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Resuscitating the hallowed V8

As my old H-D shop boss and close friend Goose always liked to say: ain’t no replacement for cubic-inch displacement.

Report: Mercedes-AMG Bringing Back V8 Engines
Word has it that Mercedes-AMG is mulling over how best to bring back V8 power to the C and E-Class. While the performance unit downsized its powertrains in a bid to be more emissions compliant, fans pointed out that AMG had long been synonymous with under-stressed and over-engineered V8s making enough power to burn through a set of tires in a single outing.

The shift ended up being a bit of a scandal and one that left a sour taste in the mouth of the people that would actually buy AMG-branded products — which may explain the claimed change of heart.

According to two unnamed sources speaking with Car and Driver, Mercedes-AMG is in the midst of deciding how to bring back the V8. Though the overarching plan remains ambiguous, the rationale behind it is anything but.

It would be stupid to pretend that a 2.0-liter Mercedes optimized for performance can’t still be a hoot to drive. The iconic Mercedes-Benz 190E (W201) is an absolute legend with the 2.0-liter. But there’s a reason models featuring the I6 tend to be more sought after. It isn’t because they’re more reliable, it’s definitely not because they’re cheaper to run, and it might not even have all that much to do with their being faster. People want the larger engines to have the mental satisfaction of knowing they’re driving something with a larger engine.

Not to mention the mental calm of knowing they have enough horsepower to safely get around any pokey-ass, underpowered little i4 road-obstacle they might ever find themselves impeded by.

While perky little four-bangers have a lot to offer, their implementation can sometimes be a little disappointing. Imagine you’ve been given a free Ford Mustang with the badging removed and are told to open the hood to see which motor is inside. Your level of excitement is going to be determined almost entirely by how many cylinders you find.

Compact cars can thrive on small and peppy turbocharged motors. But there’s something truly sad about seeing one tucked inside an engine bay of a vehicle that could have accommodated something larger — especially when it’s also a premium luxury product that costs as much as some starter homes.

“Sad” might be one word for it, yeah. I can think of several others: disgusting, appalling, infuriating spring immediately to mind. Especially considering that those squirrel-on-a-treadmill “powerplants,” tucked away under wafer-thin sheet-tin hoods mounted on a Kleenex box rolling on four go-kart wheels, were forcibly fobbed off on the world by overpowerful goobermints in the name of coping with a climate “crisis” that never existed. More on the origins of that sorry development can be found at this recent Eyrie post.

Good on Mercedes for having the gumption to at last toss a big, fat FUCK YOU at the slimy government enviro-queefs. Would that Ford might be able to find balls enough to join them, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting for it.

(Via Insty)

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3 thoughts on “Resuscitating the hallowed V8

  1. The V8 is the perfect ICE for the average size car. It fits sizewise, it has power without resorting to expensive addons (turbos, supercharger), and it’s inexpensive to mass produce. The 8 cylinders firing in the V8 arrangement is quite smooth. V12’s are nice, but have nearly 50% more parts. A V6 is OK, but not as smooth as the V8, and inlines or flat engines are never as smooth when the displacement is equal.

    The current technology has given the engine super power, and long life, often exceeding 300K miles*.

    In short, it is the right tool for the job.

    *I currently own three and two of them are 300K plus miles and that is not unusual for the modern GM small block. The reliability and lifespan is legendary.

    1. Even though I was pretty harsh with the i4s just now, my beloved little Focus–which I’m currently trying to get back up and on its feet again–has one, and it’s a great little motor. But honestly, not a day goes by when I don’t think longingly about the great 56 Fairlane I had before I got the Focus, and the sturdy, stout, un-killable 289 it had in it. Damned great motor, damned great car; I assure you, it is sorely missed.

      1. The Focus is a small motor car. I4 fits it IMO.

        The older American sedans, and the newer sedans were just right for the V8. Same for the muscle/pony cars. Pickup trucks need a V8, not a 4 cylinder dual turbo motor, sheesh. My good friend has an F150 with the 4 banger dual turbo. It has power, but it has two turbos that I would bet will never make it to 300K like my V8’s (and still run like new). And if you want real power, the 6.2 / 10 speed in the Denali is a naturally aspirated V8 with 460 ft/lbs of torque. That’s in diesel torque territory and with the 10 speed it stays in the max torque band while accelerating.

        Lots of cars don’t fit the V8 so well and really need a 4 or 6. All those old British small sports cars fit the 4 cylinders quite well. A 911 Porsche wouldn’t be the same without the flat 6. Then there are the oddities, like the Jaguar Sedans and XK’s from the 50’s/60’s with those beautiful Inline 6 OHC engines. The weight of those engines was so high you could, and I did once, replace them with a small block Chevy with twice the power and end up with less weight. Same for the old Austin Healy 3000 series cars with the I6.

        The 289 was a fine motor in it’s day just like the 265/283/327 and then 350 (and even 400). The Chevy 409 and 348 were power motors but expensive to produce compared to the small block or even the big block 396/427/454.

        And none of the old standard even comes close to the new fuel injected V8’s of today. Quite marvelous they are. The Denali at near 6000 pounds and with the 460 ft/lbs of torque – it’s getting just a hair under 20mpg in mixed driving. Phenomenal.

        I love cars.

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