High fuel prices have car buyers looking away from V8 engines in favor of smaller, more efficient powertrains. GM is looking to feed the increased demand with an expansion of its Ramos, Mexico plant that builds its 3.6L V6 engines. The planned increase in output will allow the General to increase production of its next generation V6 engines an additional 350,000 units to a whopping 940,000 engines per year. The next generation HFV6 engines will also provide more of everything customers want, including improved fuel economy and a 6% increase in power. The engines will likely feature direct injection across the lineup this time. There is no word at this time if GM will change the displacement size for the next-gen HFV6 engines, but we did hear a couple weeks back that a Cadillac CTS wagon may feature a smaller 3.0L version of the engine in base form.

The HFV6 production increase was announced at the opening ceremony for Ramos' new six-speed transmission plant, which will also supply slush boxes for FWD crossovers and cars. The transmissions will replace the long in the tooth four-cogs (Yay!) and increase efficiency by up to 7 percent.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd, via AutoblogGreen]