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Saturday 1st April
Top Gear Advice

10 used cars for £10k we found this week

It’s the enormous engine edition!

BMW 760Li
  1. Jaguar XJS 5.3

    Jaguar XJS 5.3

    For people like us, owning a V12 – even for a few months – feels like an essential experience. The inherently perfect balance of a pair of straight sixes, offset at 60 degrees and sharing a crankshaft. The induction and exhaust notes, which add timbres and tones unachievable with any other configuration or cylinder count. The feeling that you’re in rarefied air and extraordinary company.

    And if you’re wondering how a ratty old Jag fits in with all of this, just look up Tom Walkinshaw qualifying at Bathurst in the XJS V12 TWR touring car like the one above. Not so ratty now, eh?

    Unless a V12 track day car doesn’t appeal to you...

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  2. BMW 760Li

    BMW 760Li

    But perhaps you’ve heard too many tales of overheating, not starting on warm days, coolant that looks like poorly made tea and oil that looks like it’s all run out on the ground again. There is a reason you find quite a few with transplanted Chevy 350 V8s, after all. 

    The N73 V12 in BMW’s 760Li, on the other hand, is the same basic engine that powers the old Rolls-Royce Phantom, as well as the top-spec E65 7 Series. And aside from needing close attention – direct injection and short trips are not happy bedfellows, for instance – it’s a reliable, naturally aspirated BMW V12. Any questions?

    Ever notice how no one moans about ‘Bangle butt’ anymore?

  3. Volvo XC90 4.4 V8

    Volvo XC90 4.4 V8

    While the engine was designed by Ford-era Volvo, it was built by Yamaha. And if you have Yamaha involved somewhere in your engine build, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be on track for a tremendous result – Ford Puma Racing, Toyota 2000 GT and Lexus LFA 

    And if there was any doubt about the B8444S V8, let’s remember that it was good enough for the twin-turbocharged, 650bhp Noble M600, and a long-stroke, naturally aspirated racing version with individual throttle bodies – and also with 650bhp, coincidentally enough – did three years of touring car racing in the Australian V8 Supercars series. 

    Oh, and you get a practical family wagon in the bargain. Not a bad deal, no?

    We can't even imagine how difficult servicing a transverse V8 would be

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  4. Maserati Coupe

    Maserati Coupe

    As any number of contemporary reviews will attest, the Maserati 3200, 4200 and Coupe were a) broadly the same car, and b) not a machine you’d gravitate towards if you were after the ne plus ultra in terms of handling. Or even the ne plus ordures, to speak candidly.   

    But that Ferrari-developed Maserati V8 engine – that later went on to power the GranTurismo and Quattroporte to extraordinarily euphonic effect – is of a calibre that makes one rather forget about such trivialities as exiting a corner in the same shape that you entered it. 

    What, do you buy cars for reasons beside their engines?

  5. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

    Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

    When it comes to victories, people don’t ask how – they ask how many. And when it comes to V8s, people don’t ask how the pistons are shaped – they ask if it’s a Hemi. 

    For the budget, we didn’t find any of the later 6.4-litre GCs, but 420bhp and the same in torque aren’t exactly figures to sneeze at. Or indeed cough, belch or perform any other bodily function, if we’re being honest. But if you miss out on a proper Hemi for properly decent money, you have our permission to be spewing. 

    Yes, we’ve also seen prettier faces on arthropods

  6. Bentley Arnage Red Label

    Bentley Arnage Red Label

    In terms of transitions, consider this one abrupt. From expectorating and Hemis to a name you feel fancier just for saying and a V8 that seems one step shy of a peerage. 

    Power is... enough, at 400bhp – and terribly gauche to discuss, darling – but 620lb ft feels like it’d be enough to twist the axle around its axis. The Arnage Red Label, then, is like the people who bought it new: more than able to throw their weight around, if they so choose. 

    Just a guess – Arnage buyers weren’t Red Label drinkers

  7. Mercedes W126 500 SEC

    Mercedes W126 500 SEC

    Finally, the W126 coupes are starting to get some love. It was on the cards for a while now – given it’s a massive V8 Mercedes from its ‘overengineer everything’ days, with near-timeless design by Bruno Sacco and space for a family of four – but the moment has finally arrived.

    The good news is that you can still find 500 SECs in daily-drivable condition for less than £10,000, to restore (or indeed create an homage to the 560 AMG above) as you go along and as you see fit. 

    One sec, just daydreaming about a W126 coupe restomod with a C63 6.2 V8

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  8. Porsche Cayenne Turbo

    Porsche Cayenne Turbo

    Of course, we would have loved to feature a 928 here, but this thing called ‘an unholy explosion of all used car values’ happened and now the things are going for two and three times our budget. 

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a Porsche V8, does it? Let’s throw in a couple of turbos for good measure, and have the whole thing running through a four-wheel-drive system with a low-range case and locking differential. Because... um. About that. Yes, the first-gen Cayenne is a 4x4. But it’s actually a decidedly proper one, with all the off-road appurtenances you’d expect – if never actually use.

    Anyone else curious about this engine in a 928?

  9. Audi S6 Avant

    Audi S6 Avant

    We’ll level with you: the S6 is here for two reasons. The first is that it’s an estate – the single greatest configuration of automobile on the planet, no exceptions – and the second is that it has a 5.2-litre V10 that shares more than a little with a Lamborghini Gallardo. It also apparently has roots in Audi’s lovely 4.2-litre V8, and we’ll take that too. Nearly 430bhp and 400lb ft won’t hurt either, if we’re honest. 

    And if those figures seem a little low for a European V10, we should remind you that a) this particular V10 is still naturally aspirated, so just think of the noise you could have after a few well-chosen modifications, and b) we’re absolutely positive it’ll be enough – promise. 

    Something something obvious joke about sick Labradors

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  10. Jaguar XFR

    Jaguar XFR

    OK, so it’s possibly a bit obvious. But so is listening to Pink Floyd, eating pizza or wearing Patagonia jumpers – if the fact that they’re an obvious choice makes them less appealing to you, the problem might not be with them.

    And, much like Pink Floyd, pizza and Patagonia jumpers, the XFR’s sound is tremendous, its engine is meaty and its interior is cosy. So we’re happy to leave it to others to worry about obviousness; we’ll just enjoy it. 

    Yes, it’s two Jags in the same list. Where do you think you are?

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