2008 Cadillac CTS | Photo: Alex Nunez

It all changed on December 19, according to Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor. That's when President Bush signed the bill that made increased CAFE standards a reality. The revised fuel economy requirements mean that the days of widespread V8 power at Cadillac are all but over. This all dovetails neatly with GM's announcement that the DOHC "Ultra V8," a replacement for the aging Northstar, has been canceled. The Northstar will go out of production permanently in 2010.

Instead of the traditional V8, look for expanded use of the powerful direct-injected 3.6L V6 currently available in the CTS and STS. A caddy without a V8 might seem odd, but we thought the same thing when Lincoln announced the MKS wouldn't get eight cylinders underhood, either. That appears to be working out fine, and we're inclined to believe Cadillac will also have no problem making the transition. The DI V6 makes more than 300 horsepower in its current form anyway, and the General's pushrod V8s will still be around to service the Escalade and low-volume niche vehicles like the V-Series cars if needed. Automotive News says that the 2.9L turbodiesel in development for the European CTS could also be used Stateside when the time comes. Sounds good to us. A refined, punchy diesel and the excellent DI V6 would do well carrying Caddy's mainstream lineup into the post-V8 era, particularly when little to no power will be sacrificed along the way.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]