Horsepower. Raw, tire-melting horsepower. Every man worth his chest hair can’t deny it’s one of the first criteria for buying a car powered by a V8. Typically, the more the horsepower and the lower the MSRP, the more attractive it looks. It was the formula that made the muscle car era a piece of American history. But nowadays, American automakers aren’t the only ones making rear-wheel-drive radial roasters; Japan and Germany have also gotten in on the unmitigated horsepower wars, albeit with a little more luxury and refinement.
We recently had a Bridgestone bar-b-que with three fire-breathing, rear/all-wheel-drive V8s representing each of the three respective automaking countries. Japan arrived respectfully in the Lexus IS-F, Germany showed up to the cookout well dressed in the Audi S5, and the United States arrived rockin’ a mullet and Miller Lite in the Dodge Challenger SRT8. Three different V8s, three different countries, and three very different cars.