A R.I.P. for the V-8 Engine

The V-8 engine was once a symbol of American strength and ingenuity. It has powered Ford's big land boats since the 1930's and is still a staple in many large trucks. But times change, and the V-8 is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Technology has paved the way for engines that are more efficient and, therefore, more economical. In place of V-8 engines, Ford has created a turbocharged 6-cylinder to power big sedans, sports cars, and some trucks. It supposedly is better for the environment too. GM is canceling any orders for new V-8s to prepare for new mandatory fuel efficiency standards passed in Congress last year. Chrysler is not giving up on its highly advertised Hemi V-8, but the engine will be combined with a hybrid engine in their big S.U.V.'s to improve fuel efficiency.

Its not as though the car manufacturers awoke one day and decided they didn't like V-8s anymore. Car buyers made that decision for them. Sales have dropped 24% for V-8 powered cars. Until people start refusing to buy S.U.V.'s or heavy-duty trucks with V-8's, it is unlikely the engine will be pulled from these bigger cars. But sedans with V-8's are going to be so rare, Toyota doesn't even offer the option of putting them in their car anymore. Honda has never had a V-8.

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