You won't find Holden's V8 Statesman with its new Active Fuel Management system (AFM) in the top 100 cars for fuel economy on the Green Vehicle Guide website.
But an 1844 kg sedan with a 260 kW, 6.0-litre V8 that on our highway run only sipped 8.9 litres/100 km of unleaded petrol has to impress.
Holden claims that under standard tests the AFM, fitted to auto versions only, is good for overall savings of about 1.0 litre per 100 km (more on the highway).
AFM under certain light load conditions selectively 'cuts' four cylinders (numbers 1, 7, 4 and 6), turning the V8 into a V4 operation. It doesn't just shut off fuel supply though, an electronic unit, control solenoids and special valve lifters work to hold the inlet and exhaust valves closed on the de-activated cylinders. Switching between modes takes less than 250 milliseconds.
Apart from the AFM dash-light signalling mode switching, the average driver won't under most conditions pick system operation. On smoother roads though, we could pick AFM mode by a slight increase in engine harshness.
But the ability to still deliver muscular performance on demand and a cavernous cabin are likeable traits. The soft suspension tune allows the Statesman to waft comfortably over road blemishes, but turns wallowy when hustling through twists and turns.