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Parker's Forecourt Focus: V8 still attractive despite fuel costs

You’d think the cost of fuel would send us Brits into the most fuel-efficient cars on sale. So it’s puzzling that V8 engines have made a resurgence.

November 2003 witnessed the launch of the MG ZT 260 packing a US-sourced 4.6-litre Ford V8.

New prices, ranging from £27,000-34,000, and typical fuel consumption of about 20mpg must have been acceptable to the hundreds of people who bought one.

The best time for consumers to buy was two years ago, after MG Rover went into administration – new and nearly-new examples were well below £20,000. However, there are still some around for Ford Focus money, with 2007-registered cars showing delivery miles for less than £20,000.

Three months after the MG was launched, Vauxhall introduced the Monaro – a 5.7-litre V8 coupé of generous proportions and equipment, priced below £30,000.

Built by Holden in Australia, several hundred arrived in the UK, some with 400bhp-plus, badged as VXR versions.

Buyers can now pick up used examples for less than the price of a typical new family car, and the extra they may cost in fuel will be offset to an extent by slower depreciation.

If there was no appetite for these cars, used values would have seen a much sharper fall over the last three years. The pain of high fuel bills for many people, it seems, is a price worth paying for the rumble of a V8.

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