V8 is supposed to be about power; tons of raucous, rumbling, alluring power and, of course, speed. Strong, fast, and usually made in the USA muscles can turn us all on, enough to wish for a classic in the garage.
But are all V8s really up to the task? Are they all fast and cool and make you want to drive on endless roads? Well, not exactly, although most of the bad eggs came from the uneasy days of the ’70s. The days when the oil crisis, emissions controls and a bad economy turned V8s into old shells. of themselves.
Some of the slower V8 powered cars came later, so it’s not like only the ’70s spewed out bad power. But before you pose for a V8, here are the slowest V8 powered cars we’re stepping away from, and maybe you should too, given that these aren’t cars that will thrill you with their speed or acceleration.
1980 Chevrolet Corvette C3 ‘California’: Slowpoke ‘Vette
A Corvette that hits 0-60 MPH in 7.6 seconds doesn’t look like your dream car or even America’s darling sports car. But in 1980, the only Corvette available in California did just that. It still wore a V8, except it was an emasculated 5.0-liter, mated to a prehistoric 3-speed automatic gearbox.
The speedometer has been fitted with an insulting maximum limit of 85 MPH, which means it’s the slowest V8-powered Corvette on Earth. Although it may sound pretty, the appearance is not a brand of fast car.
1971 Imperial LeBaron: Jabba The Hutt Luxury
The Imperial LeBaron looks regal and it’s a royal pain in patootia, given that it can hit 0-60 MPH in a painful 9.3 seconds. Horses can go faster, maybe even mules. It was a glorious car, but in the ’60s the styling of the company had transformed it into a flabby, oversized piece of muscle.
The 7.2-liter V8 was inefficient in a car of this size, nor was the car designed to go fast. The interior looked like a cheesy casino, and it was the worst example of automotive engineering. And one of the slowest V8 cars of its time.
Ferrari Mondial: economical Rari with V8 engine
When you think of Ferrari, you think of fast, dedicated cars at the finish line. But please pray, don’t think of the Worlds that way. This slowest V8 powered car from Ferrari carried a 3.0 liter and ran 0-60 MPH times that would put a sports car to shame. 9.3 seconds was his daily walk of shame, and we still don’t understand how Ferrari let this one go.
Maybe Ferrari was looking to slow down and smell the flowers? Either way, the Mondial is pretty, if you like corner cars, but slow enough to make you cry.
1975 Plymouth Volare Road Runner: the V8-powered lazy
The Plymouth Volare Roadrunner was therefore not the sharpest knife in the neighborhood. It was one of the slower V8-powered cars of its time that looked like a million bucks, but also rusted if you looked at it the wrong way. And he fled, just like his counterpart, the Dodge Aspen.
With the Age of Uneasiness firmly in place, Dodge kept the Plymouth name for as long as it could and milked it long after it ran dry. The Volare Roadrunner’s 5.2-liter V8 took it from 0 to 60 MPH in a painful 10.7 seconds.
1979 Dodge Magnum: The heaviest and slowest V8-powered car
The good thing is that the Dodge Magnum only existed for two years of production. The bad thing is that it took two years of production. A large sporty-looking two-door, the Magnum was heavy, weighing around 3,800 pounds.
The 5.9-liter B8 sounded magnum, but in name only. The 195 horsepower could only take the Magnum 0-60 MPH in 11 slow seconds. So this is not the classic car to ride in as it cannot overtake the traffic being the slowest V8 car on the road.
1980-82 Mercury Cougar XR7: Scaredy Cat with V8 engine
The Mercury Cougar rang the room and sort of looked at it too. A big, bad muscle car ready to hit the road and initially it was a cool pony to have and to own. But by the 1980s it had gotten bigger and looked like the ‘Mustang, billed as a personal luxury car.
The V8s started to lose heart and the Cougar went from a growling pony to one of the slower V8 powered cars that took 11 seconds to go from 0 MPH to 60 MPH. Not cool, Cougar.
1976 Cadillac Eldorado: Heavyweight V8 Undernourished
The Eldorado is a cruiser, big, heavy, and quite a 5,000 pound samurai. Now, obviously, it’s powered by a V8, and frankly, with a displacement of 8.2 liters, that’s huge. The problem is a whale of a car, which took 13.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 MPH.
While the Eldorado is a stunner, it looks more like a land barge, a ferry instead of a motorboat. You would get many second looks there but not win any races. And if that’s okay with you, that slow V8 powered car could be in your garage. As long as you have a very large garage.
1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme: Extremely slow V8 engine
The Cutlass was also downsized in the 1980s, and unfortunately aside from its odd dimensions, it also took an engine that came to Earth from the depths of Hell. The 5.0-liter diesel V8 had been made in a hurry, copying the gasoline V8 and basically smoked and tripped into a melted mess.
The Olds’ 80s diesel engine nearly killed Oldsmobile as a brand and if you’re still stuck on speed, it took the Cutlass Supreme 14 seconds to hit 60 MPH from a standstill. Will this be the slowest and worst V8 engine car ever.
1982 Ford Thunderbird: Wait, where’s the couple?
It’s not always the low horsepower that makes it one of the slower V8-powered cars, there’s the torque, too. On the contrary, in the case of the Ford Thunderbird, there was no torque. The 4.2-liter V8 only manages 120 horsepower and 209 pound-feet of torque.
In a car that weighed 4,000 pounds, that was ridiculous. And acceleration too. To go from 0 to 60 MPH, the T-bird took an excruciating 18 seconds. Enough said, but if you still need it, this was the slowest V8 powered car under the Thunderbird nameplate.
1981 Cadillac Seville Diesel: The slowest V8 engine car, point to point
As for the Cadillac Seville, the one with a diesel engine, hitting the pedal all the way didn’t give you the thrilling results you thought you’d get. This 4,200 pound car took almost 20 seconds (19.5 to be exact) to hit 60 MPH.
The Olds Diesel V8, all 5.7 liters of which got old before it even launched, and killed a lot of cool cars because of its appalling performance. Fortunately, Caddy never called the Seville a muscle car, as that would have been a bit too much for Cadillac’s slowest V8-powered car.
Sources: CarandDriver, Jalopnik
In case you want to join the Subie club and buy a WRX, these facts will help you prepare for the exciting journey that awaits you.
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