We've mentioned the Chevrolet Performance catalogue on PH before, how it's like an Argos for grown-ups that only has the toy section. A really big toy section full of enormous and not very expensive V8 engines for buyers to do whatever the heck they like with. Now, with Christmas just a couple of months away, the catalogue has been updated with Chevrolet's most powerful crate engine ever. Turns 2021 might not be such a bad year after all.
'The ZZ632/1000 is a 632 cubic-inch V8 delivering 1,004 horsepower'. That's how Chevrolet begins its press release on the engine, and it really is a sight for sore eyes. It's hard to think of what more you might need to know, aside from 'how do I get one?' and 'why isn't it here yet?' - but there are a few more crucial details to share.
For those not too hot on cubic inches, 632 works out at 10.3 litres. Or almost twice the size of the Voodoo engine in a Mustang GT500. Each of the eight cylinders has a bore of 4.6-inches (or 117mm) and a stroke of 4.75-inches (121mm), so they're more like cannons than combustion chambers. With a stroke not much greater than the bore the ZZ632 revs, too, with that ludicrous power peak made at 6,600rpm before a maximum engine speed of 7,000rpm. And 10.3-litres of V8 at 7,000rpm promises to be quite the experience.
Torque is rated at 876lb ft at 5,600rpm, or more than three times that of a Golf GTI. The ZZ632/1000 uses a cast iron block, naturally, with CNC-machined aluminium heads and forged aluminium pistons; the crank and con rods are forged steel.
What do you with an engine like this? Well, you drag race it, of course. Not least because there's a familiar disclaimer from Chevrolet saying that installation in a street car "is likely to violate U.S., Canadian, and state and provincial laws and regulations related to motor vehicle emissions." Derived from the ZZ572 crate engine that's been used for drag cars all over North America, the ZZ632 has been designed with the same purpose in mind. Only to go even faster. Chevrolet says a single example of this V8 has endured more than 200 simulated quarter-mile runs on a dyno. Presumably they only had to stop because the dyno, rather than the engine, gave up.
This is the biggest, baddest crate engine we've ever built," said Russ O'Blenes, GM director of the Performance and Racing Propulsion Team, which is a fantastic job title if ever there was one. "The ZZ632 sits at the top of our unparalleled crate engine lineup as the king of performance. It delivers incredible power, and it does it on pump gas." Which is strikiing when you consider the feeble state of American petrol. Chevy will exhibit the ZZ632/1000 at SEMA in a couple of weeks' time, presumably with hoards queueing for a closer look and some idea of price. Deliveries will begin early next year; then the builds can commence...
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