From the first choice of families looking for a torquey, flexible engine to make short work of towing and overtaking, to an endangered species. The V8's fortunes have changed dramatically over the years.
Following the news Chrysler Australia has called last drinks on the 300 SRT in Australia, CarAdvice commenter, Michael, put it to us:
“It would be interesting to see a list of new V8 vehicles still available for less than $100k rrp and what is likely to disappear from that list in next 5 years”
Ask and ye shall receive. Here, in order of base price, are the last six remaining V8 models available in Australia with list prices below the six-figure mark.
It may have seen a price rise or two during its time on sale in Australia, but the Ford Mustang still manages to be a performance bargain.
Ford also offers one of the widest ranges of available options when it comes to enjoying your V8 performance: Six-speed manual, 10-speed automatic, coupe or convertible… The choice is yours.
Pricing starts at $63,690 plus on-road costs for manual Fastback, but $74,890 plus on-road costs will get you into a convertible if you’d rather feel a lot of wind in your hair.
Although they’re all gone now, even the madcap Mustang R-Spec limboed under $100k, with undisclosed outputs of over 500kW and 800Nm for $99,980.
Power: 339kW @ 7000rpm
Torque: 556Nm @ 4600rpm
Price: From $63,690 plus on-road costs
Status: Safe. As Australia’s best-selling sports car, and with an ardent following around the world, it seems highly unlikely the Mustang is going anywhere.
Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series
That changed in 2007 when the LandCruiser ute, troop carrier and wagon models received a 4.5-litre single-turbo V8 diesel engine, matched to a five-speed manual transmission.
A new 300 Series Cruiser is on the way, but the future of the 70 Series range remains unknown. Will the V8 battle on, or will emissions regulations force Toyota to find an alternative?
Power: 151kW @ 3400rpm
Torque: 430Nm @ 1200-3200rpm
Price: From $64,990 plus on-road costs
Status: On borrowed time. Traditionally where the passenger LandCruiser models tread, the commercial models follow. A turbo diesel V6 looms large in the Cruiser’s future.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Staring at $72,950 plus on-road costs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee S-Limited sits at the fully-loaded end of the Grand Cherokee range. Hardly a budget battler.
At 5.7-litres, and free from turbo or supercharging, the Jeep V8 is as old-school Americana as they come. Power and torque outputs can look a little anaemic against smaller forced induction engines though.
The S-Limited isn't alone though. If you want more oomph, the Grand Cherokee SRT starts from $92,450 plus on-road costs and boasts 344kW and 624Nm peak outputs. Much better.
With a new Grand Cherokee just revealed in the US, it’s heartwarming to see the V8 carry on, too.
Power: 259kW @ 5200rpm
Torque: 520Nm @ 4200rpm
Price: From $72,950 plus on-road costs
Status: Hanging in the balance. American customers will be able to buy the all-new Grand Cherokee with a V8, but Australia doesn’t always follow suit. Diesels are preferred here, and Australian specifications are yet to be announced.
The news wasn’t all bad though. A 5.6-litre petrol V8 took its place instead, promising similar robust torque with smoother, quieter performance. A version of the VK-series engine even ran under the bonnet of Nissan’s short-lived Supercars Australia race car.
Australian buyers never quite loved the petrol Patrol as much as the diesel LandCruiser 200 Series though. Nissan countered with fairly spectacular value pricing, but to the end of 2020 Nissan sold 2820 Patrols, compared to 15,078 LandCruiser wagons (split between 200 and 70 Series).
Power: 298kW @ 5800rpm
Torque: 560Nm @ 4000rpm
Price: From $77,760 plus on-road costs
Status: Safe. Nissan doesn't have an alternative engine up its sleeve, so the V8 is safe for now, and the Patrol is new enough (in terms of long-lived hulking SUVs) to stick out a few more years yet.
Ram 1500 Express
Positioned somewhere between a purebred workhorse, and a plush luxo-ute, the Ram 1500 Express defies the dual-cab ute norm with its petrol V8 engine.
Essentially the same 5.7-litre as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the RAM 1550’s V8 stands out when compared to price (if not size) rivals, like the 2.0-litre diesel Ford Ranger Raptor. The two serve very different needs, though.
While the rich exhaust note is something of a standout, the Ram’s V8 is more about relaxed cruising than outright speed. It’s still got enough to feel punchy where most turbo diesel four-cylinder utes feel more pedestrian.
It may be the cheapest of the Ram stable, but there’s still plenty of standard equipment and a choice of Quad Cab and Crew Cab bodies.
Power: 291kW @ 5600rpm
Torque: 556Nm @ 3950rpm
Price: From $79,950 plus on-road costs
Status: Safe. The current Ram 1500 is set to roll over to a new model in 2021, but a V8 engine will feature in the new model, just as it does the current ute.
Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series
In the past, a petrol V8 kept the diesel company, but given the popularity of diesel in the market, the range was revised to just one engine available across the entire range.
Compared to European diesels, the 200’s TTV8 might look a little light on, but a quick browse of the classifieds shows plenty with 400,000km on the clock. There has to be something in that.
The fleet-focused GX model kicks things off, and while it isn’t cheap, starting at $80,996 plus on-road costs, it still comfortably fits the under-$100k cap. The more plush GXL at $92,696 plus on-road costs also makes the grade, but VX and Sahara variants tip over the line.
Power: 200kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 650Nm @ 1600-2600rpm
Price: From $80,996 plus on-road costs
Status: Critically endangered. Orders of the 200 Series LandCruiser have stopped, with only dealer stock remaining. An all-new 300 Series is on the way, but it’s tipped to switch to a V6 turbo diesel.