Motoring

The V8 is on life support – grave fears held for an icon

Do you have a deep passion for eight-cylinders that form a V shape? During my recent trip to New Zealand I spent a couple of hours burning fuel in the Nissan Patrol V8. But as I hurtled along, I thought to myself – wow this could be one of the last V8s I drive.

Do yourself a favour and go to infrastructure.gov.au, I’d have more chance conversing freely with someone from Mongolia, than explain it all myself. However, the department says “Australia has had road vehicle emission standards for new vehicles in place since the early 1970s and these have been progressively tightened over the past 40 years. The current standards reflect Australia’s commitment to harmonise with the vehicle standards developed by the United Nations wherever possible”.

The department adds, “Over the last 10 years in particular there have been improvements in a number of air quality indicators, and it is generally accepted that the increasing proportion of vehicles meeting tighter emission standards has played a major part in these air quality improvements.”

Basically, the V8 will be wiped out as a result. But there’s nothing to gain yelling or shouting on Twitter about it. It’s a stark reality driven by increasingly draconian regulations overseas. Last September any new Chevrolet vehicle powered by a 6.2-litre V8 was banned in the UK and European Union.

Other countries are proposing a ban on all petrol and diesel cars. Norway has been crapping on about this since 2016, but they are the most informed people on the planet when it comes to EVs. In fact, they have basically smashed petrol or diesel citizens out of the ballpark. Things like a so called “polluter tax” are designed to steer customers in the direction of electric cars. 

Germany plans to do the same thing by 2030 while France is aiming for 2040.

The UK is now headed for 2035 target, but hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) fall under that plan.

We are in for a rocky road if the leaders of this country don’t wake up. However so called “clean” energy will rocket past 40 per cent allegedly and is projected to continue towards a 50 per cent slice of the National Energy Market.

Lexus LX 570 V8

But back to the V8. I’m trying to pinpoint what’s behind such a fierce blowback. I once owned a VE Commodore Calais V, I felt like a king when I drove out of Suttons Holden. There is no better soundtrack than what a solid V8 produces. Have you heard some bloke in a Chrysler 300 SRT let lose in a tunnel? Honestly is sounds like operation desert storm is on the cards.

The V8 to me is all about that deep, beast-like presence, one that can wake up people from several suburbs away. 

In conclusion it’s all about that balance between performance and regulations that we just don’t get a say in. But given Mercedes-Benz can make a four-cylinder produce over 300kW for the A45, let’s all just chill for a bit.

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The V8 is on life support – grave fears held for an icon
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