At the dawn of the 1990s, when the electric revolution was not yet visible even in Elon Musk's dreams, the V10 engines were the undoubted pinnacle of automotive technology. It was they who drove Formula 1 from 1989 to 2006, and it is no coincidence that all car manufacturers - from Ford before Lamborghini - tried to offer them in their production cars in order to raise their reputation.
But today, alas, this amazingly engineering engine is practically dead: only one of its representatives remains on the market, and it can only be found in rather rare exotic cars that sell for six-figure amounts in euros.
Reasons for the decline in popularity
V10 engines are much more complex and expensive than regular V8s, and at the same time they are not as well balanced as V12s. But they had their natural charm and great abundance. Most were atmospheric and produced excellent sound; many of them were real stars on the tracks.
This did not save them from a double attack: on the one hand, tightening environmental standards, and on the other, accountants seeking to cut costs and, accordingly, increase profits.
The main reason is less power
Gradually, even the largest auto brands of the “ten” abandoned it. In the 1990s Dodge The Viper used a V10, which in one moment grew to 8,4 liters and 645 horsepower. Today, its successor is the Hellcat V-8, displacement of 6,2 liters, but a total of 797 horsepower.
It's the same with Ford, where the new 7,3-liter V8 packs more horsepower and torque than the giant Triton V-10 that has previously been powered by the Super Duty and Excursion series. BMW was also forced to ditch the legendary V-10 in the M5 at the expense of a smaller but more powerful twin-turbo V8. Lexus also ditched the V10 engine after the end of the LFA and will use a twin-turbo in its next flagship LC F.
Even the Volkswagen Group, which was the biggest fan of V10 units, gradually replaced them with V8s. New "eight" with a hybrid system in Porsche Spyder 918 more efficient than the ten-cylinder in the Carrera GT. Audi also replaced the tens in its S6 and S8 with six- and eight-cylinder engines. The latest V10 lives only in the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Huracan supercars.
We offer you to see a small gallery with cars that were once equipped with the famous "ten".
BMW M5 — E60
The Bavarian company introduced the idea of a super sports sedan in the 80s, but the first generations used the usual 3,5-liter six and rated between 250 and 286 horsepower.
In 2005, the M Division introduced a new M5 (E60) with something much more interesting under the hood: a five-liter V10 with 500 horsepower that spun at 8250 rpm and behaved like a race car engine (not surprising, because the roots it in Formula 1).
For some reason VW believed in V10 engines more than anyone else. The second generation Audi RS6 introduced a 5-liter "ten", supported by two turbochargers. In total, the unit developed up to 579 hp.
This made the practical station wagon much faster than most supercars of the era. And also from the competitor BMW M5, which, however, is compensated by the charm of the atmospheric filling.
It took the Japanese over a decade of development, as well as a few flaws in the blueprints and greenfield beginnings, to develop their modern supercar in 2010. But the result was worth the wait.
The rather lightweight polymer / carbon composite coupe was powered by a 4,8-liter V10 producing 552 horsepower. Production was limited to just 500 vehicles and today the LFA is slowly becoming a collector's dream.
Popular urban legend has it that this generation of sedans uses the Lamborghini Gallardo engine. But this is not the case. There are only superficial similarities between the two.
In the S6, this 5,2-liter V10 made 444 horsepower, but then for bureaucratic and other reasons gave way to the 4-liter twin-turbo V8.
Americans traditionally have a slightly different approach than Europeans when it comes to large engines. The device in the Dodge Viper had a much larger volume than all of its competitors on the other side of the ocean, but produced significantly less power - "barely" 400 horsepower.
But its large volume meant that torque was available across the entire crankshaft range. In a straight line, this car could rip the hat off any supercar. And the latest versions had an even larger block with a volume of 8,4 liters.
Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan
Here, the engine is virtually identical. The first generation of the R8 used the 5,2-liter FSI internal combustion engine known from the Gallardo LP560-4, albeit with a slightly reduced output - 525 instead of 552 hp.
In the next generation, the engine already develops 602 horsepower, which is 38 less than that of the Lamborghini Huracan LP640-4 cousin.
Porsche Carrera GT
Some connoisseurs consider this to be the best and most coveted V10 ever. Its monstrous torque also made it a bit sinister - the Carrera GT claimed many lives, including that of actor Paul Walker ("The Fast and the Furious").
But with modern tires, this impressive car is easier to drive and you can truly enjoy its 5,7-liter V10 delivering 603 horsepower.
Dodge RAM SRT-10
In Europe, the V10 was installed on racing cars. In America they decided to put it on ... a huge pickup truck. The result is the RAM SRT-10, a farmer's machine powered by a 8,3hp 10-liter V500 borrowed from the Viper.
In just 5 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, this car could "show the class" not only to all competitors in the fields of Iowa, but also to most sports cars of the time.
VW Phaeton V10 TDI
The unchanging idea of the late Ferdinand Piëch to create the best limousine in the world spawned Phaethon - a market failure, but an engineering triumph.
One of its strengths was the 309 horsepower ten-cylinder turbodiesel, enviably fast and fairly economical. The same engine was installed in the first Touareg, but it did not have a very good reputation for reliability.
However, the most memorable 10-cylinder engines never made it to showrooms - they were designed for cars. In Formula 1, a world of unlimited budgets, they have flourished for decades. It was they who filled the void after the end of the turbo era in 1988 and provided 800 or more horsepower for cars. The best models ran smoothly at 16000 rpm and sounded shocking.
The ten-cylinder engine also dominated the 24 Le Mans. The Audi R10 TDI, which was the first diesel winner in the legendary race, had 12 cylinders, but its successor, the R15, relied on a V10 with up to 590 horsepower.