Holden Commodore V8 alternatives for less

Where will we go without local V8 models? Right here, that’s where

Commodore V8 alternatives

It is an obvious yet sad fact, and tempered by only one thing. The more that time moves on from October 2016 and 2017, the fewer the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore breed with eight cylinders will be on our roads. By accident or old age, they will start to decline.

Thankfully some – yours truly included – saw the end was coming and will meticulously look after the last of the line breed (in my poor journo’s case an older VE SS manual, but I digress). For some, though, there can be rear-wheel drive and a V8 life beyond the locals.

And there are some clever ways to get into a RWD bent-eight for less.

Chrysler 300 SRT Core

An obvious exception to that Continent of origin is the Chrysler 300 SRT Core. Classifieds observers might note that current-gen, circa-five-year-old examples of the 6.4-litre HEMI V8 haven’t received any resale lift over a local VF SS, which also came out in 2013. We spotted a 347kW/631Nm auto-only unit with 40,000km showing for bang-on $25,000.

Even a 260kW/570Nm 6.0L VFI Commodore SS from the same year is holding at about that.

For twice that cash, but from the same build year, you could poach from the Orient and get a more compact and likely infinitely better-built Lexus IS F complete with its superb 311kW/505Nm 5.0-litre V8 and under 80,000km showing. These last of the line sedans, with wire-mesh alloys, had a proper limited-slip differential (LSD) and were really very good.

Lexus IS F

Now let’s compare American and Japanese value to the Europeans.

For about $25K you could get a 20-year-old  E39 BMW M5 widely considered to be one of the best sports sedans of all time. And it is. But it’ll be two-decades-old with moon-and-back mileage. Meanwhile a four-door E90 M3 will ask more for an older example, or about the same for a higher kilometre reading; and likewise with a five-year-old Mercedes-AMG C63.

The real BMW M and Merc-AMG value lies with their larger sedans.


Consider that a 2013, F10-gen BMW M5 will set you back from about $62,500 with 92,000km showing. This was a $200K-plus vehicle a half-decade ago, with 412kW/680Nm from its 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and a 4.4-second 0-100km/h claim. And now it’s ruffling feathers with Gen-F HSV GTS from around the same year for about the same coin.

Go another five years back, to 2008, and a Mercedes-AMG E63 with a 378kW/630Nm 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 will currently ask the same $45,000 as a smaller Merc-AMG C63 that is only a couple of years newer with roughly the same 80,000km to 90,000km showing.

So right there is some post-Aussie sedan strategy, with a nice step-up of four-door V8 variety: 300 Core for $25K, E63 AMG for $45K, IS F for sub-$50K, and F10 M5 for $60K.


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Daniel DeGasperi

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