The age of “all-motor” is coming to a close. From the highest echelons of supercars, down to the lowest entry-level compacts, turbocharged powerplants are now the norm. Still, there are a few naturally aspirated holdouts, with ultra-responsive free-breathing mills that still push out impressive amounts of power. Here are the 15 most powerful naturally aspirated cars in 2015. As usual, we stuck to cars that are on sale now, or will be on sale by the end of the year. Also, we stuck to our usual rule of “one engine, one car,” so don’t expect to find a list full of cars sharing the same engine.
2015 Ferrari LaFerrari
6.3-liter V-12, 789 hp
Even though the hybrid LaFerrari’s power output is bolstered by 161 hp from the electric motors, strip out all hybrid tech, and you are left with a free-breathing 6.3-liter V-12 pushing out 789 hp on its own. With hyperspace looks and one of the best badges in the business, the LaFerrari picks up the torch left by the 2003 Ferrari Enzo.
2015 Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV
6.5-liter V-12, 740 hp
The big-boy Lambo in sexy-sounding SuperVeloce trim gets a boost of 49 hp over the standard Aventador, now with 740 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque from its 6.5-liter V-12. All of this power is sent to all four wheels, allowing the SV to crack off 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds.
2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
6.3-liter V-12, 730 hp
While the 6.3-liter V-12 powering the F12 Berlinetta is derivative of the V-12 found in the LaFerrari, there are enough fundamental differences, including changes made for the front-engine layout, to include it on this list. 730 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque help the F12 rocket to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.
2015 Ferrari FF
6.3-liter V-12, 651 hp
Same story here with the Ferrari 6.3-liter V-12, but the engine was significantly modified to accommodate the FF’s special all-wheel drive system. 0-60 mph happens in the high-three second range, and top speed pushes over 200 mph, all while hauling your groceries and kids at high-speed through the French Alps.
2015 Dodge Viper
8.4-liter V-10, 645 hp
With an 8.4-liter V-10 under the hood, it’s not really a surprise the Viper made this list. 645 hp from the massive engine allows the Viper to reach 206 mph and 60 mph in the low three-second range. What is a surprise is that the Viper still comes only with a manual transmission, and with no option for a drop-top.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
4.6-liter V-8, 608 hp
Another hybridized hypercar, the Porsche 918 Spyder launches at unimaginable speeds thanks to a combination of electric motors and a naturally aspirated V-8 engine. While the electric motors contribute 279 hp, the 4.6-liter V-8 spins out 608 hp for a combined total of 887 hp, enough to slaughter the Nürburgring in under seven minutes.
2015 Lamborghini Huracan
5.2-liter V-10, 602 hp
With an updated powerplant from the bygone Gallardo, the baby Lambo finally gets the gumption to nearly match the Aventador on a track. The 5.2-liter V-10 screams out 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, enough to monster the Huracan to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and on its way to a top speed of over 202 mph.
2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale
4.5-liter V-8, 597 hp
Sure, the FF and F12 Berlinetta are great, but we would be happiest behind the wheel of Maranello’s final naturally aspirated V-8 sweetheart. Yep, enjoy the 597-hp Speciale while you can, as next year, the 458’s successor, the 488, packs two turbos under the rear decklid. Look for an even more “Speciale” experience with the droptop Aperta variant.
2015 Aston Martin Vanquish
5.9-liter V-12, 568 hp
There is nothing quite like the range-topping Aston Martin sports grand tourer. The looks are peerless, the speed is tremendous, and the sound from the Vanquish’s 5.9-liter, free-breathing V-12 is wonderful. The Vanquish makes a loud statement with 568 hp, and a top speed just north of 200 mph.
2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
5.2-liter V-8, 526 hp
Now, a break from all that high-dollar European metal. This American Badass is both the much-anticipated follow-up to the dearly-departed Boss 302, and Ford’s answer to the sucker-punch that was the extraordinarily hardcore Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The new GT350 is captivating fans with its exotic flat-plane crank 5.2-liter V-8, producing a not-insubstantial 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.
7.0-liter V-8, 505 hp
Although the new 2016 Camaro is right on the horizon, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 continues to be sold for the 2015 model year. The track-special musclecar rips around tracks so so ferociously that GM engineers had to roughen the exterior of the actual wheel rim to prevent the special Pirelli tires from slipping around the wheel. It’s no surprise it makes the list, with a 7.0-liter V-8 producing 505 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque.
2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
4.0-liter flat-six, 500 hp
The 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS might have one of the smallest engines on this list, but that also makes it the sweetest, with an extraordinarily high-revving nature. The 4.0-liter flat-six engine pushes out 500 hp and 338 lb-ft of torque, all with a lofty 8,800 rpm redline. This, coupled with exposed carbon fiber, Alcantara trim, and racing seats will have you living out your deepest motorsports fantasies.
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
6.4-liter V-8, 485 hp
The Challenger R/T Scat Pack is one of the best dollar-per-horsepower deals you can nab right now, with 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque turned out from the gargantuan 6.4-liter V-8. Not convinced? Add a “Shaker” cut-out in the center of the hood for a little more muscle-car attitude.
2015 Porsche 911 GT3
3.8-liter flat-six, 475 hp
It may seem strange to include both the GT3 and the GT3 RS with our “one engine, one car” rule, but the RS features an additional 0.2 liters over the GT3’s 3.8-liter flat-six. Even so, don’t count this one out, as the 475-hp mill spins up to an even higher 9,000 rpm.
2015 Lexus RC F
5.0-liter V-8, 467 hp
With its reputation for luxury and comfort, it may seem strange to see a Lexus on this list. Still, times are changing, and the V-10 wail from the bygone LFA is still ringing in our ears. The 5.0-liter V-8 found under the dramatically styled hood of the RC F puts out an impressive 467 hp, enough to give the Lexus sports coupe a fighting chance in the ring.