The 12 Best Cars for a V8 Swap

Recently we asked you . As always, we got a ton of responses, but here are the answers we saw repeated the most.

Volvo 240 Wagon

Want to make the ultimate sleeper? Drop an LS V8 engine into a stock-looking Volvo 240 wagon and call it a day. No one will look twice at your car until you lay down a massive burnout and confuse everyone.

Nissan Z

The Nissan Z platform already has a fantastic straight-six engine to go along with it, but if you’re not a fan of it, or just don’t want to deal with the maintenance that comes with vintage engines, a V8 swap is the perfect solution. And the car is just as pretty, no matter what sits under the hood.

Ford Ranger

Ford’s smallest truck powered by a high-horsepower torquey V8 engine? Sounds like a tire-smoking fun machine to us.

Chevrolet S-10

The S-10 is another small pickup worthy of having an eight-cylinder engine. Though it was never built with one, we’re sure fitting a true LS engine under that hood won’t be much of an issue.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

No matter what generation, the Miata is one of the most eligible candidates for a V8 swap. Flyin’ Miata, a company specializing in Miata upgrades, built a fantastic example that we love to death. It’s all the fun of driving a Miata, just with 400 extra horsepower.

BMW E30 3-Series

The E30-generation 3-Series is a fun, balanced machine right out of the box. But if you’re looking for something different (and want to anger the purists at your next BMWCCA meet), V8 swaps are definitely an option.

BMW E36 3-Series

Of course, the E30 isn’t the only BMW out there worthy of a V8 swap. In recent years, its replacement, the E36, has become a popular choice among swap enthusiasts and drifters looking to extract the most performance out of its light, rear-wheel drive platform.

Mazda RX-7

Rotary engines are nice, but sometimes it’s hard to put up with the lack of reliability. Luckily, It’s pretty easy to drop an LS engine into any generation RX-7 and keep the fun factor intact. Just don’t be surprised if your FD drives exactly like a C5 Corvette afterwards.

Porsche 944

If you’re looking for real power from a 944, you could spend the money and get a Turbo model. Another choice is finding a cheap broken example and dropping in a V8. Honestly, the V8 option sounds more fun (and more reliable).

Jeep Wrangler

No, the Jeep Wrangler was not built to have big power from the factory. That doesn’t mean you can’t drop in a nice fat V8 block under the hood. Take this brutally cool Lexus V8-powered Wrangler as an example.

Nissan 240SX

Drifters around the globe use the 240SX as a base for their drift builds, and for good reason. It’s incredibly easy to swap in a bigger engine, plus the balanced chassis and long wheelbase make for a great setup on track.

Porsche 911

As much as the purists protest, V8 swaps have become a popular choice among 911s with tired or broken drivetrains. Why spend tens of thousands on a flat-six engine rebuild or replacement when you can just pop in a V8 instead?


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