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2014 Corvette to be powered by an all-new small-block V-8

Gen 5 small-block builds on legacy of past with addition of high-tech features

Published: October 30, 2012, 8:00 PM
Updated: June 7, 2015, 10:46 AM

The fifth generation of Chevrolet's iconic small-block V-8 engine will adopt such advanced technologies as direct injection, active fuel management and continuously variable valve timing, all in support of an advanced combustion system.

But, unlike almost all other new engines these days, it will also feature a single camshaft with pushrod-operated overhead valves – not overhead cams.

While that configuration may have been chosen primarily for reasons of tradition and cost, there's no denying that it has served the Chevrolet brand, and in particular the Corvette well over its almost 60-year evolution through four generations.

And in its LT1 guise, which will be the powerplant for the equally new 2014 C7 Corvette, the new Gen 5 engine appears to be an able successor to its iconic predecessors.

GM cites preliminary output figures of 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque for the 6.2-litre LT1, which will make the C7 the most powerful standard Corvette ever.

And it estimates a 0-to-60 mph (0-to-97 km/h) acceleration time of less than four seconds in the Corvette, while simultaneously providing best-ever fuel economy.

According to Corvette chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, "We expect the new Corvette will be the most fuel-efficient 450-horsepower car on the market."

If past practice is any indicator, and it almost certainly is, that will be just the starting point, with many more performance enhancements to come.

"Our objective for the development of the all-new LT1 was to raise the bar for performance car engines," said Mary Barra, senior vice president, global product development.

"What makes this engine truly special is the advanced combustion system that extracts the full potential of these technologies," she explained. "The art and science behind that combustion system make the Corvette LT1 one of the most advanced V-8 engines in the world."

Precise output, performance, and fuel economy numbers will not be finalized until early next year. The 2014 Corvette will make its public debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.