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A tale of deactivating cylinders: After 25 years GM finally succeeded with its Active Fuel Management
For the history-minded, there's a short, interesting article on AutoWeek's website about GM's early difficulties and eventual success with their cylinder deactivation system. The article starts with GM's failed attempt at rolling out their first production engine with the system installed under the Cadillac badge called V8-6-4 in 1981. The system had so many problems that Cadillac dealers often disconnected it because there was no known fix.