Pushrods Rule! GM Cancels New V8

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed

General Motors has canceled development of it's new Ultra V8, originally set for production at its Tonawanda engine plant. You hurt your what? The little-known Ultra V8 was the engine slated to replace the aging but iconic Northstar V8. Nestling in the noses of big Caddies and the Buick Lucerne, the Northstar has become something of a red-headed step-child: a DOHC humbly going about its business while the small block, pushrod LS3 and LS7 engines screamed for– and got– all the attention. As the Cadillac CTS-V has done right well with the LS6 V8, the General may be itching to try out the LS in other models. While the idea of a pushrod in a luxury car isn't new (think Bentley Arnage), DOHCs are generally considered a better fit for [alleged] luxury brands like Caddy and Buick, owing to their mellower sonic signature and smooth revving nature. Which leaves us with… a Buick with a Corvette engine? It's happened before; the 94-96 Buick Roadmaster had a 265hp version of the LT1 (as did the Caddilac Fleetwood and Chevrolet Impala SS and Caprice).

Samir Syed
Samir Syed

Please visit my homepage for all things me.

More by Samir Syed

Join the conversation
4 of 34 comments
  • Durailer Durailer on Jan 04, 2008

    To further Steve Biro's and whatdoiknow1's comments: For a long time, Jaguar offered no V8s, but did offer inline sixes and V12s, skirting the need for completely different designs. It's no secret that a lot of GM's V6s came from V8s, and remained in production long after their big brothers bit the dust. Oldsmobile offered a great V6 version of the Northstar, but that engine disappeared with the rest of the brand. Meanwhile, with Tata's possible Jaguar and LandRover purchase, they may want to get their hands on a DOHC V8 that they can call their own. If Tata bought Northstar, it'd be eerily reminiscent of Buick's aluminum V8 sold to Rover in the '60s. GM actually tried to buy it back (it's a distant relative to the 3800 series), but Rover (and Ford's LandRover) kept using it into this century. Anyhow, with all the new players on the scene, Northstar will find a buyer.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 04, 2008

    durailer: Wouldn't Ford sell the rights to the AJ 4.0L V8 for that hefty asking price? Hopefully Ford--like GM and the LS's--will use their well regarded homegrown modular V8s in more premium Fords (cough, Lincolns) now...

  • Jurisb Jurisb on Jan 05, 2008

    If hp versus displacement doesn`t matter, why did honda bother to run their asses off for the NSX coupe without a turbocharger? Slap a turbo, work on that jet lag and save bucks. Why type R is pure breather not turbo ? A company that can make 100hp or more out o 1 liter without loosing warranty , reliability and durability is perceived as a sensei of engine building.

  • Virtual Insanity Virtual Insanity on Jan 07, 2008

    Jurisb: What you fail to realize is that at the end of the day, a car that has 100hp/Liter puts that power down the exact same way as a car with a bigger motor at 75hp/Liter. The actual power being put down at the wheels is what maters, not some random number that has little bearing on performance numbers. Oh, and yeah, Honda motors are all well and great with power production, as long as you yearn to drive above 6000rpm all the time.