RIP Northstar


According to Edmunds the Northstar V8 found in many Cadillac models will be done in July, finished.  I remember fondly the two STS sedans my parents owned.  They both had the optional, powered up 4.6 Liter engines and while they seemed to drink some oil they were a joy to put your foot into.  As gracefully as any engine I have had the privilege to run hard it would pull to redline at some 6,000 RPM  and then slip into the next gear, pulling you forward to speeds that were well in excess of the speed limit.  Those were a nice pair of cars.

What I think is most intersting is that they are almost the same engines being discontinued today.  That picture, on the left?  That was available in 1995 and they still sell it in $50.000 luxury cars today.  Evidently there was a replacement, but the whole GM going under and being baled out shelved it.

Perhaps the funny thing is that GM has so many good engines today they don’t even need it.  With the advanced V6 engines available like the 300HP+, 30MPG+ one in the new Camaro and the good ol’ super-evolved (~400HP, upper 20’s MPG) small block V8 from the Corvette GM has the gamut of power trains locked up without the Northstar.  GM can certainly make some excellent engines, in this case, too many.

It is intersting that for just a couple grand more when I bought the ‘stang I could have had a SVT with its Northstar clone, a DOHC 4.6L hand assembled V8 with nearly the same power ratings and power band of the GM equivalent.   Give the GT some extra love in July Dad, its SOHC 4.6L is as close to a Northstar as we are going to be for a while 🙂


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