What is a V8 car engine?

This blog post will answer the question, ‘ What is a V8 car engine?’, and cover topics like working of a V8 engine, merits and demerits of a V8 engine, difference between a V8 and V6 engine, and more facts about V8 aspirated engines.

What is a V8 car engine?

A V8 car engine can be summarized as follows:

  • They are made up of eight cylinders, on two separate banks that share a common crankshaft arrangement.
  • The first V8 engine was produced by Antoinette, a French company.
  • The first automotive V8 engine was called the Cadillac L-head.
  • The two banks of cylinders are inclined at an angle to each other.
  • A V8 engine is used by most of the bigger automobiles.
  • A modern V8 engine is roughly sized at 3.5-6.5 L.
  • The crankshaft configuration in a V8 engine can either be cross planed or flat planed.

Working of a V8 engine

A V8 engine works just like a conventional 4-stroke IC engine. There are intake valves here as well that allow the introduction of an optimum air-fuel mixture into the engine cylinder for combustion to take place.

As the piston moves towards the top dead center(TDC), the spark plugs ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture, and the explosion results in the piston moving downwards, thus producing and transferring the power to the wheels via the crankshaft. The exhaust gases are similarly discharged out from the exhaust valves.

All eight of the pistons are linked to the common crankshaft at an inclined angle, forming a V shape. The crankshaft on receiving power transfers it to a transmission system that helps turn the wheels via a driveshaft.

An important point to be noted is that the greater the displacement or the size of an engine, the more power can be generated. The presence of a supercharger or a turbocharger added inside a smaller displacement V8 can generate more power than a larger displacement V8.

Merits and demerits of a V8 engine

These are the respective merits and demerits of a V8 engine.


Immense power

A V8 aspirated engine can clock extraordinary horsepower ratings. They are usually fitted on high-performance cars, muscle cars, and on some trucks that possess incredible ability to perform actions like towing or hauling.

Simple design

Turbocharging a V8 engine is a kind of forced induction. However, modern V8 engines produce immense horsepower ratings while also being naturally aspirated, thus having a more simplistic design.


A V8 engine sounds very pleasant to the ears when inside the cabin and provides an immersive driving experience overall.


Lack of efficiency

V8 aspirated engines result in greater fuel consumption as compared to four or six-cylinder aspirated engines.


A V8 aspirated engine has a larger engine size compared to a conventional engine, this might be detrimental as the vehicle suffers from a greater resistance due to the heavy weight.


All the extraordinary horsepower ratings and smooth acceleration come at a heavy price, and a V8 aspirated engine should only be invested in after thorough consideration.

Difference between a V8 and a V6 car engine

This is how a V8 aspirated engine compares to a V6 aspirated engine.

V6 aspirated engine

A V6 aspirated engine is more compact in nature and is easily made along with the fact that it is lighter in weight when compared to a V8 aspirated engine.

Apart from providing a better fuel economy plan, V6 aspirated engines run very smoothly and provide very satisfactory stability and handling capabilities.

V8 aspirated engines

V8 aspirated engines on the other hand offer an immense boost in power and acceleration and are hence used in muscle cars. Additionally, they are also used for performing operations like towing and hauling.

Moreover, V8 aspirated engines are able to provide a more immersive and luxurious driving experience.

More facts about V8 aspirated engines

Here are some additional points to be considered when understanding a V8 engine.

  • A typical V8 aspirated engine uses a particular configuration of the crankshaft known as a cross-plane crankshaft. This arrangement aids in lesser noise and vibration.
  • A flat-plane crankshaft configuration is another way of setting up a V8 aspirated engine, however, it adds more vibration to the car. On the flip side, it is easier to make and makes the engine stronger.
  • The two banks supporting the four cylinders need to be inclined at a particular angle to produce minimal noise and vibration. The ideal configuration is about 90 degrees.
  • V8 aspirated engines are most commonly found in powerful modes of transport like SUVs, trucks, pickup trucks, etc.
  • V8 aspirated engines are mostly found on rear wheel-driven vehicles.

Research has shown the most powerful and the weakest V8 aspirated engines that were ever made.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

How often do we need to perform an oil change while breaking in a new car engine?

Why does my car engine sound like a tractor?

How to keep your car engine from freezing?


This blog post addressed the question, ‘What is a V8 car engine’.

We came to understand how a V8 aspirated engine works and also came across the various merits and demerits of a V8 engine. Furthermore, the difference between a V8 and a V6 aspirated engine has also been discussed. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is a V8 car engine?

What is a V8 engine in a car?

A V8 aspirated engine has a total of eight cylinders, four on two separate banks and sharing a common crankshaft configuration. The extra couple of cylinders in a V8 aspirated engine gives it a boost in power and acceleration as compared to a V6 aspirated engine.

What vehicles use a V8 engine?

Vehicles like the Jaguar F-type, Ford Mustang, BMW M5, Range Rover Sport SVR, Bentley Flying Spur, etc all run on a V8 aspirated engine.

Is V8 faster than V6?

A V8 aspirated engine has a couple more cylinders as compared to a V6 aspirated engine, thus being able to produce more power and acceleration at a faster rate.