Perhaps no nation is as tied to an engine layout as closely as America is to the V8. It’s been a part of almost all of the most significant American sports cars in the history of the nation. How good are sports cars from the USA with less than eight cylinders though? Which one out of that group is the best in history?
We’ve rounded up three of our favorites for your consideration and the first might be a bit controversial. The original Chevrolet Corvette didn’t have a V8 and instead, made do with an inline six-cylinder engine. A V8 wasn’t even on the menu until 1955. Nevertheless, today, the Corvette is synonymous with America, even if many don’t know that it started out without a V8.
It’s possible that we should focus on a car that didn’t just start with something other than a V8 but was made famous by its engine. In that category, we really like the 1987 Buick GNX. In a sea of mediocre and underpowered V8-powered boxes on wheels, the GNX was a revelation.
Read: If You Could Own One American Muscle Car, What Would It Be?
It developed 300 hp thanks to touches like ported and polished heads, a bigger turbocharger, and a free-flowing dual exhaust system. Big-for-the-time 255-section width tires sat at the back to help put the power down and could rip from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in just 4.9 seconds.
That’s fast but it’s nowhere near as quick as our final suggestion. Under the rear decklid of the Ford GT is a twin-turbocharged V6 that develops 660 hp (492 kW) and 550 lb-ft (744 Nm) of torque. It’s not just the engine that makes it so special though. Most can tell that from its fairly droll exhaust note.
What makes it so good is its ability to blitz racetracks all the while paying homage to the past with its shape. Still, you lot might have some other ideas about the best American sports cars with fewer than eight cylinders. Let us know in the comments below.