Friday 26th October 2012


Small Block gets new tech to make 450hp

With performance icons left right and centre succumbing to turbocharging, downsizing and all-round CO2 acceptability, it's good to know there's one constant. Yup, Chevrolet has revealed that the new Corvette due the end of next year will be powered by a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated V8.

This is the C7 that may or may not borrow some of the stealthy features of the 2009 Stingray concept – we'll know for sure when it's revealed at the Detroit motor show in early January.

C7 could take cues from 2009 concept
C7 could take cues from 2009 concept
The engine is dubbed LT1 and "represents the most significant redesign in the Small Block's nearly 60-year history" according to Chevrolet. So yes, essentially the same powerplant but now making an "estimated" 450hp instead of 430 in base form and a matching torque figure of 450lb ft.

That'll mean even the entry car will, it's claimed, accelerate to 62mph in under four seconds. So what they're saying is that it'll match the drag times of today's 205mph ZR1, which is pretty impressive for a car that'll cost around $50,000 in the States (£31,000).

New tech on the engine includes direct injection and variable valve timing, as well as active fuel management, which shuts down cylinders under light loads.

Base car almost as quick as today's ZR1
Base car almost as quick as today's ZR1
This allows Chevy to say this is the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever "exceeding" 26mpg (31 UK).

The Corvette has been using a version of this engine right back to 1955, two years after the car was first launched with less-than-muscly straight six. Back then the 4.3-litre V8 made just 195hp.

To dispel any talk that this engine can't cut it with more modern stuff, Chevy says the new unit is 18kg lighter than "a competitor's twin-turbo 4.4L, DOHC V8 with similar output". We're breaking the terms of a superinjunction here, but we can reveal they're talking about BMW. It all means the all-American V8 isn't dead yet, not by a long chalk.

Author: NickGibbs
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