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Caddy V-8 is endangered species


Jamie LaReau
and Richard Truett

Automotive News | January 7, 2008 - 12:01 am EST


DETROIT — The big, powerful V-8 engines that have been a mainstay of Cadillac's big sedans since the late 1930s are fading away, victims of the move to fuel efficiency.

Cadillac's trademark V-8 engine will give way to smaller high-tech V-6s — and possibly some diesel engines — in Cadillac's cars.

In an interview with Automotive News, Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor said last week that Cadillac is considering a 2.9-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel for its mainstream U.S. sedans.

Taylor's revelation came in the wake of General Motors' announcement last week that it has dropped plans to replace the Northstar V-8, which goes out of production in 2010. The Northstar has powered Cadillacs since 1993.

It's all part of the new world of high fuel prices, rising fuel economy standards and pressure to reduce emissions.

"On Dec. 19, the world changed," Taylor said. That's when President Bush signed a law mandating a 40 percent fuel-economy improvement by 2020.

In the future, Cadillac's mainstream sedans probably won't offer V-8 engines, Taylor said. Instead, the CTS and the successor to the STS and DTS will be powered by the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that went on sale in 2007.

In 2009, the new 2.9-liter diesel goes into production for Cadillac's CTS to be sold in Europe. Cadillac also could use that engine in U.S. models, Taylor said.

Simlar performance
In the 2008 Cadillac STS, the performance of the V-6 engine rivals that of the V-8.

3.6-liter V-6
Horsepower: 304
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/26 highway
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds

4.6-liter Northstar V-8
Horsepower: 320
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/24 highway
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds
Source: Cadillac


After 2010, Cadillac could use a pushrod V-8 in its Escalade SUV and also in niche vehicles like the CTS-V and XLR roadster.

Marketers once considered a V-8 engine an essential selling tool for the luxury market. But in a world of $100-per-barrel oil, those days may be gone. Lincoln, for example, does not offer a V-8 in its MKS sedan.

And the percentage of Cadillac buyers who want a V-8 is declining. Only 10 to 15 percent of Cadillac buyers insist on a V-8, while the others choose the V-6 powertrain.

"You have such a narrow gap now in terms of performance ... that smart consumers are saying, 'I don't need it,' " Taylor says.

Dealers appear to accept Cadillac's decision to reduce the size of its engines. At Moore Cadillac in Richmond, Va., two-thirds of buyers choose a V-6. They feel they get better fuel economy while achieving near-equal performance, says owner Jacques Moore.

"The V-6 is adequate today for virtually all of Cadillac's sedan fleet," Moore says.

While the V-6 gasoline engine enjoys wide acceptance, a diesel-powered Cadillac might prove risky — at least in marketing terms. In the early 1980s, Cadillac had a brief, disastrous experience selling diesel-powered cars, with powerplants hastily modified from gasoline engines.

But that was then.

Today, Mercedes sells a diesel version of its E-class sedan in the United States, and BMW plans to introduce diesels here. Cadillac's compact 60-degree European diesel, made in Italy by VM Motori, would be competitive. The engine will generate 250 hp and 406 pounds-feet of torque — performance comparable to a V-8.

While Cadillac could accommodate a diesel in its U.S. fleet, Taylor says it probably would remain a niche product. "As long as BMW and Mercedes are going to have (diesel engines) and market them, those guys will lead the charge," Taylor notes.

In the future, hybrid powertrains may replace V-8 engines as a mark of prestige, Taylor says. This summer, Cadillac dealers get the Escalade hybrid. GM has not announced pricing, but a fully loaded Escalade now sells at about $67,000.

Asked whether customers would pay $70,000 for a hybrid Escalade, Taylor says yes. Someday, hybrid powertrains might become the new V-8, he says.

"The world changed with the signing of the new fuel economy bill," Taylor says. "That's the new world."



SOURCE: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080107/ANA03/801070342/1182&template=printart
 

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As I posted somewhere else Lincoln will get the last laught, but the time for and exclusive V8 for Caddy are over. I think Caddy will have some V8 but ones currenty use with its sister brands like the LS engines.

As Ive been reading in other forums people think that the domestic are the ones that will suffer when the new Cafe rules get here in 12 years but I think that the ones that will suffer are going to be Luxury Automakers like BMW and Mercedes since they cannot spread the development cost like GM or Ford unless they spread the cost and develop the engines with other manufacturers but as things are looking the Auto Industry will be a completly different arena in the next 5 to 10 years
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As I posted somewhere else Lincoln will get the last laught, but the time for and exclusive V8 for Caddy are over. I think Caddy will have some V8 but ones currenty use with its sister brands like the LS engines.

As Ive been reading in other forums people think that the domestic are the ones that will suffer when the new Cafe rules get here in 12 years but I think that the ones that will suffer are going to be Luxury Automakers like BMW and Mercedes since they cannot spread the development cost like GM or Ford unless they spread the cost and develop the engines with other manufacturers but as things are looking the Auto Industry will be a completly different arena in the next 5 to 10 years

As for the Germans, it is not always appreciated that one of them, BMW, pays the highest fees to the EPA for "gas guzzlers". This has been the case for some time. But unlike Cadillac, both BMW and Mercedes sell well all over the world. They can spread their development costs over a far larger market than can GM/ Cadillac. It is probably true that the vast majority of these brands sales globally are 6's, but they also offer highly regarded, refined, advanced V8's in their higher models. It is here were Cadillac, and by extention the USA, will not be represented.
 
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