What's the Best Eight-Cylinder Engine?

By my deeds, I honor him, V8. But which V8 are you honoring?

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Photo: Damian B Oh, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

As red-blooded, cow-eating Americans, we on the Jalopnik staff are legally obligated to enjoy eight-cylinder engines. It’s part of your United States citizenship, and any indication that you don’t love God’s Perfect Number Of Cylinders can be cited as grounds for extradition to one of those godless commie four-cylinder countries in Europe. We’ve asked Owen, a refugee from the lands of small displacement, and he’s confirmed it’s not a place for Americans.

But, the wording on the government forms is vague. Due to a clerical oversight dating back to the Nixon administration, there’s no legal requirement to love V8 engines specifically — just engines with a total of eight cylinders. So, with that as our only requirement, what’s the best eight-cylinder engine ever built?

Image for article titled What's the Best Eight-Cylinder Engine?
Photo: Morio, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I am above all an insufferable contrarian, and as such I find the One True LS boring. Yes, it’s lightweight. Yes, it makes good power. Yes, it’s reliable and well-supported as an engine swap. But I find little to interest me in a laundry list of objectively superior features, and instead will proclaim a worse engine as the best: Porsche’s Type 908.

The 908 was the apex of Porsche’s flat-eight racing efforts, placed into a chassis that shared its name. Its technology is, by now, ancient — air-cooled and relatively underpowered, a far cry from the company’s modern performance engines. But it’s weird, a uniquity among eight-cylinder engines and the last gasp of a dying breed of motorsport. For that, it earns my highest honors.


My pick for the best eight-cylinder engine is the Porsche 908. What’s yours? Leave your answers in the comments below, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow.