As automotive journalists Kurt and myself have the privilege of getting press cars to drive and review. We’ve driven super cars, economy cars, luxury and family cars and because of this, we’ve obtained a pretty good idea of where this industry is headed. Most of the cars as of late have been well-optioned small SUV’s or mid-sized performance sedans that are good on economy and luxury, but lack somewhat in performance. You see nowadays manufacturers are producing cars with small displacement, more fuel efficient engines equipped with small turbos to increase preformance. Cars like the 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ are perfect examples of this. Both cars provide occupants with wonderful interiors, exceptional fuel economy and adequate power for a decent price, but to me, they lack the full on drive-ability of the ever fading big V8 sedans that I know and love.
As you know a few weeks ago Kurt and myself completed Brock Yates’ One Lap of America with one of our vehicles being a 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8. It’s a big 4,000 lb. station wagon that rides on a long 120″ wheelbase and that’s powered by a 6.1L 425 hp/420 lb-ft of torque HEMI V8. We drove the big Dodge a total of 5800 miles in 9 days with speeds varying between 60-85 mph and with every mile driven, I came closer to the realization that big V8 engines are still the king of the hill when it comes to open road performance. Whether pulling away from a dead stop or mashing the go-pedal from 80, the big HEMI never once disappointed and provided us with smiles for the entire journey. Now granted, fuel economy was less than stellar at about an 18 mpg average, and filling the tank to the tune of seventy bucks per shot sucked, but after we were fueled and ready to go I found that I still had absolute no regrets. The fact of the matter is that the modern V8 engine still provides us with everything necessary to make motoring fun. We’ve got horsepower, symphonic sound and most of all, torque… oodles and oodles of wonderful torque. So, are big cars equipped with gas hog V8’s for everyone? Nope, absolutely not, in fact guys like me are becoming rarer and rarer. However, if you are an individual who covets power, performance and fun then pipe up and show your love for the never duplicated, often imitated powerhouse mill we know as the V8 engine!