In Memoriam: The V8 Engine 1900-201?

In Memoriam: The V8 Engine 1900-201?

With the oil crisis of the ‘70s many predicted the death of the V8 engine, but it has continued to solider on. With Chrysler and Infiniti execs recently commenting that there’s no place for eight-cylinder cars in the future of their respective brands, this time, are the V8 engine’s days finally numbered?

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler gives an ominous take on the V8 muscle car, like the Dodge Challenger, saying that very soon these types of cars will be as “rare as white flies.” There’s a deep heritage of eight cylinder engines in the Chrysler group, and it’s hard to imagine the American automaker will do without them. The company’s 5.7L Hemi V8 engine is good for up to 390-hp and 407 lb-ft of torque and is used in sedans, off-roaders, pickups and SUVs. SRT models get a larger 6.4-liter unit making as much as 470-hp.

With the V8 engine in more than half of the group’s products, the company will have to re-tool a significant amount of its range if the Chrysler group’s CEO is right about the disappearing V8.

Infiniti CEO Johan de Nysschen said something similar to Marchionne, commenting that no new Infiniti products will get a V8 engine.

Traditionally, Infiniti only used V8s in its higher-end vehicles. While the top of the line Infiniti M sedan has a large 5.6-liter V8, lower trims of the car are available with two other engines which have proven to be more popular with the market, including the speedy M35h hybrid. The Japanese luxury brand also uses V8s in its FX and QX SUVs, but with fuel economy ratings of 14/20 and 16 mpg combined, no one is buying them with fuel-savings in mind.

While the Nissan luxury brand doesn’t release information on the volume of V6 to V8 engines sold in its individual vehicles, Kyle Bazemore of Infiniti Communications has confirmed that, “We sell more V6-equipped Infiniti FX35 and M37 models than we do FX50 and M56 versions.”


Eight-cylinder engines have always been a bit thirsty, but that gasoline lust always came with the promise of power. However, thanks to a handful of new advancements in engine technology, V6 engines now produce similar power ratings to many V8s, but with better fuel economy.

“New technologies are enabling better performance out of the V6 engines, with the added benefit of fuel economy over the V8,” says IHS Engine Analyst Jeff Jowett. “Direct Injection and turbocharging are just two examples of how automakers are getting more out of V6s”

Looking at Ford’s twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine in the Ford F-150, power is rated at 365-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That V6 makes more power than Ford’s current 5.0L V8 and is almost up to the torque ratings of Ford’s 6.2L V8. Not only that, but the EcoBoost engine in the 4WD F-150 gets at least two miles per gallon more than the V8 offerings. Furthermore, the EcoBoost V6 is selling more than V8.

As much as consumers want better fuel economy in their vehicles, the government has an important factor in automakers cutting V8s from the range. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are looming over automakers, forcing them to reduce the average fuel economy of their whole fleet of vehicles. Automakers are expected to bring the average fuel economy up to 54.5 mpg by 2025, an increase of over 50 percent from 2016’s proposed average of 35.5mpg. Killing off the gluttonous V8 is the easiest option for increasing a company’s CAFE number.


“’Where do we need a V8?’ That’s what the automakers are going to be asking themselves right now,” said Jowett. Ford has defied conventional wisdom and proven that a V6 can match or even out-sell a V8 in a pickup truck. Considering that success, Ford’s rivals may follow suit.

Sports cars and performance oriented vehicles are the next to be scrutinized. What kind of performance can be attained with a V8, that can’t be done with a modern V6? Look at the iconic American muscle cars like the Camaro, Challenger and Mustang. All of them are available with a V6, but is that the answer?

“For the purists, I don’t see them losing the V8 in performance cars,” said Devin Lindsay, HIS powertrain analyst. “It always needs to be an option.”

However with the automotive industry gaining more of a global mindset, engines can be different from region-to-region. Ford’s Mustang is rumored to land in Europe, but with an optional EcoBoost engine, but its success will be difficult without a V8. “The V8 just adds authenticity to it, that’s what makes it American” said Lindsay. Vehicles from Maserati, and the Chevrolet Corvette have the big V8 engine to thank for their distinct performance characteristics and personality. It just wouldn’t be the same without a big eight-cylinder engine.

That means that the V8 is most likely to disappear from the range of sedans. The Chrysler group, has already made progress with this by providing the solid 3.6L V6 as an alternative to the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger sedans. According to, a site devoted to Chrysler Group news, the Pentastar V6 is slated to be mated to turbochargers in the next few years. A twin-turbo version of the V6 would put out somewhere near 420-hp, while a single turbo model is estimated to net 370-hp. Advancements like this would make the V8 that used to reside in Chrysler products look ancient in comparison.


Turbochargers aren’t the only thing threatening V8s. Gas-electric hybrid powertrains are sitting in places where V8s would normally be used. Lexus is making that move in its RX450h crossover and GS450h luxury sport sedan. These vehicles use a combination of a V6 engine  and electric motors to provide a feel that’s comparable to a V8, but with far better fuel economy.

Diesel is another alternative that’s being explored to replace V8 torque, although adoption in North America has been slow. European automakers like Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz offer diesel V6s in bigger vehicles that would traditionally use V8s. The diesel engines in the Volkswagen Toureg TDI and the Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC both offer a generous amount of torque and are competitive against the V8 competition, and still offer some towing capability at a price-point similar to that of a V6.


“We’ve heard it all before” said Jowett, and he’s not alone in suggesting prophecies of the death of the V8 are premature. Still, as technology and advancements in engine efficiency continue, the V6 will continue to catch up to the power of the V8, while delivering more miles per gallon. The V8 may not yet be dead in sports cars or trucks and utility vehicles, but it may become the option in a minority of them, while the V8’s days under the hood of a sedan have most certainly come to an end.

  • Dave R

    Bullshit! Long live the V8!

  • Alfred Bundy

    American Muscle! V8 Hemi!!!!!!!!!!

  • Douglas Shanko

    Direct injection is the future with high compression turbo charged and eventually 200 hp per cylinder.
    My wifes new optima SX Turbo is a 2.0 liter with a dual scroll turbo direct injected at 10.1 compression.
    Peak hp at 1750-3500 rpms is 274 with 269 torque.  The non direct injected v8s hit optimum hp and torque at the high end of the range.  The optima is 0-60 timed 5.9-6.5 depending who is driving.
    I see the future hitting on 2 cylinders with electric wheel assists for a all wheel drive configuration with hp ranges over 500.  In addition to a nitro kit we can add another 100.   Economy could be high if we have stop start and a 8 speed auto transmission.  Todays corvette with a natually aspirated engine 6 speed auto and 430 hp gets 26 highway.   Add direct injection cylinder deactivation and 8 speed auto and epa could be mid 30s.   Just imagine 20 years from today. I will be alive hopefully driving a new vehicle at a ripe age of 85.

  • Squido

    Iet.’m old enough to remember when the convertible was dead. The Camaro was dead and rose from the grave. The Corvette v8 will be around as long as there is a Corvette. The only thing better than cubic inches is cubic feet. Squido

  • Michael Leonard

    Good riddance. The country gets more overcrowded, and the solution is 400 horsepower vehicles for the penis deficient.  Perhaps we need to have the gas guzzler tax due when annual plate fees are due. 

  • Alfred Bundy

    eco green pussy liberal dbag.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. * is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of, 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked