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General Motors has confirmed that next month it will cease production of the DOHC Northstar V8, one of the most advanced engines the company has ever built. In its place, GM will use stop-gap measures including the current series of direct-injection V6 engines, as well as the company’s small-block V8s which use an archaic overhead-valve system which dates back to 1955.
GM had planned a replacement for the engine, called the Ultra V8 or UV8, but that project was scrapped when GM headed into bankruptcy. According to a report by InsideLine, however, the engine is completely developed and could still be used.
A far more likely alternative, however, is a new twin-turbo V6 motor, designed to rival Ford’s EcoBoost technology. The end of the Northstar V8 is also likely to signal the end for the two models it is used in: the Cadillac STS and DTS.
First launched in the 1993 Cadillac Allante, the 4.6-liter Northstar V8 is currently available as either a 292-hp or 320-hp motor, or when supercharged in cars like the STS-V makes a total of 469-hp.
Cadillac‘s upcoming 3 Series fighter will come standard with a 4-cylinder engine reports GMI, in a bid to keep weight low but more importantly to reduce emissions. But don’t think that means it will be low on power. The 4-cylinder is most certainly going to be a turbocharged unit, along the lines of the 255-hp 2.0T engine offered in the Buick Regal GS.
The next-generation CTS is also set to be equipped with a base 4-cylinder option, although even more exciting engine options are planned including both a V6 and V8. The V8 will be a small block unit currently under development and will find its way into the third-generation CTS-V (which is still a long way off). An ATS-V model is also likely to feature this V8 engine. First, however, we’ll get a taste of GM’s upcoming twin-turbo V6 in the CTS, reportedly displacing 3.0-liters and set to rival Ford’s EcoBoost V6 motor.
A possible match-up to both the twin-turbo V6 and V8 engines would be a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that GM is now researching. We have to think that some sort of 8-speed box will find its way into GM’s Alpha rear-drive cars considering BMW appears poised to run with 8-speed autos in the upcoming 3 Series and Audi will do the same in the A4.
Both the ATS and CTS are based on the same Alpha rear-drive platform, although the CTS underpinnings will be stretched quite a bit. The Alpha platform will also be used for the next-generation Camaro – suggesting it will be smaller and lighter than the current model. It could then also feature smaller turbocharged motors. Even more interesting is news that Buick is looking to utilize the Alpha platform in one of its products. Grand National anyone?
The timeline for these products will have the ATS Sedan launch in 2012, followed by an ATS Coupe and new CTS in 2013, with an ATS Convertible later that year. GM will most likely move ahead with plans for V versions of both the ATS and CTS but don’t look for them until at least 2014.
You knew it would only take time before General Motors took on Ford and its EcoBoost engine, and that time has just about come reports GMInsideNews. According to GMI’s sources inside General Motors, the automaker is currently in development of a 3.0-liter V6 with twin-turbochargers. There’s no word on actual output, but the same sources say it should rival the larger (3.5-liter) Ford powerplant. Ford’s EcoBoost engine makes 365-hp in the SHO and was designed as a V8 replacement.
The engine’s code is LF3, in direct reference to the LF1 direct-injection 3.0L V6 currently offered in several GM products.
Currently GM offers a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 in the Cadillac SRX (above), which makes 300-hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque, so a reasonable bump over that output is certain.
This new twin-turbo V6 is expected in the flagship Cadillac XTS around 2012 and is likely to be used in several other GM products, including the upcoming 3 Series fighter, the ATS. In addition, there’s even a strong possibility that such a motor could find its way into the Camaro – something which was previewed at last year’s SEMA Show, when GM showed a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 stuffed under the hood of the muscle car.