport Performance. In the luxury-oriented automaker's flagship coupe and convertible, the all-aluminum powerplant cranks out 471 ponies at 7,100 revolutions per minute and 398 pound-feet (540 Nm) of twist at 4,800 on 91 octane.
With premium unleaded in the tank, the RC F and IS 500 F Sport Performance develop 472 horsepower at 7,100 revolutions per minute and 395 pound-feet (536 Nm) at 4,800 to 5,600 revolutions per minute. Not bad for 5.0 liters, double overhead camshafts, and dual injection (direct and port injection). Be that as it may, the Ford Motor Company can do better using the same recipe.
17. Chrysler Apache – 485 hp and 475 lb-ft
Things got interesting with the second-generation Hemi, which ran between 1964 and 1971 with 426 cubic inches exclusively. Back when Chrysler was in cahoots with Daimler (1998 to 2007), the Hemi came back with a vengeance. Marketed as HEMI with uppercase letters, the third generation is available in displacements ranging between 5.7 and 6.4 liters. The latter is known as Apache, and you can get said engine in vehicles like the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Ram HD.
At press time, its heavy-duty truck version makes 410 horsepower at 5,600 revolutions per minute and 429 pound-feet (582 Nm) at 4,000 revolutions per minute. Better known as the 392, said V8 levels up to 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet (644 Nm) in the soon-to-be-discontinued Challenger and Charger. The Charger will come back as a three-door fastback EV, the 5.7- and 6.2-liter V8s will be discontinued, and only the 6.4 will soldier on in heavy-duty truck applications.
16. Chevrolet LT2 – 495 hp and 470 lb-ft
There are many other ways in which the LT2 differs from the LT2, chief among which are the larger intake plenum (14.1 liters instead of 11.1 liters), less restrictive exhaust system, a wide range air-fuel sensor rather than an upstream oxygen sensor, different cam profile and phasing, redesigned flywheel, and AFM calibration (LT2 shuts down cylinders 2, 3, 5, 8 versus 1, 4, 6, 7 for the previous-gen Corvette and Camaro's LT1 engine).
Supplied by Tenneco, the standard exhaust system of the Stingray allows the LT2 to produce 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet (631 Nm) of torque. Step up to the NPP sports exhaust, which is also manufactured by Tenneco, and you're looking at 495 hp and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm).
15. Ford Coyote V8 – 500 hp and 418 lb-ft
The suits in Dearborn didn't make things easy for the engineers, though, requiring them to keep many engine characteristics as close to the Modular 4.6 and Modular 5.4 as possible. Ford updated the Coyote with direct fuel injection in addition to the existing port injection system for 2018. The 2024 model year Mustang, which is the final gen with internal combustion, introduced a further update in the form of dual intakes and throttle bodies.
Exclusive to the GT and Dark Horse, the fourth-gen Coyote is available in three states of tune at the moment of reporting. Its most aggressive setup is – of course – the one in the Dark Horse. Even though it features the same 418 pound-feet (567 Nm) as the GT with the fancy exhaust, the Dark Horse improves from 486 horsepower to 500 thanks to a stronger crank, new cams, and forged connecting rods from the Shelby GT500's Predator.
14. Ford Power Stroke – 500 hp and 1,200 lb-ft
The more familiar 6.7 version is dubbed Scorpion. Introduced by the 2011 model year Super Duty, the 406-ci turbo diesel is the most powerful and torquiest heavy-duty truck engine as of July 2023. It easily beats the Cummins straight-six mill of the Ram HD, and it also makes easy work of the L5P version of the Duramax.
Positioned above the 6.8 and 7.3 gasses from the Godzilla engine family, the Power Stroke comes in either standard or high-output specifications. The latter generates 500 horsepower at 2,600 revolutions per minute and a simply unbelievable 1,200 pound-feet (1,627 Nm) of torque at 1,800 revolutions per minute.
13. Jaguar AJ-V8 – 567 hp and 516 lb-ft
Known as AJ133, the third and final generation of the AJ-V8 dates back to 2009. To be discontinued in favor of a twin-turbo V8 from BMW, the 5.0-liter supercharged lump uses an Eaton Roots-type blower.
Jaguar lists the F-Type R for America with 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet (700 Nm) on deck, yet Jaguar quotes 423 kW or 575 metric horsepower in Australia and European markets, including the United Kingdom. In other words, it's 567 mechanical ponies.
12. BMW S68 – 631 hp and 590 lb-ft
A full-fat M like the X5 M Competition makes a little more power, namely 617 horsepower, while retaining the peak torque rating of the X7 M60i. Even more curiously, the S68 in the XM Label Red produces 577 horsepower. Most surprisingly, the pokiest S68 yet can be found under the hood of an Alpina-badged BMW.
The XB7 is a development of the X7 M60i mentioned earlier, a family-sized luxobarge modified to XB7 specification in the United States by BMW rather than Alpina in Germany. With BMW's purchase of Alpina in 2022, the Buchloe-based company will have an increasingly lesser role in vehicle production.
11. Volkswagen Group 4.0 TFSI – 657 hp and 627 lb-ftLamborghini Urus.
As expected, the Raging Bull of Sant'Agata Bolognese called dibs on the most powerful tune yet. Shared by the Urus S and Urus Performante, the 4.0 TFSI belts out a devilish 666 ps and 850 Nm (or 657 hp and 627 lb-ft).
There's room for improvement, though, with said improvement taking the form of plug-in hybrid assistance. Both the Urus S and Urus Performante will be replaced by a plug-in hybrid version of the Urus in 2024, which promises 800 horsepower or thereabout.
10. Chevrolet LT6 – 670 hp and 460 lb-ft
Truly unique for General Motors, the LT6 elevates the Z06 from a supercar-shaming sports car to a bonafide supercar. The largest FPC V8 ever used in a production car (after the 5.2-liter Voodoo of the Shelby GT350) rocks dual throttle bodies, just like the Coyote Gen 4.
Capable of revving to 8,600 rpm, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 develops 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm. Torque peaks at 6,300 rpm to the tune of 460 pound-feet (624 Nm), making the Stingray's LT2 a little torquier.
9. Chevrolet LT4 – 682 hp and 653 lb-ft
A further derivative called LT5 was used by the ZR1, yet that was a matter of one and done. LT4-engined production vehicles currently number three, starting with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is slightly better in both power and torque, yet the Escalade-V is the most powerful of the bunch.
With 682 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 653 pound-feet (885 Nm) at 4,400 revolutions per minute, you would expect Cadillac's full-size utility vehicle to be fast. In terms of acceleration, it sure is for such a heavy and spacious vehicle. But in regard to speed, the half-ton pickup truck underpinnings don't really help. Alas, the Escalade-V's limiter goes "whoa there" at 125 miles per hour (201 kilometers per hour).
8. Mercedes-AMG M177 – 697 hp and 664 lb-ft
The M178-powered Aston Martin Valhalla hasn't entered production as of July 2023, which leaves the M177 of the Aston Martin DBX707 as the most powerful version of the 4.0-liter V8. The primary difference between M178 and M177 is the lubrication system: dry sump for the M178 versus wet sump for the M177. Both of them are assembled by hand in Affalterbach, whereas the M176 is mostly assembled by machine at the German marque's Unterturkheim site.
707 comes from the metric horsepower output, which exceeds that of every single version of the M177 used by Mercedes-AMG right now. In addition to larger turbos with ball rather than journal bearings, the DBX707 also differs from the DBX by means of a wet-clutch automatic instead of a torque-converter tranny.
7. Ford Predator – 700 hp and 640 lb-ft
Slightly different from the Mustang's engine, the truck-specific Predator improves on torque (640 pound-feet or 870 Nm) to the detriment of power (700 ponies). It still is more than enough for a half-ton pickup, let alone an F-150 equipped with 35-inch tires from the factory.
The DCT of the Shelby GT500 couldn't be adapted for the F-150 Raptor R. Instead, the Ford Motor Company revised the 10RXX automatic transmission with beefier hardware and new control software for quicker shift speeds than those of the 10LXX in the Camaro ZL1.
6. McLaren M840T – 740 hp and 590 lb-ft
Bear in mind this isn't the most powerful ever, though. For road-going cars, the Elva sits at the very top due to 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Nm). For track-only cars, the limited-run Senna GTR is king of the hill thanks to 833 horsepower at full chatter.
The most powerful series-production McLaren Automotive vehicle to date is more than simply a facelift of the 720S. Plenty of stuff has been redesigned from the ground up or improved. The Woking-based company quotes 30 percent of components being new or changed, as well as 30 fewer kilograms (66 pounds) of DIN kerb weight compared to the 720S before it.
5. Ferrari F154 – 786 hp and 593 lb-ft
Even the Maserati 3.0-liter Nettuno twin-turbo V6 is an offspring of the F154 despite the House of the Trident's insistence on being a clean-sheet design. Truth be told, the Nettuno's cylinder heads are 100 percent Maserati.
Ferrari's take on the F154 tops 4.0 liters, 786 horsepower, and 590 pound-feet (800 Nm) in the SF90 XX Stradale and SF90 XX Spider. Only 799 coupes and 599 convertibles will be produced. In combination with three electric motors, the SF90 XX develops 1,016 horsepower compared to 1,001 for the Lamborghini Revuelto, which makes the better induction and exhaust sounds due to a 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12.
4. Chrysler Hellcat – 1,025 hp and 945 lb-ft
The Hellcat now makes 717 horsepower as standard, 797 in Redeye specification, and 807 for the Super Stock and Jailbreak. On pump gas! The Demon needs race fuel to develop 840 horsepower, whereas the Demon 170 takes it up a notch with 1,025 horsepower on ethanol.
What's particularly sad about Chrysler's hard-hitting Hellcat is that 2024 will be its final year of production. Rather than the Challenger or Charger, the final application will be the 2024 Ram 1500 TRX pickup.
3. Koenigsegg V8 – 1,578 hp and 1,106 lb-ft
Christian von Koenigsegg's company evolved a lot during these past 20 years or so. Said evolution is extremely obvious in the oily bits department of the Swedish brand's current vehicles. When it comes to V8s, the 5.1L twin-turbo V8 of the Jesko is the bee's knees.
Named after Christian's father, the Jesko comes in either Absolut or Attack flavors. The Absolut is focused on top speed, whereas the Attack is a high-downforce monster that eats corners for breakfast. Both variants make 1,578 horsepower on E85. Fill 'er up with super unleaded, and 1,262 horsepower will have to make do. Oh, and by the way, this engine needs 0.2 seconds to rev from idle to its ear-piercing redline of 8,500 revolutions per minute.
2. SSC V8 – 1,750 hp and 1,280 lb-ft
Even though it didn't reach 331 miles per hour (533 kilometers per hour) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the SSC Tuatara did hit 295 miles per hour (475 kilometers per hour) in merely 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers). With an owner (Larry Caplin) rather than an SSC test driver behind the steering wheel, no less!
Capable of hitting 10,000 revolutions per minute, the Nelson Racing Engines 5.9L twin-turbo V8 is electronically limited to 8,800 revolutions per minute in the SSC Tuatara. There is a track-only version of the Tuatara that pushes out 2,200 horsepower on methanol, but unfortunately, track cars do not count.
1. Hennessey Fury – 1,817 hp and 1,193 lb-ft
The most powerful production V8 that money can buy as of July 2023 comes from Hennessey Performance Engineering, a well-known company that came to prominence in the 1990s with upgrade packages for the Mitsubishi 3000GT and sister vehicle Dodge Stealth, the Supra MKIV, the RX-7 FD, and the Dodge Viper.
Hennessey became an automaker with the unveiling of the Venom GT, which uses a Lotus Elise chassis, just like the first-gen Tesla Roadster. The Fury-powered Venom F5 is a more in-house affair, and it's faster as well. Sometime this year, the GT's heir apparent will attempt a high-speed run. In theory, the Venom F5 is capable of 311 mph (circa 500 kph) at the very least.