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The Liberty V8 aircraft engine clearly shows the configuration, although modern automotive versions use a 90 degree block angle.

Bare block of an American Motors V8 engine showing the four cylinders on each side of the V configuration

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.[1]

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 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. Most racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration and more efficient exhaust system designs.[2]


Assembled Oldsmobile 400 CID overhead valve engine with heads and complete valve train but without manifolds, rocker covers, timing chain cover or oil pan

Assembled Ford 460 and installed with all components as seen in a rear-wheel drive vehicle

The V8 with a crossplane crankshaft (see below) is a common configuration for large automobile engines. V8 engines are rarely less than 3.0 L (183 cu in) in displacement and in automobile use have exceeded 8.2 L (500 cu in) in production vehicles. Industrial and marine V8 engines can be much larger.

V8s are generally only standard on more powerful muscle cars, pony cars, sports cars, luxury cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. However they are often options in vehicles which have a V6 or straight-6 as standard engine. In some cases, V6 engines were derived from V8 designs by removing two cylinders maintaining 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. Some of these employed offset crankpins driving connecting rod pairs, enabling a regular firing sequence.

The traditional 90° big-bore V8 engine is generally too wide and too long to fit easily in vehicles with a transverse engine front-wheel drive layout, so its applications are limited to rear-wheel drive sports cars, muscle cars, pony cars, luxury cars and light trucks. The shorter and occasionally narrower V6 engine is easier to fit in small engine compartments, but a few compact V8 engines are used in transverse FWD and transverse AWD engine configurations in larger cars, such as Cadillacs and Volvos. These engines often have tighter cylinder bore spacings, narrower cylinder bank angles, and other modifications to reduce their space requirements.[3]

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 crossplane's 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 2.4 L (~146 cu in) V8 engines, which replaced the 3.0 L (~183 cu in) V10 in a move to reduce costs and power.

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

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


1909 Antoinette VII aircraft with Antoinette V8 engine

V8 Vulcan engine, circa 1919

In 1902, Léon Levavasseur took out a patent on a light but quite powerful gasoline injected V8 engine. He called it the 'Antoinette' after the young daughter of his financial backer. From 1904 he installed this engine in a number of competition speedboats and early aircraft. The aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont saw one of these boats in Côte d'Azur and decided to try it on his 14-bis aircraft. Its early 24 hp (18 kW) at 1400 rpm version with only 55 kg (120 lb) of weight was interesting, but proved to be underpowered. Santos-Dumont ordered a larger and more powerful version from Levavasseur. He changed its dimensions from the original 80 mm stroke and 80 mm bore to 105 mm stroke and 110 mm bore, obtaining 50 hp (37 kW) with 86 kg (190 lb) of weight, including cooling water. Its power-to-weight ratio was not surpassed for 25 years.[4] Levavasseur eventually produced its own line of V-8 equipped aircraft, named Antoinette I to VIII. One of these aircraft, piloted by Hubert Latham, tried but failed to cross the English Channel in 1909 due to the engine's gasoline injection.[5][6] However, in 1910, the same plane with the same engine and the same pilot was first in the world to reach an altitude of 3600 feet.[7] Voisin constructed pusher biplanes with Antoinette engines, also, notably the one first flown successfully by Henry Farman in 1908.

The V8 engine configuration 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. In 1905, Darracq built a special car to beat the world speed record. They came up with two racing car engines built on a common crankcase and camshaft. The result was monstrous engine with a displacement of 1551 in³ (25422 cc), good for 200 bhp (150 kW). Victor Hemery fixed that record on 30 December 1905 with a speed of 109.65 mph (176.46 km/h). This car still exists.

Rolls-Royce built a 3,535 cc (216 cu in) 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 7,773 cc (474 cu in) 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.[8]

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 5,429 cc (331 cu in) 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 4 L (~244 cu in) V8 engine in 1916. Chevrolet introduced a 288 cu in (4.7 L) V8 engine in 1917, but after merging with General Motors in 1918, discontinued the V8 to concentrate on economy cars.[9]

V angles

The most prevalent V angle for a V8 is 90°. This configuration features a wide, low engine with optimal firing and vibration characteristics. Many V6 and V10 engine configurations are derived from production V8 designs, they often use the 90° angle; however, balance shafts are incorporated to reduce vibration or more complex cranks to even the firing cycle. V8s can 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. Because 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.[10] In 2010, GM will introduce a 4.5 L Duramax diesel V8 with a 72° angle in which they state, "Considering manufacturing tolerances, a 72 V-8 engine can actually deliver better balance than a 90 engine."[11] 72° V8 engines have been used in modern racing.[12]

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.[13] In years past, Electro-Motive produced an 8-cylinder version of their model 567 Diesel locomotive engine, with a 45 degree cylinder angle. The 1932 Miller four-wheel drive race cars also featured a 45° V8.[14]

An extremely narrow-angle V8 was introduced by Lancia in 1922, which had an angle between cylinder banks of only 14°. This created an engine that was shorter than a straight-6, but much narrower than a conventional V8. It was based on a Lancia V4 engine design that was almost completely "square" in the length and width of its layout. Because of their compact design and overhead camshafts, these engines were lighter and more powerful than comparable engines of the time.[15] Although Lancia stopped making the V8 design around World War II, the basic concept is used today in the Volkswagen VR6 engine.

Crankshaft design

Main article: Crossplane

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. The first and last of the four crank pins are at 180° with respect to each other as are the second and third, with each pair at 90° to the other, 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 American V8s. 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 1.5 L (~92 cu in) V8 that evolved from a cross-plane to a flat-plane configuration. Flat-plane V8s on road cars come from Ferrari (every V8 model they ever made, from the 1973 308 GT4, to the new F458), Lotus (the Esprit V8), TVR (the Speed Eight) and McLaren (the MP4-12C). This design is popular in racing engines, the most famous example being the Cosworth DFV.[16]

In 1992, Audi left the German DTM racing series after a controversy around the crankshaft design of their Audi V8 DTM. 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 1924.[17]

American V8 engines

De Soto Fire Dome V8 engine, at the 1952 LA Auto Show

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 Chevrolet would not produce another V8 until the introduction of the 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, Mississippi), Perkins (Detroit), Murray, Vernon, and Yale.[18] Oakland, a division of GM, introduced an 85 hp (63 kW) 250 cu in (4.1 L) V8 with a 180° crankshaft in 1930-1931. In 1932, the Oakland marque was discontinued and the V8 was used in its companion marque, Pontiac, for one year. Pontiac dropped the V8 engine in 1933 and replaced it with its smoother running Silver-Streak straight eight.

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 flat head engine powered almost all larger Ford cars through the 1953 production year, and was produced until around 1970 by Ford licensees around the world, with the valve-in-block engine powering mostly commercial vehicles.

After World War II, the strong demand for larger status-symbol cars made the common straight-6 less marketable. Straight-8 engines have 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 (GM) responded to Ford's V8 success by introducing the Oldsmobile Rocket and Cadillac OHV. Chrysler introduced their FirePower 331 cu in (5.4 L) hemi-head V8 in 1951. That year Studebaker introduced its V8. Buick followed in 1953, while Packard and GM's Chevrolet and Pontiac introduced V8s of their own in 1955. American Motors initially purchased V8 engines from Packard,[19] but developed its own lower-weight, 600 lb (272 kg), design in 1956.[20]

Shelby Mustang GT350 V8 engine

A full history of each manufacturer's engines is outside of the 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, Buick, 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 360 cu in (5.9 L), but in stock form are often not all that efficient. Big-block displacement reached its zenith with the 1970 Cadillac Eldorado's 500 cu in (8.2 L) 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. Big-block V8s are used in racing and such engines are available from independent engine builders. Some applications produce 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) from volumes exceeding 800 cu in (13.1 L).

Smaller engines, known as small-block V8s, were fitted in the mid-size car ranges and generally displaced between 270 cu in (4.4 L) and 360 cu in (5.9 L), though some grew as large as Ford's 408 cu in (6.7 L) 400 Cleveland. There is overlap between big-block and small-block ranges, and a factory engine between 6.0 and 6.6 L (366 and 403 cu in) could belong to either class. Engines like this (much evolved) are still in production.

A 4.0 L (244 cu in) V8 engine from an Oldsmobile Aurora

During the 1950s, 1960s and, 1970s, every GM 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 quickly abandoned these division-specific engines in favor of a few shared designs. Realizing that shared designs were more cost efficient, GM also began to eliminate division-specific engines in the late 1970s. Today, there are fewer than a dozen different American V8 engines in production.

Lately, Chrysler and GM have designed larger displacement V8s out of existing modern small-block V8s for use in performance vehicles, such as Chrysler's 6.1 L (~372.2 cu in) and 6.4 L (~390.6 cu in) Hemis, and the LS7 7.0 L (~427.2 cu in) version of GM's LS engines.

Today, the major use for big V8s is in racing, where aluminum copies of the venerable Chrysler Hemi still dominate professional drag racing (Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car).

American V8s (by manufacturer and year)

A Supercharged custom V8 engine

  • American Motors (AMC)
    • 1956-1966 GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V8
    • 1966-1991 GEN-2 AMC and Jeep V8
  • Chrysler
    • 1951–1959 FirePower
    • 1951–1958 and 1964–1971 Hemi (Original)
    • 1956–1967 A family
    • 1958–1971 B family
    • 1959–1978 RB family
    • 1964–2003 LA Family
    • 1999–present PowerTech
    • 2003–present New Hemi

1930's flathead Ford V8 engine

  • Ford
    • 1920–1932 Lincoln Liberty
    • 1932-1953 Flathead V8
    • 1954-1962 Y-block V8
    • 1958-1967 MEL V8
    • 1958-1976 FE V8
    • 1958-1982 Super Duty engine
    • 1962-2001 Windsor V8
    • 1966–present Cosworth DFV
    • 1968-1997 385 V8
    • 1970-1982 335/Cleveland V8
    • 1991–present Modular V8/Triton V8
    • 1996–present Jaguar AJ-V8
    • 1996–1999 Yamaha V8
    • 2004–present AJD-V8
    • 2009–present Lion V8
    • 2009–present Boss/Hurricane
    • 2011- Ford Coyote
  • General Motors
    • 1914-1992 Cadillac V8
    • 1930-1931 Oakland V8
    • 1932 Pontiac V8
    • 1949-1990 Oldsmobile Rocket V8
    • 1954-1970s Pontiac V8
    • 1950s-1970s Buick V8
    • 1954-2002 Chevrolet small-block V8
    • Chevrolet Big-Block engine
    • 1992–present Northstar/Premium
    • 1992-1997 Generation 2 small-block
    • 1997–present Generation 3 small-block
    • 2005–present Generation 4 small-block
    • Duramax Diesel

British V8 engines

1962 Coventry Climax FWMV 1500cc V8 Formula 1 engine in a Lotus 24

Bentley V8 engine

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. It was designed by the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors engineering team, led by Jack Phillips. Some of its were features inspired by the Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine, including the aluminium block with wet liners, gear-driven camshaft, (initially) outboard spark-plugs and porting. Early versions were of 6.25 L (381 cu in) displacement, growing to 6.75 L (412 cu in) 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 500 bhp (370 kW) and 1,000 N·m (740 ft·lbf) 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.[21]

In 1936, the Standard Motor Company introduced its 'Flying Twenty V-Eight' model featuring a 2.7 L flathead V8 developing 20 RAC horsepower. It was the flagship model of the company's 'Flying Standard' range but proved unpopular as it offered little performance improvement over the normal 'Flying Twenty' model (which used a straight-6 engine) whilst costing much more to buy and suffering higher fuel consumption. The Twenty V-Eight was on sale only for the 1936 model year and fewer than 400 were sold.

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, saw an example of the GM engine in a Mercury Marine experimental shop and noticed its light weight and small size. The 215 cu in (3,520 cc) GM V8 was only 12 pounds (5.4 kg) heavier and less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) longer than the 2,000 cubic centimetres (120 cu in) Rover straight-4. He sent the GM Oldsmobile/Buick cast-aluminum 215 V8 back to the UK for evaluation. It worked well in the large Rovers, being considerably shorter, lighter, and more powerful than the Rover straight 6, and Rover acquired manufacturing rights to it. The Rover V8 was redesigned to improve the durability and high-RPM performance, leaving few parts interchangeable with the original Buick engine. The engine 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.[22]

As well as appearing in Rover cars, the engine was also sold to small car builders, and powered various vehicles. Rover V8s feature in some models from Morgan, TVR, Triumph,[23] Marcos, and MG, among others. The Australian firm Repco converted this engine for Formula One by reducing it to 3.0 L (183 cu in) (the stroke was shortened and using con-rods from the 2.5 L/153 cu in 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. Land Rover also used the V8, appearing in the Range Rover in various guises, from 3.5 L (~214 cu in) in the earlier models to the 4.6 L (~281 cu in) used in the 1994-2002 models. The last mass-produced car to use the Rover V8 was in some models of the Land Rover Discovery, up to 2004. Many independent sports cars manufacturers still use it in hand-built applications.

Recently Land Rover (Tata) 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. This 3.6 L (~220 cu in) engine produces 472 ft·lbf (640 N·m) at 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 only in the Triumph Stag.

Edward Turner designed the 2.5 L (~153 cu in) and 4.5 L (~275 cu in) 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).

The Jaguar company introduced the new AJ26 V8 engine in 1996. It has been developed and updated since, and appears in the S-Type and later vehicles from Jaguar. This V8 was used in some of Ford's Premier Automotive Group Jaguar and Land Rover brands. These included 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). New V-configuration engines are used since the buy out by the Tata Motor group.

The specialist sports car firm TVR also produced their own V8 engine in 4.2 L (~256 cu in) 350 bhp (261 kW) and 4.5 L (~275 cu in) 440 bhp (328 kW) liter forms for the TVR Cerbera. Designed by Al Melling, the APJ8 engine features a flat-plane crank and 75° Vee.

Aston Martin has used a variety of 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. The V8s used in Aston Martins from 1969-2000 were based on an internal design by Tadek Marek, while the V8 engines used in the 2005–present V8 Vantage are based on the Jaguar AJ26 V8.

Lotus introduced a V8-powered version of the Esprit in 1996. The engine was an in-house 3.5 L (~214 cu in) 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.

In 2010 McLaren Automotive, together with Ricardo, developed the 3.8 liter M838T twin-turbo engine, for use in the MP4-12C supercar.

Chinese V8 engines

Czech V8 engines

Tatra T603 engine

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 V8 air cooled engines in their heavy duty trucks until the present day in their Tatra 815 and other models.

  • T77 1934-1938 - 3.0 Litre air cooled V8
  • T87 1936-1950 - 3.0 Litre air cooled V8
  • T607 Monopost - 2.35 Litre V8
  • T603 1956-1975 - 2.5 Litre air cooled V8
  • T613 1974-1996 - 3.5 Litre air cooled V8
  • T700 1996-1999 - 3.5 or 4.4 Litre air cooled V8
  • T815 1983-now - 12.7 Litre air cooled V8

French V8 engines

Prototype V8 engine for the Peugeot 802

The French De Dion-Bouton motorcar 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. 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 1970s. Gordini also developed a 3 L V8 for the Alpine A310, but a Renault 4-cylinder block was mounted instead because of cost issues.

German V8 engines

BMW S65 4.0L V8 Engine

German V8s (by manufacturer and date)

  • BMW
    • OHV V8 1954-1965
    • M60 1992-1995
    • M62 1994-2005
    • S62 1998-2003
    • N62 2002–present
    • S65 2007–present
    • M67 1998–present
  • Horch
    • 830, 930 1933-1940

Mercedes-Benz M156 AMG 6.3L V8 DOHC Engine

  • Mercedes-Benz
    • 1965-1979 M100
    • 1971-1991 M117
    • 1981-1991 M116
    • 1990-1999 M119
    • 1999–present M113
    • 2004–present M155
    • 2006–present M273
    • 2006–present M156
  • Stoewer
    • Greif V8 1934-1937

Italian V8 engines

Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Montreal was powered by a dry sump 2,593 cc (158.2 cu in) 90° quad-cam 16-valve V8 (type 00564) derived from the Tipo 33 race car. Because of the limited space available for the cross-plane crankshaft, the physically small but heavy crank counterweights were made of a sintered tungsten alloy called turconit.[24] The Montreal V8 was rated at 230 horsepower (170 kW) at the flywheel and weighed 162 kg (360 lb). There were also eighteen 33 Stradale cars built with a detuned 1,995 cc 260 hp (190 kW) 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 4,691 cc (286.3 cu in) 450 PS (330 kW/440 hp) cross-crank V8.


Ferrari V8, 4,300cc

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 and the 2.9 L Ferrari F40 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 2004 with the introduction of a 4.3 L V8, based on the originally Ferrari designed Maserati 4.2 V8, in the F430 and the California. And F430's successor, 458 Italia, with 4.5 V8.


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 participate 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 98 bhp (73 kW). In 1928 they introduced the Dilambda with a 3956 cc (242 CID) V8 developing 100 bhp (75 kW). Later in 1931 the Astura was unveiled with two smaller versions of the existing V8, 2604 cc (159 CID) and 2973 cc (181 CID) with 72 bhp (54 kW) and 82 bhp (61 kW) respectively. All of those engines featured Lancia's trademark narrow angle V (less than 25°). In the 1990s, Lancia Thema had 3 L V8.


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 Maserati Quattroporte and Maserati Coupé & Spyder was originally designed by Ferrari, and is related to the 4.2l 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 has never built a V8 for passenger vehicles, which detractors often criticize the company for. In the late 1990s, the company resisted considerable pressure from its American dealers for a V8 engine (which would have seen use in top-of-the-line Honda SUVs and Acuras), with American Honda reportedly sending one dealer a shipment of V8 beverages to silence them.[25]

However, Honda has built V8s for racing, most notably for Formula One. 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 built racing V8s that 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 prototype racers such as the Mooncraft Shiden. It is also known for being the engine in the Honda Legend based Honda Max concept.


In 1999, Mitsubishi Motors developed an alloy-headed 4.5 L V8, dubbed the 8A8, with double overhead camshafts and gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology for use in its Proudia and Dignity models. Financial pressures forced the company to discontinue sales of both these vehicles after only fifteen months


2008 Nissan VK50VE engine. V8 5,026cc

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 1980s and 1990s and the new VK series.

  • VK engine
  • VH engine
  • Y engine


1989 Toyota 1UZ-FE Type engine. V8 3,968cc.

Toyota's first V8 engine family was the V series used in the Toyota Century 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 its replacement, the new UR series, both of which have been used as powerplants for Toyota trucks and SUVs as well as trucks, SUVs, and larger cars of Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus.

  • UR engine
  • UZ engine
  • V engine


1989 Yamaha OX88 engine

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 the Volvo XC90 and previously the Volvo S80. They also had a contract with Ford in the 1990s to produce a V8 for the Ford Taurus SHO.

Swedish V8 engines

2005 Volvo (Yamaha) V8 engine for Volvo XC90. V8 4,414cc

The most well-known Swedish V8 engine is probably the Scania AB 14 L (854 cu in) diesel, which was released in 1969 for use in the 140 model heavy trucks. At this point, the 350 hp (261 kW) turbo-charged engine was the most powerful diesel in Europe. Scania has continued using a V8 as its largest displacement engine. Currently a series of 16 L (976 cu in) diesel engines is available in several versions with power ranging between 500 hp (373 kW) — 730 hp (544 kW) in the truck segment and going as high as 900 hp (671 kW) in the marine engines segment. Emission norms range between Euro 3-Euro 5 depending on which market the vehicle is sold to.[26]

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 Volvo Snabbe and Volvo Trygge from the late 1950s on.

Supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has developed a 4.7 L (~287 cu in) twin-supercharged V8 loosely based on the Ford Modular engine. This engine is unique in that it is a flexible fuel engine and produces more power while running on biofuel than on regular unleaded.

Russian V8 engines


For the ZIL-111 (1959), an all-new aluminium 6 L OHV V8 was developed, initially it produced 200 hp (149 kW) at 4200 rpm.

ZIL-114 (1967) was powered by a 6,960 cc (425 cu in) V8 giving 300 hp (224 kW) at 4400 rpm. Its more modern derivative model, the ZIL-41047, is powered by a ZIL-4104 engine, a 7680 cc carburetted V8 giving 315 hp (235 kW) at 4600 rpm.

The ZIL trucks used (and still use) a modification of this engine (cast-iron block, aluminum heads, 6L, 150 hp (112 kW) at 3200 rpm, 6.5:1 compresson rate, one 2-bbl carburetor).


GAZ-24-34 Volga with ZMZ-503 V8 engine, 1992-built car.

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. These 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 195–220 hp (145–164 kW). 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 displacement 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 165 bhp (123 kW) and 360 bhp (270 kW).

The Z-103/4 developed in the mid/late 1950s (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 L engine had a twin Weber carburettor and the 4.5 and 4.7 L engines 2 quadruple Weber carbs, which gave the later a power output in excess of 300 bhp (220 kW). The very few engines of this type produced were installed in Z-102 cars.

Australian V8 engines

Holden, including its performance vehicle operations Holden Racing 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, and the brand new FG series.

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 V8 engine 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° 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 — never actually built as a 'production' motor). 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 American Buick/British Rover V8 it was based on. The stroke was increased to give it a capacity of 4.4 L (270 cu in). The motor was originally designed and fitted to the Leyland P76 sedan.

Currently, the only V8 produced in Australia is the 5.4l V8 built by FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) to power the Falcon GT — this motor is a combination of US-sourced and locally manufactured parts. The V8 used in current Holdens is sourced complete from GM in Canada, modified versions of the GM LS-series engine.

When U.S. production of the Cleveland V8 range ceased in the early seventies, the tooling was moved to Australia where Ford Australia continued to produce a local version of the 351 and a unique-to-Australia 302 Cleveland. The Australian-built motors were also sold to De Tomaso to be used in the Pantera and Longchamps. Australian production ceased in 1982, with the last Cleveland-powered Falcon being the XE range (1400-odd 302s and 409 351s). The location of the Cleveland tooling is unknown although it was possibly broken up.

Korean V8 engines

  • Hyundai
    • D8 - 16/18 L-Diesel
    • Omega - 4.5 L (~275 cu in)
    • Tau - 4.6 L (~281 cu in)

Other V8 applications

In aviation

1905 Wolseley 120 hp V8 aero engine

  • Argus As 10 inverted, air-cooled German V8 engine of World War II.
  • Hispano-Suiza 8 of World War I V8.
  • Liberty L-8 of World War I, 45° V8 (a prototype for the Liberty L-12).
  • Renault of WW1, 240 hp (180 kW) V8
  • Trace Engines Turbocharged V8.

Ship's engines

Scania V8, 16 litre marine engine with reverse.

There are numerous marine diesel engines of V8 configuration.

In motorcycles

V8 Motorcycle of Glenn Curtiss. In 1907, Curtiss set an unofficial world record of 136.36 mph (219.45 km/h) on this 40 hp (30 kW), 4,000 cc V8 powered motorcycle of his own design and construction

Moto Guzzi of Italy built a 148 kg (330 lb) 82 bhp (61 kW) 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 Cilindri, and had a very high power output but was not developed to its full potential. Each cylinder had its own carburetter.

Finnish TT motorcyclist technician area lecturer Tauno Nurmi build about 1964 350cc DOHC V8 powered 4-stroke motorcycle engine by name V8 PREMIER. V angle is 90° and its air cooled. Each cylinder had its own carburettor. Its his own design and construction. You can see the picture from Imatra 1965 and Tauno Nurmi is in left with helmet (

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 a 750 cc V4 with oval pistons, utilising 8 valves per cylinder and 2 conrods per piston; the design allowed the engine to meet FIM racing regulations limiting the number of cylinders to 4, while providing the valve area (and therefore increased efficiency) of a V8.

In motorsport

A 2004 Cosworth Champ Car World Series V-8 engine, capable of generating over 800 horsepower from just 161 cu./in

Renault F1 RS26 (2006), 2,398cc V8 engine

Until recently, Formula One cars used 3 L 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 1,300 bhp (970 kW), 1,000 bhp (750 kW) 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 L V8 (This reduced average power output of the engines from 900 bhp (670 kW), in the 2005 season, to a 2006 season average of 750 bhp (560 kW) — equivalent to power outputs that were being achieved on 3 L around the 1999/2000 seasons.)This also had the effect of reducing overall costs for the teams, an aim which is currently being vigorously pursued by FIA.[27]

In the 'Top Fuel' class of Drag Racing, V8 engines displacing 8.2 L or 500 in³ produce up to 8,000 horsepower (6,000 kW). Based on the Chrysler Hemi and running on highly explosive Nitro-Methane fuel, these powerful units propel the cars from 0-100 mph in 0.8 seconds or less, and from 0–325 mph (0–520 km/h) in under 4.5 seconds. During the race the crankshaft in the engine will turn over less than 1000 times and may then have to be rebuilt.


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