Finitè: General Motors’ Northstar V-8 to End Production in July 2010
General Motors' Northstar V-8 has been a stalwart in its product lineup since its introduction in 1992 on the 1993 Cadillac Allante. The engine has made appearances in everything from various Oldsmobiles to Cadillac's Le Mans Prototype. However, production of the engine is scheduled to cease this July, and no direct replacement is planned.
Today, the engine is currently only used in three vehicles in GM's North American lineup - the Cadillac DTS and STS, and the Buick Lucerne Super. The DTS is offered only with the 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 and the STS is offered with GM's 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 as its base engine. The Lucerne Super's sole powertrain is the Northstar.
For 2011, Cadillac is moving the STS to a single powertrain, pairing the V-6 with a six-speed automatic. Given that the V-8 only outpaced the V-6 in torque figures (315 pound-feet versus 272 for the V-6), the move to a single powertrain isn't too surprising. The V-6 is arguably a superior engine, producing only 16 fewer horsepower than the V-8, but eclipses its fuel economy ratings by 3 mpg all around.
The 2011 DTS and Lucerne will continue to use the Northstar V-8, even though production of the engine ends in July. This news suggests that GM plans to finish the engine's run with enough supply to finish out the DTS and Lucerne's respective 2011 model year. It also suggests that the DTS may be dead after the 2011 model year, but that remains a speculation. Coincidentally, the DTS/STS-replacing XTS is rumored to go into production as a 2012 model.
No direct replacement for Cadillac's Northstar V-8 is planned, leaving us to wonder which engine will power the upcoming top-level XTS and any future super-Caddys. The company's small blocks and direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 "adequately cover" the Northstar's place in GM's engine portfolio, according to a GM spokesman. It was rumored earlier to be a twin-turbo version of the 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6, but no such engine has been confirmed by GM.