With All the EV Madness, GM is Investing Nearly $1 Billion…In a New V8?

The good-old V8's not dead yet

(Images: General Motors)

Electrification may be ramping up, but that doesn’t mean the V8 is dead yet.

As automakers (including GM) pour billions upon billions into electrifying their lineups over the coming years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the old internal combustion mills are living on borrowed time. That’s particularly true when at least every other story I cover here on TFLcar.com concerns EVs. But even as it readies cars like the Chevrolet Equinox EV, General Motors isn’t quite done with the good-old V8 just yet. In fact, it’s pouring a substantial sum into a brand new, sixth-generation small-block engine.

How much are they investing? GM announced Monday it’s investing $854 million, so we’re not talking about pocket change here.

Of that total, the lion’s share ($579 million) will go into the company’s Flint engine plant. That facility machines the engine blocks, cranks, heads and assembles the final engine. It will begin work on the plant immediately, but will continue to build the 3.0-liter LZ0 turbodiesel Duramax engine for its half-ton trucks in the meantime.

$216 million will go to GM’s Bay City, Michigan plant, which works on camshafts and connecting rods. It also works on machining blocks and heads. $47 million will go to Defiance, Ohio, which makes block castings. Finally, GM will put another $12 million into its Rochester, New York plant, which builds intake manifolds and fuel rails.

2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray

Exact details are light, but expect more updates soon.

Now, one potential caveat here is that the company only mentioned that the investment would bolster its full-size truck and SUV business. That makes a lot of sense, given the General’s market share in both areas. In fact, GM accounts for nearly two-thirds of the full-size SUV market by sales volume, thanks to a sizable range of models from the Chevy Tahoe through the Cadillac Escalade.

At the end of the day, though, we’re talking about the next small-block V8 here. It’s been a corporate staple (particularly within Chevrolet’s lineup) since 1954, and modern generations of the powerplant live in everything from the Tahoe to the brand-new Corvette.

I’ve honestly been wondering what will happen to the Camaro (as many have) for the past few years…and this gives me pause for thought. Again, nothing is official here, but if Ford’s sticking with a V8-powered Mustang for another generation, perhaps we’ll see some movement on a next-gen Camaro. At any rate, we likely won’t see a sixth-gen small-block in production for a couple years.

When it does arrive, I can’t help but think it will unequivocally be the last of GM’s gas burners. But frankly, at this point, who knows? Even the new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray still uses a small-block V8 at its heart, not to mention the big SUVs mentioned earlier: