Tony O'Kane | Sep 3, 2008

I'll be honest with you: I hate the BMW X5. It's large, it's thirsty, it's butt-ugly and I'd never buy one. But whenever I clamber aboard a V8-equipped X5 4.8i and stab that plank-like accelerator, I can't help but swoon at the sound of that glorious German bent-eight.

Unfortunately, it seems BMW buyers around the globe are abandoning the pleasures of the company's eight-pot engines in favour of smaller, thriftier four-cylinder mills, prompting the head honchos in Munich to cut V8 production to just one shift every four days.

We don't like where this is going...

The Bavarian automaker's iconic six-cylinder engines are also reportedly under threat, with a total phase-out rumoured to be scheduled for 2011. There's no word on what future BMW has in mind for the M5 and M6's V10 engine, but if the humble six is not long for this world, then one could reasonably assume the V10 motors will soon be going the way of the dodo too.

According to Automotive News, BMW's engine producing capacity will be almost completely devoted to producing four-cylinder motors once 2011 rolls by. It's clear that BMW is keen to expand its green credentials by ditching its gas-guzzling engines, but what isn't so clear is what BMW plans to do with its performance car stable once all of those wonderful powerplants are gone.

Will the M3 return to its four-banger roots? Will the gargantuan M6 get the chop? Is BMW secretly working on some kind of fusion-powered performance engine/reactor that we don't know about? We here at TMR are hoping it's the latter, but for now, the future isn't looking all too good for BMW fanatics.

[Automotive News (subscription required)]

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