Is this the end of traditional muscle cars and trucks?
California made a huge and polarizing decision last week. Beginning in 2035, sales of all combustion-engined vehicles will be banned. This doesn't mean it'll be illegal to drive an ICE vehicle in the state, but selling new ones will be a thing of the past. Governor Gavin Newsom even signed the executive order declaring his decision on the hood of a Ford Mustang Mach-E.
And speaking of Mustangs, what does California's decision mean for the future of Ford's V8 engines? After all, they're currently found under the hood of the Ford Mustang and F-150, two of its most popular models. Is the 5.0-liter Coyote V8, for example, now on borrowed time. Ford Authority recently spoke to Ford Vice President and President of the North American region, Kumar Galhotra, about this subject.
So, will Ford continue building V8s? "Yes, absolutely," Galhotra said. How long will it do so? That's a more difficult question to answer. "The transition [from ICE to BEV] is happening before us right now, but when it will happen depends on so many things, like battery costs, fuel cost, and regulation," he said. "The input factors are so numerous that I don't think anybody can predict precisely when it will happen, but the shift is happening."
In addition to the 5.0 V8, Ford also has other eight-cylinder engines in its lineup, among them the 6.2-liter Boss, 5.2-liter Voodoo, 5.2-liter Predator, and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke Scorpion. In short, all of these V8s are safe. For now. California's new law is still nearly 15 years away until it goes into effect, meaning automakers should have plenty of time to prepare.
Ford is clearly on the right track. In 2022, the first-ever all-electric F-150 will arrive and the Mach-E can also be viewed as sort of a test bed regarding the combination of battery electrification and muscle car-like performance and driving.
And remember, California's long go at it alone history of strict environmental regulations has sometimes inspired other states to do the same, despite what federal law dictates. In other words, don't be surprised to see additional states soon follow California's lead.