Steane Klose | Feb 15, 2008

Is the V8 on the road to extinction? A recent study in the U.S. conducted by Edmunds, suggests that the popularity of the V8 is on the decline. More and more new car buyers are choosing smaller engined alternatives, no-doubt in response to record fuel prices.

In fact, the results of the study have indicated that consumer demand for V8 power has dropped from 19 percent (in 2006) to 15 percent. Gas guzzling V8 powered SUV’s have born the brunt of the backlash down 6 percent over the same period from 24 percent to 18 percent along with large V8 powered sedans which saw interest fall from 36 percent to 29 percent over the last two years.

The most famous of all V8’s, Chrysler’s HEMI is not immune to the changes in consumer sentiment either, with actual installation rates of the HEMI down 38 percent in 2007.

Only full-size pickups showed expected growth in V8 fitment according to the Edmunds data, although this result was tempered with the acknowledgment that this segment is actually shrinking as recreational purchasers choose smaller vehicles, leaving an increasing amount of full-size pickup sales to business users who are more likely to want a V8.

Australia on the other hand is experiencing healthy demand for V8 equipped vehicles, partly due to the fact that we are well and truly used to being robbed blind at the fuel bowser and have become somewhat immune to the recent increases, apparently taking them in our stride. It should not be assumed that this will be the case forever though, as fuel prices, environmental issues and inevitable legislation changes, make building V8 powered cars increasingly less viable.

[Source: Edmunds - Insideline]

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