The V8 End is Not Near, at Least in Trucks
Admittedly Ford is EcoBoost crazy these days. There isn’t really a model, aside from their heaviest of duty trucks, that doesn’t offer a turbocharged gas engine as one of the options. With the 2017 Raptor going EcoBoost in lieu of the 6.2L gasoline V8, some have suggested that the end is near for the V8. But I really don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong, my colleague makes a ton of really valid points over in this thread about the death of the V8, but I’ve talked to many trucks manufacturers and none of them think the V8 is going anywhere.
Fuel economy and air pollution standards are, in fact, making it more difficult to make a V8 pickup truck. Some manufacturers are in worse shape about meeting fuel economy standards than Ford is. Even those manufacturers off-the-record acknowledge the difficulties but believe the V8 is here to stay.
Many government and fleet buyers look for V8s. Many of those buyers are under strict orders to get an alternative-fuel vehicle. Compressed natural gas and propane fuels are easily converted to run on a gasoline-powered engine. You may have noticed that V10 in the F-Series comes already prepared for CNG.
Also, in the half-ton F-150, the V8 is the only version of the truck that can be prepped for snow plow duty. While many don’t use half-tons to plow, if you want that option you have to go V8. As much as Ford touts their half-ton plowing ability, I can’t see them taking away that ability any time soon.
Now in sports cars I can see the V8 going away. I can even envision a day when the Mustang doesn’t have a V8 as an option. Yes, I’ll be sad that day. But smaller engines that have turbocharging really do deliver on performance without as big of an emissions or fuel economy sacrifice.
Of course, some manufacturers will dump the V8s before others. Dodge’s CEO Tim Kuniskis just yesterday was saying how his muscle cars will rock V8s for the foreseeable future. So even if Ford was willing to say “No more V8s,” there are other manufacturers out there that’ll cater to your desires.
Don’t forget though, manufacturers are making V8s more and more efficient as time progresses. The last Corvette I was in — a 7th-generation Stingray with an automatic transmission — easily hit 30+ miles-per-gallon on many of the drives I took with it. The General has had a lot of time to perfect their small block V8 and they’ve really found ways to eek out better economy.
Heck, a Dodge Charger Hellcat, making 707 horsepower from it’s supercharged V8 can easily get 22+ miles-per-gallon under normal highway driving. Whether or not you’re a fan of the car, that’s still an impressive statistic.
There are many reasons to still be bullish on the V8 engine. Sure, they’ll eventually go away, but I don’t expect it any time soon.. Heck, I don’t really expect it until we’re all in self-driving cars and don’t care what’s under the hood. Until then, take a deep sigh of relief because our favorite engines aren’t going anywhere.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over in the forums!