On my break today, I went and saw my co-worker’s Dodge Challenger. It’s got a 5.7-liter HEMI V8. It’s got exhaust cutouts. It’s got a lumpy cam. It is going to steal your lunch money then throat punch you just because. It sounds amazing. It also likely makes more power as all four our cars put together. No lie.
In fact, this got me thinking about our fleet. In our driveway, we have a
- 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon (86 hp out of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder)
- 1992 Mitsubishi Pajero (99 hp, also from a boosted 2.5-liter four-cylinder)
- 2007 Toyota Yaris (106 hp from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder)
- 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage (78 hp from a less-than-gusty 1.2-liter three cylinder).
For you math-challenged people, that’s 369 hp combined—and that’s at the flywheel! We have 15 cylinders between all four rigs, 7.7-liters combined displacement (or 470 cubic inches), two turbochargers, and 44 intake/exhaust valves.
Yes, we’ve owned cars with over 200 hp before (1998 Honda Prelude SH and 2013 Subaru WRX). Lots of fun, no doubt. By the way, I’ve never owned a V8 before. I do love that hairy-chested sound, for certain. In fact, hearing Russ’s Challenger made me want to buy something with a V8 just so I could cut the mufflers off.
In fact, back in 1994 or so, my friend, Jake, bought a 1974 Dodge Tradesman van. It was kelly green metallic with gold shag carpeting throughout and it had a 360 cubic-inch V8. Shortly after buying the “Big Phat” as we called it, we drove it to my other friend’s house who had a Sawzall, and proceeded to cut the mufflers off. We then drove it—open exhaust and all—around suburban Minnesota for about 45 minutes until we realized it was so loud we’d probably end up with permanent hearing loss and a fix-it ticket. So we did what any responsible teen would do: Went and bought Cherry Bomb glasspacks. Still loud, just not as loud. Still awesome.
Honestly, I don’t see a V8 in my future any time soon. But listening to the angry Challenger at lunch did make me want to have a powerful V8-powered car. Something we could take out on weekends; something we could take to the dragstrip from time to time. Maybe a late ’90s Mustang or something. Then again, looking at our fleet, a Mustang would be far too mainstream. It’d have to be something weird like a V8-powered Daihatsu Rocky or maybe a Mitsubishi Mighty Max with an LS swap. Then again, a 4G63T swap would probably be better in the Mighty Max. Man, I’m terrible at this V8 game. Maybe I’ll just stick to four-bangers.