The history of the Audi V8 engine traces its roots all the way back to the 1980s when Audi first introduced the appropriately named Audi V8. The Audi V8 eventually transformed into a car we all now know as the Audi V8, and thus the Audi V8 was born.
During the decades Audi slowly reserved the V8 only for its top tier S and RS sports cars such as the Audi S4/RS4, Audi S5/RS5, and the Audi RS6. However, some non-Audi Sport models such as the Q7 continued using the V8 until a few years ago.
Nowadays, Audi uses a V8 for only a handful of cars such as the RS6, RS7, RSQ8, the 60 TFSI Audi A8 and the range-topping Audi S8. Throughout the years we can see a slow decline of Audi V8 engines due to the ever more rigorous emissions and efficiency regulations which indicated that the V8 is likely going to cease production in due time.
However, this means that we all need to appreciate current Audi V8 cars as they are somewhat of a dying breed in this current time of automotive efficiency, forced induction, and downsizing.
Audi RS6/RS7 – The best Audi V8 cars
The Audi RS6 is hands down the best Audi V8 you can buy today because it is one of the best cars on the planet. Admittedly, this is a bold statement, but it makes complete sense when you realize that the RS6 is powerful, good-looking, exciting, practical, luxurious, comfortable, and holds its value tremendously well.
It is a car for all purposes and likely one of the best cars you can buy for every imaginable scenario. It is also a great winter car as it offers Audi’s legendary Quattro AWD system that both increases the levels of safety and makes the car grip the road like it has claws.
The party piece of the Audi RS6 is the 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes 591hp and 590lb-ft of torque. This engine can be found in both the RS7 and the RSQ8 as it is the staple Audi V8. This engine is not only used in modern-day Audi’s, but it also finds its way into the Porsche Cayenne, the Panamera, the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Benteyga, and a few other VAG group products.
The 4.0L VAG V8 is known for its deep grumpy sound which performance car enthusiasts simply can’t get enough of.
Audi A8/S8 – The range-topping Audi limousine
As mentioned in the beginning, the Audi V8 can also be found in the non-RS/S A8 60TFSI. This is the only current Audi non Sport variant that offers a V8. The 60 TFSI comes with a 4.0L turbocharged V8 that offers 453hp and 487lb-ft of torque.
This engine is tuned mostly for smoothness and effortlessness and it does not sound as raspy as the 4.0 found in the RS6 and the RS7. It is based on the same block and it does share the majority of parts with the Audi Sport V8 and all the rest of VAG V8 cars.
The Audi S8 is the performance-oriented Audi A8 that tries to blend effortless performance with a true luxury car. The S8 offers 571hp and 590lb-ft of torque which is more than plenty for such a large luxury barge. This engine is almost identical to the one found in the RS6, but it still isn’t as aggressive.
Audi RSQ8 – The flagship Audi RS SUV
The Audi RSQ8 is the current top-of-the-line Audi SUV that shares its underpinnings with the ridiculous Lamborghini Urus. The RSQ8 uses the same engine found in the RS6 and the RS7 and it offers the same power output and overall sound and feel.
The RSQ8 is now an incredibly desirable car because the current high-end market is crazy for large and powerful luxury coupe SUVs like the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, the BMW X6M, the Mercedes GLE 63 AMG, and the aforementioned Lamborghini Urus.
Even though V8s are slowly dying, the RSQ8 is the first serial production Audi SUV that uses a V8, and it seems like it might also be the last one as well.
Which Audi has the best V8 engine?
Audi is primarily known for its 5-cylinder engines, but the 4.2L V8 found in the first Audi R8 and a bunch of Audi S and RS cars is undoubtedly the best Audi V8 of all time. It may not be the most powerful and it may not be the most efficient, but what it lacks in efficiency and power it makes up for it with sound, reliability, and character.
The best part of it is that you can buy an Audi with this very engine for a price of an entry-level Chevrolet Spark. The 4.2L V8 Audi S5 for the late 2000s and early 2010s is a perfect car if you want to experience what the best Audi V8 has to offer without paying absurd prices.
Why do people love V8 engines?
If you are not a car enthusiast and if you don’t care about which engines powers your car, you are likely not going to understand why people love V8 engines so much. After all, they are expensive, they use more fuel, they tend to be expensive to maintain and they are not the most reliable engines for the most part.
However, a V8 engine offers a platform that can be tailored both towards extreme performance and extreme smoothness and effortless. V8 engines feel and sound substantial and driving a car with a V8 feels a lot more exciting and special.
Why are Audi V8 engines going out of production?
To be perfectly clear, Audi did not say that their V8 engines are going out of production, but that is to be expected considering the current trends and regulations in the automotive industry. V8s are simply too thirsty, too heavy, and harmful to the environment.
From an engineering standpoint, the power benefits V8s tend to offer can be easily achieved with both turbocharged 6-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines which both weigh less and are not as inefficient. Only time will tell if we are going to witness the demise of the V8, but it seems like the industry is going in that direction.