You know what we should all be thankful for?
Having lived in the time of these engines.
Sadly, they are dead. Regulations and technology and "because turbos" has slowly but surely ensured that this might be the last time any of the following cars ever have a V8.
I can only speak to the Big German 3, we all know the Americans don't care and will always use V8s when they can but the E9x M3, B8 RS5 and W204 C63 were some of the greatest hits of our generation and I can't figure out if its because of the cars themselves or because of the engines that powered them.
I can't tell if the characteristics of the engines gave the cars their image or if the image of the cars shaped the characteristics of the engine. I'd like to think it was the former, especially in the case of the bonkers and insane M156 AMG V8.
This engine in its most powerful form, the M159 sitting in the SLS, is nothing short of a work of art. Honestly, all these engines are works of art. It spits power and noise and it seems as if the engine works best when the entire chassis is going sideways. The M156 in the C63 is still nothing short of a madman on wheels with more power and torque then makes sense in a road going daily driver.
The RS5's 4.2 V8 has a storied tradition of being used in almost EVERYTHING Audi has made at one point, similar to the M156. Just look at that engine bay. Red valve covers, a dash of carbon fiber (you can option in even more if that is your thing), its a marked departure from a company that hails from the land of being serious. The engine is not a brute like the M156, its like an opera singer. It just revs and revs and revs and revs and when you think you've had enough the next act begins. The engine is not particularly 'quick' going up or down the rev range, it doesn't have that sudden, urgent sense of doing its business. It just does it and does it in smooth style.
Relatively speaking though, this thing is smooth in comparison to the other 2 but its still far more aggressive and sharp then your average V8.
Brings us to the BMWs V8. Its like a combination of the AMG and RS motors. It is smooth and civilized when you don't need to shred tires yet as soon as you decide the open road is a little boring it becomes almost as much of a brute as the AMG. Not many words to be said for what I think is the best engine out of the 3.
Its weird, I'm talking about the engines yet it seems like I'm talking about the cars at the same time, I've just associated the two and its hard to imagine having anything else under the hood.
We know the next M3/M4 are going back to I6 goodness, the 6.2 won't be showing up in a Merc for the foreseeable future, god knows what Audi plans for the B9 RS4/RS5. I know I also sound like an old fart preferring the now older motors over whatever their replacements are going to be, probably the same way the old farts preferred their engines back then before we got the V8s.
I'm just glad I've been able to witness all of them and to enjoy them, who knows if we will ever get cars like this again.
There were comments here, they got banished to hell by the looks of it. THANKS KINJA!