The Corvette faithful are adamant that Chevrolet needs to stick with some kind of V8 engine that’s powered their favorite sports car since the 1955 model.
But Edmunds Inside Line reports that General Motors built 500,000 fewer V8 engines in 2011 than it did five years earlier in 2006.
While some of that decline can no doubt be blamed on reduced sales amidst the economic slowdown, some of it can also be attributed to the drop in fullsize pickup and SUV sales and the current trend of engine downsizing in response to exploding gas prices.
In fact Ford is embracing the smaller-engine trend with its EcoBoost engines, with plans to triple production of 4-cylinders and V6s.
Even Germany’s luxury sport brands like BMW are making no bones about pushing 4-cylinder engines, and Bentley – long known for its massive V12 motors – is giving in to the trend and offering V8 power – even if it is a twin turbo that produces 500-hp.
The overall trend shows that V8 engines do seem to be on the way down for good – with WardsAuto.com reporting V8 sales hit an all-time low in 2010, with only 20.8 percent of vehicles built in North America boasting V8s. That figure did rise to 22.5 percent for 2011 models, but if you look back 10 years to 2001, 26.5 percent of North American-built vehicles had V8s.
Does that mean the Corvette C7 might bow to the times and offer a turbo V6, or will its limited production mean V8 power will live on in 2014?