Falling demand for powerful pickups and SUVs plus soaring fuel prices has forced Ford to rethink its big-block V8 program and will likely see it stop production of some powertrain units in coming months. Inside sources have revealed that suppliers have been asked to stop production of a new 6.2L V8 engine that was earmarked for the next-generation F-series pickup range early next year.

The engine has already been cancelled for the new F-150 model and the rest of the F-series Super Duty pickups will likely miss out as well, reports Automotive News. The new big-block engine was planned to go into the next-generation Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator fullsize SUV as well as, and were designed to compete with GM’s range of high-capacity LS engines.

The engine program, originally known as Hurricane and then renamed Boss, was shelved back in 2005 but was reinstated by Ford exec Mark Fields to help boost the carmaker’s performance image. Fields remains confident that the program is still in place, telling media that the program is moving forward but with lower volumes and only one displacement size.

If it survives, the new Boss engine is likely to appear in the 2010 redesigned Mustang and could be downsized to just 5.0L in displacement.