The Northstar V8 has been a great engine for General Motors, but there's no denying that it's past its prime. GM had been working on an engine program to replace the Northstar with a new high-tech DOHC V8 for its luxury cars, but revealed today that the program's been cancelled. It's kind of easy to see why, as the General's 3.6L direct-inject V6 offers V8-like horsepower with less weight and better fuel economy. In fact, we bet more people choose the 3.6L DI V6 when ordering a Cadillac STS than the 4.6L Northstar V8 since the former is only down 14 horsepower on the latter (320 vs 306). Wouldn't you? And when an honest-to-goodness V8 is really needed, say in a performance model like the CTS-V, GM's got plenty of Corvette engines from which to choose that get exemplary fuel economy on the highway. And that's really what all this is about: looking ahead to the day when a 35 mpg CAFE standard has to be met. Gone will be the days when top-level luxury cars were offered with V8 engines just because they were the most powerful and torquey motors of the time. If the same power can be achieved in a lighter, more efficient V6, expect most automakers to start ditching V8s quickly. Acura's never had one, and the upcoming Lincoln MKS isn't getting one. So is it really surprising that GM may scale back on offering V8 engines, as well? To be clear, the only thing announced today was that a program to develop a new DOHC V8 has been cancelled by GM. Without another overhead cam V8 to take the Northstar's place, however, we think the times they are a changin'. Now, imagine a Cadillac powered by a diesel V8...

[Source: Automotive News]