While other manufacturers, notably Ford and General Motors, have been canceling programs to develop new V8 engines, Honda may be yet again be hearing the beat of a different drummer. Automotive News is reporting that Honda's Takeo Fukui has confirmed that the next-generation Acura RL will be powered by the company's first production V8 engine. Even in with high fuel prices, Acura and its dealers apparently feel that that a V8 is necessary to compete with other German and Japanese luxury brands. Acura sales are down over 15 percent in 2008 and the current RL with a 3.7L V6 has never been a strong seller despite having competitive performance. It is believed that the image a V8 projects is necessary to compete in this segment. In all likelihood, if Honda has produce a V8, they will do something different with it that will set it apart and provide better fuel efficiency. Perhaps Honda will do a small displacement V8 (3.0-3.5L) with its IMA hybrid system.
Nonetheless, General Motors canceled plans earlier this year to produce a new Ultra V8 for Cadillac to replace the current aging NorthStar. Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor explained the reason as falling demand for V8s with increased sales of six cylinder engines. It will be interesting to see if Honda has made a mistake here.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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