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For the first time in many years, the engineers at Holden, GM's Down Under division, have cut the power of a V8 engine in the big Commodore sedan. The 6.0L V8 automatic transmission combination in the Commodore is now equipped with Active Fuel Management, GM's terminology for cylinder deactivation. The system allows four cylinders to be shut off at light load conditions. In the Commodore (which is sold in North America as the Pontiac G8) the power drops from 362 hp to 349 hp while combined fuel

Sure, it's possible to argue about the long-term benefits of ethanol, but GM's announcement that their new 3.9L V6 engine will be a flexible fuel engine is the less exciting of the two bits of news. The second announcement, that the 3.9L V6 will have cylinder deactivation, is really a good idea that is hard to argue with. This is the introduction of cylinder deactivation, called Active Fuel Management (AFM) by GM, in V6 engines. It has been available in V8s for three years.