Compiling a rundown of 10 best V8 sedans brings up a couple of issues. Firstly, the V8 engine is getting rarer. A decade or two ago, it was easy to find a regular American Sedan with V8 power. Since forced induction (turbocharging and supercharging) has become easier to control, boosted V6 engines and even four-cylinder units are making more power with greater fuel efficiency. Which leaves the V8 as a kind of special ingredient in certain cars.
This brings us to the second point: V8s are physically big engines, so they frequently go into big cars, which are often oriented toward luxury and/or performance. These V8 sedans, then, are exceptional rather than mainstream — precisely why they’re considered among the best.
2018 Audi RS 7
Let’s kick off with a controversy. The RS 7 isn’t technically a Sedan. It’s a hatchback. But it does have four doors and a trunk area, so close enough. One more thing: This generation of RS 7 will soon be replaced. However, the car is absolutely awesome. The “regular” version has 560 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Keep in mind that 500 hp is roughly the point where power levels start to get ridiculous. The Performance variant has 605 hp.
Factor in handling and braking abilities to match that muscle, a lavishly upscale and well-equipped cabin, plus arguably handsome looks, and it’s completely understandable why someone would prefer to buy the 2018 RS 7 than wait for the next generation.
2018 Bentley Flying Spur
There’s a choice: the straight-ahead turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with “just” 500 hp, or the boosted V8 S enjoying 521 hp. Whichever your engine, your Flying Spur will have an opulent, hand-crafted cabin along with an almost eerie ability to be extremely cosseting and effortlessly rapid at the same time.
Bentley cars also have another dimension, a sense of occasion, a certain grace, the feeling that today’s journey is a peak experience. It’s hard to imagine any Bentley owner growing bored or jaded with their regal ride. It doesn’t have all the new technology packed into the most modern luxury sedans, but that’s beside the point. However, a new generation of Flying Spur might be all-electric, so relish that inimitable V8 thrill while it’s still around.
2019 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive
Although the regular 750i has a V8, when you single out the very best, that accolade goes to the Alpina B7 as far as the 7 Series is concerned. Alpina is a tuning house that specializes in making BMW cars even better than they are in standard form. Although it’s an independent operation, Alpina’s products are available through BMW dealers and come with the same new-car warranty.
The B7 takes the 750i’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 and endows it with 600 hp, enough to propel this hefty, full-size luxury Sedan from standstill to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The experience is glorious and intense. When the roads aren’t so straight, the B7 will still shine.
2019 Cadillac CTS-V
Here’s a prime example of a manufacturer putting its top V8 into a special car. The CTS-V is the American equivalent of a BMW M5 or Mercedes-AMG E 63 S. Its dynamic abilities are at that kind of level, with a sport-tuned adaptive suspension as standard.
The Cadillac’s engine output, however, is something else. This supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powerhouse develops a blistering 640 hp. It will blaze off the line to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The CTS-V is set to be discontinued at some point in 2019. There should be a replacement, but now is the time to buy. This could become a classic, or at least a rare and much-desired car.
2019 Dodger Charger SRT Hellcat
The same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that supplies the two-door Challenger Hellcat Coupe with an insane 707 hp is dropped into this Sedan’s engine bay. The Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of 204 mph. Just the merest tweak of the throttle sends this machine racing toward instant gratification. Standstill to 60 mph happens in 3.4 seconds.
There are other aspects that might preclude the car from being described as one of the best V8 sedans, such as the quality of materials in the cabin, but considering this is the world’s quickest and most powerful four-door car — available at a relatively reasonable cost of around $66,000 — then it surely counts among the best in some respects.
2018 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate
The 10 best V8 sedans don’t all have to be gung-ho, howling beasts intent on achieving escape velocity. This version of the G90, for example, deploys a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 for an understated yet authoritative thrust, providing the kind of power — 420 hp — that’s satisfying without being daunting.
The rest of the car is sumptuous, with ultra-comfortable rear seating and a gorgeous-sounding Lexicon audio system. For a price of around $72,000, the 2018 G90 5.0 Ultimate comes with virtually everything as standard, including many safety features; one of the few options is all-wheel drive. If we’re looking at best value in V8 sedans, the G90 5.0 Ultimate is a top choice.
2018 Jaguar XJR575
Then again, howling beasts are the best fun. The normally serene yet subtly powerful XJ flagship Sedan took an unusual turn for 2018 and ended up in the record books. The XJR575 variant became the most powerful car to ever wear an XJ badge, thanks to 575 hp delivered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8. Jaguar claims a top speed of 186 mph, which it achieves in 44 seconds. The first 4.2 of those seconds see the XJR575 go from standstill to 60 mph.
As well as profoundly fast, the XJR575 is also deeply luxurious, because it’s a Jaguar. It costs around $124,000, but the 2019 Alpina B7 is approximately $140,000, so everything is relative — even when hurtling down a derestricted German autobahn.
2018 Maserati Quattroporte
To obtain a full-size Sedan with a glorious-sounding V8 created by Ferrari, one of the best engine makers in history, look no further than the Maserati Quattroporte GTS. Even the car’s name sounds great, despite meaning merely “four-door” when translated into English.
Beneath that stylish hood (designed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, who also came up with several recent Ferraris and the Alfa Romeo 4C) is a twin-turbocharged octet of Italian passion that runs to 523 hp for a top speed of 193 mph. The Quattroporte is both luxurious and agile, perfect for driving along the Italian Riviera or California’s coast roads, and makes an intriguing alternative to the ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2019 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
The S-Class also offers a V8 as well as AMG variants, but we’ve chosen this high-performance iteration of the mid-size E-Class as one of the best V8 sedans. That's mainly because the E-Class still roomy enough for most purposes, while being a touch smaller and nimbler, allowing drivers to more fully appreciate that 603-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, hand-assembled by one technician who affixes a signed plaque after the final bolt is tightened.
The E 63 S will zip to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds before maxing out at 186 mph. The E-Class in general is one of the best cars around, packed with cutting-edge technology and safety features. It’s astonishingly talented in so many ways.
2019 Porsche Panamera Turbo
We might as well finish as we started — with a hatchback. Despite some truly intimidating competition, the Panamera is a major player in the large luxury/sporty Sedan class. While sitting in its elegant interior, it’s possible to discern the dynamic talents that make the car a real Porsche.
It’s at the Turbo level where V8 power comes into effect. This 4.0-liter engine uses two turbochargers to help generate a forceful 550 hp. There might come a time when the only V8s we see will be in automobile museums. Until then, though, there’s a lot of ground to cover, spines to tingle, and thrills to be had. The Panamera Turbo will do all that and more.