Infiniti will soon stop offering V-8 engines in its luxury cars, according to a new report from Motoring. Newly appointed Infiniti global president Johan de Nysschen revealed at a product launch in Australia that the automaker doesn't see any reason to continue selling V-8 engines in the future.
Because of increasingly stringent fuel economy regulations, de Nysschen says that future Infiniti products will do without V-8 engines. Instead, the company will rely on four- and six-cylinder engines with turbocharging or hybrid drive systems. Those powertrains will provide the power output of a V-8, yet significantly reduced fuel consumption.
"I don't think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan," de Nysschen told Motoring in Australia.
There are currently just three Infiniti vehicles offered in the U.S. with eight-cylinder engines. They comprise the 390-hp 5.0-liter unit in the FX50 crossover, the 420-hp 5.6-liter engine in the M56 sedan, and the 400-hp 5.6-liter mill in the QX56 three-row SUV. The impetus for this change was reportedly spurred by stricter corporate average fuel economy requirements in the U.S.
"I am afraid [CAFE] regulations and emission regulations around the world make the development of V8s as part of a new family of engines almost impossible," Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told Motoring.
The Japanese luxury manufacturer has already demonstrated the potential for downsized engines with its M luxury sedan. The M35h hybrid has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and hybrid drivetrain that produce a combined output of 360 hp, yet the luxury sedan returns 27/32 mpg (city/highway). The 420-hp, V-8-powered M56, by contrast, is rated for only 16/25 mpg with rear-wheel drive, and the 330-hp, V-6-powered M37 manages just 18/26 mpg.
Infiniti also is rumored to use a twin-turbo V-6 engine for its upcoming "Super G" performance coupe. That engine is said to produce as much as 530 hp, but it will likely be somewhat more fuel-efficient than if Infiniti built a V-8 engine with comparable horsepower.
An Infiniti spokesman in the U.S. said he couldn't confirm the report, but suggested that the executives' comments might refer to Infiniti's next generation of V-8 engines. He said that the company's current eight-cylinder mills already use direct fuel injection and variable valve timing to reduce fuel consumption, and pointed to the Infiniti's other eco-friendly efforts like the aforementioned M35h hybrid and upcoming LE electric car.