Even if you don’t know the slightest thing about mechanics, you’ll probably be familiar with the V8 engine, long celebrated as one of the greatest marvels in motoring.
From the compact, free-revving V8s of Italian supercars to the brash and loud big-blocks of American muscle cars, the eight-cylinder vee engine is to many the last word in performance.
Unfortunately, as manufacturers increasingly downsize their engines to meet emissions and fuel efficiency regulations, the much-loved V8 is quickly becoming a rarity, particularly here in the UK.
But that’s not to say that affordable, V8-powered cars aren’t still available on British shores. Here are seven of the best V8-powered cars you can buy right now.
Type: 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Top speed: 205mph
One of the original super saloons, the BMW M5 was traditionally powered by a straight-six engine until the E39 model came along in 1999, complete with a 400bhp 4.7-litre V8.
The current F10 model gets a 4.4-litre twin-turbo engine with a massive 552bhp output as standard, enough to take it to 62mph from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds.
Opt for the newly-unveiled Competition Edition and output rises to 592bhp, meaning it can hit the 0-62mph sprint in a supercar-bothering 3.9 seconds.
Type: 5.0-litre naturally aspirated
0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 164mph
Arguably the most iconic V8-powered car in the world, the Ford Mustang is now available to buy in the UK for the very first time in its five-decade history.
For this new sixth-gen Mustang, Ford has included the option of a turbocharged four-cylinder Ecoboost engine, but enthusiasts will know that the only true engine choice for the Mustang is the V8.
The 5.0-litre engine, codenamed the Coyote, is an old-school naturally aspirated affair, with a maximum output of 415bhp. Priced from just over £30,000, it’s also the cheapest V8 car on the list and one of the cheapest ways to get a V8 in Britain.
Mercedes C63 AMG
Type: 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 180mph
Mercedes’ C63 AMG has always had a reputation for brutality, and the latest 2016 version is no different. In fact, it’s even more brutal than ever, with its stalwart 4.0-litre biturbo V8 having its output cranked up to a maximum of 503bhp.
That’s fast enough to take the fastest version of the fastest C-Class to 62mph from a standing start in 3.9 seconds, rivalling the larger and more powerful BMW M5 in terms of pace.
As standard, the C63 AMG has all 503 of its horsies electronically restricted to a top speed of 155mph, but buyers can specify the optional Driver’s Package to raise that to an unbridled 180mph.
Range Rover Sport SVR
Type: 5.0-litre supercharged
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 162mph
A car that’s bursting at the seams with superlatives, the Range Rover Sport SVR is not just the first Jaguar Land Rover model to wear the SVR badge, it’s also the most powerful Land Rover ever.
Its monstrous V8 engine, engorged with extra air courtesy of a large supercharger, means it’s powerful enough to cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds and it can lap the Nurburgring in just eight minutes and 14 seconds.
All that power comes at a price, however. Prices for the Range Rover Sport SVR start from £93,450, making it around three times more expensive than the V8-powered Mustang.
Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
Type: 6.2-litre supercharged
Top speed: 155mph
It might wear the same badge as something like the Corsa, but the VXR8 GTS is in truth something much more sinister. Essentially a rebadged Holden, it’s an all-Aussie muscle car complete with a supercharged Chevrolet engine.
That massive 6.2-litre motor, which sends all 577bhp through the rear wheels means that the VXR8 is an absolute monster in the truest sense of the word with a pavement-shredding 740Nm of torque.
Able to hit 62mph in 4.2 seconds, it also happens to be Britain’s cheapest way into the 500bhp-plus club, with prices starting from a comparatively affordable £54,999.
Chevrolet Camaro SS
Type: 6.2-litre naturally aspirated
0-62mph: 4.3 seconds
Top speed: 160mph
The Mustang’s perpetual rival, Chevrolet came back with a bang after the hoo-hah surrounding the new sixth-gen ‘Stang died down. Not only is it a lot more powerful, it’s also significantly faster to boot.
That extra speed comes courtesy of the fact that the Camaro is now lighter than ever before, with 101kg shed over the previous version, despite keeping that big 6.2-litre big-block motor.
There’s just one slight problem for British buyers: technically you can get the Camaro here in the UK, but only from one specific dealership and in extremely limited numbers.
Jaguar F-TYPE R AWD
Type: 5.0-litre supercharged
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 186mph
Jaguar’s latest and arguably greatest modern halo car, the F-TYPE, comes with a choice of two engines but it’s the full-fat supercharged V8 which has caused the most noise amongst enthusiasts.
The four-wheel drive version of the F-TYPE R is probably the pick of the range, able to harness all 542bhp effectively rather than the pretty powerslide-happy standard version.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also choose the even faster SVR version which gets a maximum output of 567bhp, but you’ll have to pay at least £110,000 for the privilege.