It's been a good run, Northstar, but every good thing must come to an end. Yours lasted for an impressive 17 straight years, and these days, that's something to be proud of. Rest in peace.

According to Inside Line, a spokesperson from General Motors has confirmed that it will halt production of the Northstar engine, which first appeared in the 1993 Cadillac Allante, sometime near the end of July. According to GM, there will be enough engines available for a complete 2011 model year.

Of course, that would leave the longstanding DTS without its only available powerplant and the STS without its optional V8 starting in 2012. We contacted GM to see what might be in store for these models moving past the 2011 model year, but pretty much got a predictable "No comment." We were assured, though, that the DTS would be around for 2011 in its current form. After that is anybody's guess.

As General Motors' first V8 engine with overhead camshafts, the Northstar was something of a revelation when it first hit the marketplace. But times change, and GM has a bevy of excellent cam-in-block V8s as well as direct injected V6 engines that ought to be able to fill the large hole left by the Northstar's demise. Stay tuned for more as we hear it.

[Source: Inside Line, General Motors]