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Four-cylinder and electric instead of the V8 in the USA

Four-cylinder and electric instead of the V8 in the USA

In the new third-generation full-size SUV, a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder petrol engine replaces the previous 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6. The 5.23-meter SUV is based on a front-wheel drive platform and comes with all-wheel drive as an option.


The new generation of massive Chevrolet Traverse is only available with four-cylinder engines.

Ford Mustang GTD
Harry Kane

Legal requirements are the main reason for the increased use of smaller, more economical engines and the strong focus on electric vehicles. Starting in 2035, California wants to ban new registrations for cars with internal combustion engines. A measure by the California Air Resources Board (CARA) states that, as of this date, all new vehicles sold in California will no longer have tailpipe emissions. By 2026 it should be 35 percent, by 2030 68 percent, and by 2035 100 percent of newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles should be zero-emissions. Six other states have adopted California’s plan.

US customers who buy a new high-consumption car also have to pay consumption tax. However, the so-called “gas tax” does not apply to SUVs and vans, as the guidance dates back to 1978 and these segments were considered pure work vehicles at the time.

In addition to car buyers, manufacturers also have to pay if their cars consume too much fuel. GM had to pay $128.2 million (about 117.2 million euros) for 2016 and 2017, and up to Stellantis $235.5 million (about 215.3 million euros) for the period from 2018 to 2019. Penalties are collected for each model that does not meet the standard and are multiplied by the number of vehicles damaged . The NHTSA operates a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program and steadily increases the fine.

Stellantis stops the Hemi-V8

So it’s no surprise that all three major American manufacturers are phasing out the eight-cylinder models. A dying piece of American automotive heritage. General Motors is currently developing the new – perhaps the last – generation of the small block V8. This will be built as long as there is demand.

At Stellantis North America, formerly Chrysler, Hemi V8 engines will disappear from the engine range over the next few years. The Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 models, which are based on the old and repeatedly revised Daimler-Chrysler platform, are nearing the end of production. In 2024, the new Charger Coupe will come with an electric motor only.

A new six-cylinder petrol engine, dubbed the Hurricane, is gradually replacing the naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V8 in the Stellantis range. On the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, the old 6.4-liter V8 is only available on the base model As of the 2023 model year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L stretch are no longer available with a V8 under the hood in the U.S. Customers can choose between an aspirated V6 naturally or a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid engine. cylinder.

Shortly before it was replaced at the end of the 2023 model year, the old Dodge Durango was still available with a 5.7-liter V8, a 6.4-liter V8 in the SRT 392 and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in the SRT Hellcat.

Powerful models herald the end of the eight-cylinder

Before General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler said goodbye to the naturally aspirated or compressor-powered eight-cylinder, there were still a few SUVs and pickups with V8s. The Jeep Wrangler 392, Ram 1500 TRX, Cadillac Escalade V, and Ford F-150 Raptor R make up the eight-cylinder powerhouses in their series. Under the hood of the Wrangler’s rival Bronco, Ford is installing not an eight-cylinder, but a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6.

The 6.2-liter V8 is used in GM’s full-size SUVs such as the Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, or GMC Yukon. In competitors Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, the only engine is the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 petrol engine.

On the pickup side of the full-size segment, breathless V8s are still available on all Big Three models. The Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 offer a wide range of engines. Ford and Ram compete with the Raptor R and TRX for best-in-class performance. Both have power packs of over 700 hp under the hood, accelerating the heavyweight to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. Thus, manufacturers demonstrate their expertise in developing high-performance eight-cylinder engines.

A big chain leads to an electric future

Chevrolet, Ford, and Stelantis have already introduced electric counterparts to some of their SUV and pickup models: the Ram 1500 REV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and Ford F-150 Lightning. The Cadillac Escalade also gets an electric counterpart with the 2024 Escalade iQ.

With the successor to the Lightning, previously known only under the name Project T3, Ford is building a pickup truck on a custom electric architecture for the first time in 2025 and intends to continue the F-Series’ decades of success.

Well, the big engines are no longer up to date.Tragically, the American heritage is disappearing.

From the naturally aspirated V8 to the turbocharged four-cylinder or exclusively electric: in the USA, the Big Three will sort out their full-size engines in the coming years. Before that, the Hellcat, Coyote and LT engines are allowed to really live up to the high-performance models. The time begins when in many cases the series is divided into combustion model and electric model. These share a model name, but technically they don’t have anything in common.