Northstar production to end in July 2010

Cadillac has been building the Northstar V-8 in various forms since 1992 – when it debuted in the 1993 Allante convertible.

Today is sees duty in the STS, DTS, and even in the top model of the Buick Lucerne.

We have known for some time that the Northstar was going away, especially in light of the 3.6l DI V-6 that puts out power nearly on par with the 4.6l Northstar. We also know that the plans for a high-tech V-8 to replace the Northstar have been shelved. What we didn’t know is exactly when the production would end.

It now appears that July 2010 will see the last Northstar produced.

This, however, does not spell the end of the DTS (which is only powered by the Northstar), though it likely does see the last of the V-8 STSes (recent info in the dealer ordering guide has shown no reference to a V-8 STS for some time now). GM is rumored to be building enough of the engines to supply the DTS through the 2011 model year – which will match nicely with the expected 2012 introduction of the XTS (which is now seen more as a DTS replacement than the DTS/STS merger it was rumored to be). The STS is predicted to go out of production relatively soon as well.

When the XTS takes over, it will be V-6 only, but details on if a forced-induction V-6 will be available or if the hybrid powertrain shown in the concept will see the light of day remain to be seen.

This will leave Cadillac with an abbreviated lineup for some time while work continues on a new flagship sedan later in the decade and a new ATS to slot at the lower end in a couple years. It also remains to be seen if the new GM will see fit to dust off the new V-8 and put it into production anytime soon – but we would be surprised to see a new flagship debut and attempt to compete against the BMW 7-series or Mercedes S-class and not have a range-topping engine to lend it credibility.

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