General Motors to end Northstar V8 production
A once great engine that used to be the hallmark of General Motors is leaving us. The famous Northstar V8 is ending production after a 17-year run, a GM spokesperson confirmed to Inside Line. The last Northstar will be made sometime near the end of July.
Back in 1992, the 4.6-liter Northstar V8 was big time news. It was a overhead-cam, all-aluminum V8 and used in the Cadillac Allante. It was the company’s first overhead-cam V8 and it brought a wave of new features, including 100,000-mile spark plugs.
For a decade or so, the Northstar was a Cadillac exclusive, but in later years, the motor was used in Buick and Oldsmobile vehicles. There have been many different variants on the Northstar over the years, but the old 4.6-liter was the most widely used. There was even a 3.5-liter V6 that was derived from the Northstar and used in an Oldsmobile right before the company went bust.
With the loss of the Northstar, Cadillac is left without an overhead-cam V8. If needed, the company can turn to the “small block” V8, whose basic design dates back to 1955.
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With all the new advanced motors from Germany and Japan, it has yet to be seen if the small block V8 is technically advanced enough for use in Cadillac vehicles. GM was close to finishing work on a Northstar successor, called the “Ultra V8,” but it was shut down when the company began to save money before its 2009 bankruptcy.
Tom Stephens, then GM’s vice president of global powertrain engineering said the new Ultra V8 was “as refined as anything in the history of internal-combustion engines. It was the quietest engine we’ve ever tested." He also said the engine was ready for use and available whenever GM wanted it.
Stephens and Cadillac both see a need for power-dense V6 motors due to the changing consumer preferences and fuel-economy standards.
Whatever they choose to use, we at TopSpeed want to say farewell to a truly great performer.
Source: Inside Line