Hyundai Is the Latest to Kill V8s, Replacing Them With Twin-Turbo V6s
The Korean automaker will no longer build the Tau engine formerly available in its luxury sedans.
When you think V8s, it's likely that the first thing that comes to mind is classic American muscle, or perhaps big pickup trucks with plenty of torque to get heavy jobs done. You'd be forgiven for not jumping immediately to thoughts of Hyundai and its obscure luxury sedans. The Korean brand had a V8 engine of its very own by the name of Tau, but no longer—CarAdvice reports the automaker will phase them out by the end of 2021.
The news comes as Hyundai's luxury offshoot Genesis announces the new G90, with Korean outlet AutoDahm reporting the new model will sport a 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 as its flagship engine. The current model G90 was the last application of the Tau V8, with the Kia K9 (sold as the K900 in the US) dropping the engine option earlier this year.
The Tau did receive some praise over the years. The original 4.6L multipoint injection model made the Ward's 10 Best Engines List in 2009 and again in 2010, with the later 5.0L direct injection model making the list in 2011. It served in a variety of luxury sedans in the Hyundai stable of companies, as well as the Kia Borrego, the V8 SUV the world forgot.
The Drive test drove a Genesis G90 with the Tau under the hood back in 2017, noting that the 420 horsepower on tap was plenty adequate for cruising around in quiet luxury. The Korean automaker's luxury products, and those of subsidiaries Kia and Genesis, never had sporting pretensions, so the Tau's prowess was barely tested beyond a quick merge onto a fast highway. Our 2020 G90 review came to the conclusion that it was more fit for purpose than the company's smaller turbo V6, given its pleasing burble under load and its smooth-yet-hefty torque delivery.
Given the engine's sole remaining application was in a luxury car few have ever heard of, it's unsurprising to see it phased out moving forward. Combine that with the trends towards smaller displacement engines with better fuel economy, and it's no surprise we've been reporting on the slow demise of the V8 for some years now. While the Hyundai V8 won't be missed by the masses, there's surely at least three or four people worldwide that will be sad to see it go. Half of them may be on the original design team, however.
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