Some engines last longer than others. For example, the Ford Windsor small-block engine had a great run, first introduced as the 289 in 1963 and going out as the 5.0 in 2002 in the Explorer of all things. Forty years seems like a long time, but in fact another Ford engine has been in production for fifty years now, the legendary inline-six. Sold both in America and Australia, only the Land Down Under has still been using the engine for the past fifteen years.

Now though, according to GoAuto, the long-lived engine may finally be coming to an end as high emissions standards force its retirement.

Picture: Ford

First introduced to both America and Australia in 1960, the engine was found in many forms. It began life as a 2.4 liter single overhead camshaft engine, and was eventually upgraded to 4.0 liters and dual overhead cams. But unlike America, Australia saw the enormous performance potential of an inline 4.0 liter engine. By adding turbochargers, upgraded camshafts, and other performance bits, they were able to make 416 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs out of the dated design, sticking it into the Falcon, which is also on the endangered species list.

The inline-six has actually staved off discontinuation before, when Australia adapted Euro 4 emissions standards. Ford engineers initially thought upgraded the engine to meet the standards would cost too much money, but they were able to save the engine. But Australia is now considering the Euro 5 standards, which are even more stringent. Ford now offers a much better six-cylinder engine, the 3.7 liter, which powers the base model Mustang. With 305 horsepower on tap, it makes more power than any of the inline-six engines, other than the turbocharged ones. It had to happen sometime, but still, we prepare to bid a fond farewell to stalwart engine.

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