By Nat Shirley
Monday, Sep 3rd, 2012 @ 2:04 pm
 
Last week, Chrysler/Fiat Sergio Marchionne predicted that the new 54.5 mpg CAFE standard will soon cause V8 engines to become as "rare as white flies." It seems that the outspoken exec might be on to something, as new comments from Infiniti's global president Johan de Nysschen indicate that the luxury brand is planning to eliminate the V8 from its lineup entirely.

"I don't think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan," de Nysschen told motoring.com.au. Like Marchionne, de Nysschen believes the upcoming CAFE fuel economy regulations, in addition to strict emissions and efficiency standards in other countries, will simply be too hard to comply with if eight-cylinder motors are used.

The news means that the successors to Infiniti's current V8-powered vehicles - the FX50, QX56 and M56 - will use downsized engines with forced induction, and possibly even hybrid powertrains.

De Nysschen, who previously was the head of Audi's U.S. division, believes that German luxury automakers will eventually follow Infiniti's lead and do away with the V8 altogether. The Infiniti chief also issued a grim prediction concerning the future of performance vehicles in general, saying that he expects that the current crop of mega-horsepower vehicles will soon disappear, never to be replaced.

"There will be much focus on fuel consumption and emissions, and horsepower figures are going to come down," de Nysschen said. "The 600 horsepower engines that you see today that are regrettably rare - those are the real top performance cars right now - will become extinct."



Photo by Mark Elias