GM powers up redesigned V-8 engine for 2014 Corvette
(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story overstated the horsepower rating for the current Corvette's base engine.)
DETROIT -- The next-generation Chevrolet Corvette will be powered by a new 6.2-liter small-block V-8 that will produce more horsepower and torque than the current engine and deliver better fuel economy, General Motors said today.
The 2014 Corvette, the seventh generation, scheduled to arrive next fall, will produce at least 450 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque, compared with the 430 hp and 424 pounds-feet of torque that the current 6.2-liter small block delivers in the base Corvette.
The sports car also will beat the 26 mpg rating of the current car and will zip from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, GM says.
Precise specifications will be released closer to the car's launch. GM will unveil the C7 Corvette at the Detroit auto show in January.
GM considered numerous engine options for the next-generation Corvette, including a twin turbo V-6, said Tadge Juechter, the car's executive chief engineer. But the company concluded that it could deliver better power with improved fuel economy by improving the iconic small block V-8 with new technologies that allow it to run more efficiently.
Plus, swapping out the storied small-block V-8 for a V-6 probably would have been a tough sell to the Corvette's rabid fans, Juechter said today during a technical review of the engine for journalists in suburban Detroit.
"When you talk to Corvette customers, the most important part of the car for them is the engine," Juechter said. "They want their Corvette to have a V-8."
GM packed technologies into the new engine, which is the fifth generation of the small block that was introduced in 1955 on the first Corvette. The engine will feature several firsts for Corvette: direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders in light driving conditions.
The addition of direct injection was a key to an improved combustion system that allows the engine to consume fuel more efficiently. The system sprays fuel directly into the cylinders, which more precisely controls the fuel-air mixture.
"Every drop of fuel converted to energy," said Jordan Lee, chief engineer for the small block engine. "By improving efficiency, you get power, you get torque and you get fuel economy."
In addition to the extra horsepower, GM engineers said that the new engine will deliver better power and responsiveness when the engine is running at lower speeds. The torque on the standard 2014 Corvette at an rpm of less than 4,000 will be comparable to the current Corvette Z06, which has a higher-displacement 7.0-liter engine.
The overhead valve engine, which GM has named LT1, was under development for five years. It replaces the fourth-generation small block, which has been produced since 2005.
Versions of the new engine will be used in GM's next generation of pickups and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Those truck are to scheduled to arrive by summer.
At 465 pounds, the new engine will be about 30 pounds heavier than the current small block. But the new technologies more than offset the fuel economy penalty of the added weight, GM engineers said.
The engine will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y.
For GM's press release with photo, click here.
For more in-depth coverage and live photos from our affiliate, Autoweek, click here.
You can reach Mike Colias at firstname.lastname@example.org.