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GM invests Β£36m to safeguard V8 production

General Motors invests in the future of its biggest engines as Europe downsizes

By Sam Sheehan / Friday, January 17, 2020

General Motors has invested $46.7 (£36m) into two production sites for its V8 motors, increasing the maximum possible output for its 5.3- and 6.2-litre engines and making those of us across the pond evermore jealous. GM’s Spring Hill facility in Tennessee takes the lion’s share of investment with $40m headed its way, with the remaining cash going to its Tonawanda site in New York state. The latter is already home to production of the small-block 6.2 LT2 that provides Chevrolet’s C8 Corvette with 495hp, but is expected to produce higher-powered variants later on as well.

While the vast majority of this latest investment will benefit GM’s higher volume 5.3, which goes into pick-ups and SUVs such as the Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban, the future of GM’s line-up of 6.2s looks equally safe. Tonawanda has received ongoing injections of cash to fund its expansion, suggesting V8s of both capacities will remain on the engine line up of GM’s brands for years to come. Suffice it to say, it provides a stark contrast to the situation in Europe.

Only last week, BMW’s R&D boss revealed that the brand’s V8 and V12 engines were likely to be replaced by inline sixes due to tightening emissions limits in China. While AMG is set to swap V8 for hybrid four-cylinder hardware in its next 63 generation for similar reasons. Porsche has gone further with the development of pure electric versions of its future Cayman and Boxster models, while the Macan is to be EV only. It leaves GM’s approach looking comparably antiquated, but that won’t stop us feeling a pang of envy.

Arguably, those to benefit most from GM’s investments are the workforce. Michael Youngs, Spring Hill plant director, said: “This investment further solidifies GM’s commitment to our team and jobs for our community,” before adding that “when [GM’s] products are in high demand by customers, this team is ready” to step up to the plate. Here’s to hoping that some of the additional V8 supply finds itself aboard ships on their way to Blighty – even if only in crate form for a few plucky shed projects.

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