7. Cadillac L62 V8-6-4 Engine
Back in the early 80’s, when fuel efficiency and cost savings were the most sought-after imperatives in the car game, manufacturers were experimenting with various engine and drivetrain options. Oldsmobile went the diesel route by introducing the notoriously bad 4.3-liter V8. They followed it with the even better 5.7-liter V8. However, Cadillac decided to install a fancy electronic cylinder deactivation system on their gasoline V8s.
The idea was like today’s modern systems in many of the newer models with big engines. When cruising around town, the car would use only four cylinders. It would deactivate the rest electronically, stopping fuel delivery and shutting down the spark plugs. When the driver needed more power, the car would activate two more cylinders.
This would make the engine a V6. When the driver pushed the throttle to the end, all eight cylinders would fire up to deliver full power. Everything looked good on paper at least, and their customers were interested.
Problems started as soon as they delivered the first models. One reason was that the electronic system was unreliable and the engine had a tendency to get stuck in one mode, often as a four-cylinder. After a few years on the market, Cadillac discontinued this option, but it took a long time to recover from its lost reputation.