5th generation of GM's small-block V-8 will give next Corvette 450 hp
DETROIT -- General Motors will introduce the fifth iteration of its storied Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine next year when it rolls out a faster, more fuel-efficient Corvette.
The 6.2-liter engine scheduled for the seventh-generation Corvette, which should hit showrooms by early fall, will produce at least 450 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque, GM said. That's up from the 436 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. Specifications will be released closer to the car's launch.
GM will unveil the C7 Corvette at the Detroit auto show in January.
GM introduced the original small block, named for its compact design, in 1955 on the first-generation Corvette. The fifth-gen engine has been built from scratch: a couple of starter bolts and a piston pin are the only carryover parts from the current small block, which went into service in 2005.
The new 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 under light loads.
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 is 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."
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 extra mass, GM engineers said.
In addition to the extra horsepower, GM engineers said that the new engine will deliver better power and responsiveness when running at lower speeds.
The overhead-valve pushrod engine, which GM has named LT1, was under development for five years. It will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y.
Versions of the new small block will be used in GM's next generation of pickups and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Those trucks are scheduled to arrive by summer.
GM considered numerous engine options for the redesigned Corvette, including a twin turbo V-6, said Tadge Juechter, the car's executive chief engineer.
"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."
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