bmw v8 engine

Understanding V8 Engine In Automobiles

The V8 engine is a well-known and respected engine in the automotive industry. Additionally, the V8 engine, well-known for its power and distinct sound, has had a big impact on the automotive sector. This engine’s eight V-shaped cylinders produce outstanding power, torque, and an exhilarating driving v8 engine
V8 engines are popular choices for sports cars, muscle cars, and high-performance vehicles due to their propensity to produce high horsepower and offer powerful acceleration. They enthrall car aficionados with a well-balanced combination of power, smoothness, and an audible exhaust tone. Well, In this article, we will provide a comprehensive explanation of the V8 engine. Our discussion will cover the answers to the following questions:
  • What is a V8 engine?
  • How does it work?
  • What is the V8 engine’s design?
  • Where can it be used?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the V8 engine?
  • How much does the V8 engine cost?

So, let’s get down to it!


What is a V8 engine?

A V8 engine is an eight-cylinder engine with a V configuration, its cylinders arranged on the crankcase in two sets of four (or “banks”), and its eight pistons all driving the same crankshaft.  The majority of banks are positioned at a right angle (90°), with 45°, 60°, and 72° being the most typical narrower angles.

The V8 is essentially two parallel inline-four engines with a shared crankshaft in its most basic configuration. However, this straightforward setup has the same secondary dynamic imbalance issues as two straight-4 engines, which causes vibrations in big engine displacements. It also has a flat- or single-plane crankshaft.

Most V8s have employed the slightly more complicated cross-plane crankshaft with substantial counterweights since the 1920s to reduce vibrations. As a result, the engine is significantly less expensive than a V12 and smoother than a V6. The single-plane crankshaft is still used by the majority of racing V8s because it enables more effective exhaust system designs and better acceleration.


V8 engine diagram

How does it work?

A type of internal combustion engine known as a V8 engine has eight cylinders arranged in a V pattern. A vital component known as a piston is found inside each cylinder. Let’s examine the mechanism by which this complex system functions.

The intake phase of an engine operation is where it all starts. During this phase, intake valves suck a mixture of fuel and air into the cylinders. This process takes place as the piston descends, partially vacuuming the cylinder. In preparation for the next phases, the fuel and air combination enters the combustion chamber. The end of the intake phase signals the start of the compression stroke.

The fuel-air mixture inside the cylinder is compressed as the piston rises. Compression raises temperature and pressure, which prepares the environment for combustion. The combustion stroke, which is a crucial component of the engine’s operation, occurs next. The highly compressed fuel-air mixture is ignited by a spark plug at the peak of the piston’s upward stroke.

A controlled explosion is started by this ignition, which causes an immediate release of energy. The piston is propelled with a lot of power by the force created by the combustion event, which presses downward on the piston. The exhaust stroke follows the combustion stroke. Another upward movement of the piston is used to discharge the leftover gases created during combustion this time.

The cycle is restarted with the intake stroke after the exhaust gases have been released through exhaust valves into the exhaust system. The V8 engine runs continuously thanks to this four-stroke cycle, which consists of intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. V8 engines are known for their balanced and smooth power delivery, which is produced by the synchronized motion of the pistons in each cylinder.

This design enhances the engine’s performance and stability while also producing a powerful amount of power. The V8 engine runs continuously thanks to this four-stroke cycle, which consists of intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. V8 engines are known for their balanced and smooth power delivery, which is produced by the synchronized motion of the pistons in each cylinder. This design enhances the engine’s performance and stability while also producing a powerful amount of power.

This video will help you better understand how a V8 Engine work:

What is the V8 engine’s design?

The V-angle (the angle between the two banks of cylinders) is typically 90 degrees in V8 engines. The disadvantage of this angle is a wider width than V8 engines that use a narrower V-angle, which results in good engine balance and reduced vibrations. The Volvo XC90, 2005-2011, the 2006-2009 Volvo S80, and the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus SHO all featured V8 engines with a 60-degree V-angle.

Because it was based on a V6 engine with a 60-degree V-angle, the Ford engine had a 60-degree V-angle. The transverse engine chassis, which was built for front-wheel drive (with an on-demand all-wheel drive system in the case of the Volvos), was utilized with both the Ford and Volvo engines. The uneven 60-degree V-angle generated vibrations, so the Volvo engines featured an offset split crankpin and balancing shaft to lessen the vibrations.

Since it was based on the 60-degree V12 Rolls-Royce Meteor, which in turn was based on the well-known Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine, the Rolls-Royce Meteorite tank engine likewise utilized a 60-degree V-angle. Other V-angles have occasionally been employed. The narrow-angle V8 engines (based on the Lancia V4 engine) were used in the 1922–1939 production of the Lancia Trikappa, Lancia Dilambda, and Lancia Astura.

The V8 engine in the four-wheel drive 1932 Miller race vehicles had a 45-degree V-angle. The EMD 567 diesel locomotive engine, which was produced by EMD from 1945 to 1966, also had 8 cylinders and a 45-degree V-angle.

Where can it be used?

For large vehicle engines, the V8 with a crossplane crankshaft (see below) is a typical setup. V8 engines rarely have a displacement of less than 3.0 L (183 cu in), and in production cars like the Cadillac Eldorado from the early 1970s, they can approach 8.2 L (500 cu in). Displacement can even be higher in specific applications, such as industrial and marine V8 engines. V8 engines are found in many different types of cars and trucks, mostly in the more powerful categories and subtypes of vehicles like American muscle cars, sports cars, luxury cars, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles.

Many automakers offer a V8 engine as an option for cars with a V6 or straight-6 as the base engine, frequently positioning it as a sign of luxury and status. In certain circumstances, V6 engines are created by subtracting two cylinders from V8 designs while keeping the same V-angle. This allows them to be manufactured on the same assembly lines as the V8s and fitted into the same engine compartments with little adjustments. Some of them enable a consistent firing sequence by using offset crank pins driving connecting rod pairs.

Its applications are restricted to rear-wheel drive sports cars, muscle cars, pony cars, luxury cars, and light trucks because the classic 90° big-bore V8 engine, as found on many American brands, is typically too large and lengthy to accommodate in vehicles with a transverse engine front-wheel drive arrangement. Although a few smaller V8 engines are employed in transverse FWD and transverse AWD engine layouts in larger cars, such as Cadillacs and Volvos, the shorter and occasionally narrower V6 engine is easier to place in small engine compartments.

To save space, these engines frequently have smaller cylinder bore spacings, cylinder bank angles, and other modifications. V8 engines are widespread and have been used in many various forms and classifications of auto racing, including Formula 1 and the American NASCAR racing series. V8 engines are frequently used in motorsports. They often use flat-plane crankshafts because cross-plane crankshafts cause inconsistent exhaust manifold firing, which interferes with engine tune, and cross-plane crankshafts’ large crankshaft counterweights might prohibit the engine from accelerating quickly.

However, the majority of large displacement V8s, even in racing, are cross-plane, including those used in NASCAR and Top Fuel, because of the inherent vibration present in flat-plane V8s.

What are the Pros and Cons of the V8 engine?

The V8 engine, a configuration with eight cylinders arranged in a V shape, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of the V8 engine:

Pros of V8 Engine:

  • Power and Performance: V8 engines are renowned for their high-power output and impressive performance. They typically generate substantial horsepower and torque, making them suitable for applications that require substantial pulling power or quick acceleration.
  • Smooth Operation: The V8 configuration inherently provides good balance and smoothness due to the equal firing intervals and cylinder arrangement. This results in reduced vibrations and improved engine refinement, contributing to a comfortable driving experience.
  • Versatility: V8 engines find applications in a wide range of vehicles, including sports cars, muscle cars, luxury vehicles, and trucks. Their versatility allows manufacturers to offer different levels of performance and cater to various customer preferences.
  • Distinctive Sound: V8 engines produce a unique and iconic exhaust note that is often associated with power and performance. The deep rumble and growl of a V8 engine can enhance the driving experience and evoke a sense of excitement.

Cons of V8 Engine:

  • Cost and Complexity: V8 engines are generally more expensive to produce compared to smaller engines due to their larger size, increased number of components, and additional engineering requirements. This can lead to higher vehicle costs and potentially more expensive maintenance and repairs.
  • Fuel Efficiency: V8 engines tend to consume more fuel compared to smaller engines due to their larger displacement and increased power output. This can result in lower fuel efficiency, especially in vehicles that prioritize performance over economy.
  • Space Requirements: V8 engines occupy more space under the hood compared to smaller engines. This can limit design flexibility, especially in compact or front-wheel-drive vehicles, where engine space is often at a premium.
  • Weight: V8 engines are typically heavier than smaller engine configurations due to their larger size and increased number of components. The added weight can affect a vehicle’s overall weight distribution and handling characteristics, potentially impacting agility and fuel efficiency.

It’s worth noting that specific pros and cons of a V8 engine can vary depending on factors such as engine technology, design, and implementation by different manufacturers.

How much does a V8 engine cost?

Many people view V8 engines as the holy grail of the automotive industry. These unnecessarily massive and powerful engines are designed for folks who consider their car to be more than just a mode of transportation. The price of a V-type engine varies depending on the model and if you want a new, used, or repaired engine. Used V8s cost between $1,000 and $2,000, while rebuilt engines are about $5,000. While new engines aren’t cheap, they don’t always have to be more expensive than repaired engines. It depends on the supply.

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Watch the video below to learn more


Which is better, V8 or V6?

The answer to this question depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the user. V8 engines generally offer more power and torque due to their larger displacement and additional cylinders. They are often preferred for high-performance applications, towing, or heavy-duty vehicles. On the other hand, V6 engines tend to be more fuel-efficient and compact, making them suitable for smaller vehicles or those focused on fuel economy.

What does V8 mean in an engine?

In the context of an engine, V8 refers to the engine configuration or design. The “V” indicates that the cylinders are arranged in two banks or rows at an angle, forming a V shape. The number “8” signifies the total number of cylinders in the engine, with each bank containing four cylinders.

Is V8 better than V12?

Whether a V8 is better than a V12 depends on the specific requirements and intended use. V8 engines generally offer a more balanced power-to-weight ratio, better fuel efficiency, and are easier to package in vehicles due to their smaller size. V12 engines, on the other hand, can provide higher power outputs and smoother operation due to having more cylinders. They are often found in luxury or high-performance vehicles.

What liter is a V8 engine?

The liter displacement of a V8 engine can vary depending on the specific model and design. V8 engines can have different sizes, ranging from smaller ones like 4.0 liters to larger ones exceeding 6.0 liters or more. The displacement is a measurement of the total volume swept by all the cylinders in the engine.

Does V8 consume more fuel?

Generally, V8 engines consume more fuel compared to smaller engines like V6 or four-cylinder engines. This is due to several factors, including the larger displacement and higher number of cylinders, which require more fuel to generate power. However, advancements in technology have allowed manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of V8 engines through various measures such as direct injection, turbocharging, or hybridization.

Why is a V6 faster than a V8?

The statement that a V6 is faster than a V8 is not universally true. The speed and performance of an engine depend on various factors such as the specific design, power output, weight of the vehicle, aerodynamics, and other performance enhancements. While V6 engines can offer good performance, V8 engines generally have a greater potential for higher horsepower and torque, which can contribute to faster acceleration and higher top speeds in certain applications.

How many gears does V8 have?

The number of gears in a V8 engine-equipped vehicle depends on the specific transmission configuration. The engine itself does not determine the number of gears. Many modern vehicles, including those with V8 engines, come equipped with transmissions ranging from 6-speed to 10-speed or more, depending on the make, model, and intended use of the vehicle.

Which car has a V12 engine?

Several cars are known for having V12 engines. Some notable examples include the Ferrari LaFerrari, Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin DB11, Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. These are just a few examples, and there are many other luxury and high-performance vehicles that feature V12 engines.

What does cc mean in cars?

“cc” in cars stands for cubic centimeters, which is a unit of measurement used to denote the engine displacement or size. It refers to the total volume capacity of all the engine cylinders. For example, a car with a 2000cc engine has a displacement of 2000 cubic centimeters. Engine displacement is often used as a general indicator of the power output or performance potential of an engine, although it is not the sole determining factor.


In conclusion, because of their bigger displacement and added cylinders, V8 engines provide a powerful and exhilarating driving experience. Even though they could use more fuel than smaller engine designs, car enthusiasts frequently find the trade-off in performance and sound to be worthwhile. V8 engines continue to be associated with excitement and power in the automobile industry, leaving an imprint on the development of high-performance cars.

That concludes this article, in which we talked about the V8 engine. With that being said, the answers to the following questions were discussed:

  • What is a V8 engine?
  • How does it work?
  • What is the V8 engine’s design?
  • Where can it be used?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the V8 engine?
  • How much does the V8 engine cost?

Hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!