Chevrolet showcases new crate engines at SEMA

Chevrolet customizes new show vehicles with modern power and efficiency

Published: October 17, 2018, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:58 PM

2018 SEMA 6.2-litre supercharged V-8 in Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna

You know those wonderful muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s that were far more powerful than anything else on the road at the time but now pale drastically in comparison to today’s sophisticated powertrains? Well, Chevrolet is able to give you the best of both worlds with crate engines that can be dropped easily into vintage vehicles.

The company will be heading to SEMA at the end of October with a trio of classics fitted with the bow-tie company’s latest crate offerings.

“Chevrolet Performance’s expanding crate engine lineup offers something for every enthusiast and his or her dream project,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “That choice is matched with the peace of mind that comes only from factory-engineered systems tested to the same standards as production vehicles, for performance you can count on.”

The company already lists 50 small-block, big-block, LS, LSX, LT, Circle Track and COPO crate engines, and adds a couple new V-8s from today’s high-performance vehicles.

The SEMA stage will be shared by a 1973 Chevelle Laguna fitted with the all-new LT5 6.2-litre supercharged V-8 adapted from the Corvette ZR1, a 1967 C10 pickup with the all-new ZZ6 5.7-litre V-8, and a 1978 K10Silverado fitted with the L96 6.0-litre V-8.

Many of the Chevrolet Performance crate engines are offered as Connect & Cruise combinations (Plug & Play?!) and emissions-legal E-ROD systems. The Connect & Cruise capabilities matches the engines with the necessary transmissions and controllers, while the E-ROD systems match CARB requirements from vehicles for 1995 and earlier.

The Chevelle Laguna show car was inspired by Chevrolet NASCAR racing successes with front and rear spoilers matching the race cars from the ’70s, and appropriately gets the 755-hp 6.2-litre supercharged V-8 that generates 715 lb-ft of torque. The engine sits under a Corvette ZR1-inspired hood and rides on 18-inch wheels located by a modified suspension.

The 1967 Centennial C10 show truck that helped GM celebrate a century of Chevrolet trucks, returns to SEMA to showcase the new 420-hp ZZ6 EFI crate engine that combines the classic style and installation versatility of the 350 Small Block with modern day efficiencies such as throttle-body fuel injection, making it ideal for hot-rod and resto-mod projects. Modern hot-rod touches, such as lowered suspension and 20-inch wheel and a custom interior highlight the show truck.

The 1978 K10 Silverado swaps out its 165-hp LS9 5.7-litre V-8 for the L96 6.0-litre V-8 that makes 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, making it superior to the Big Block engines from that era, as well as lighter and more compact. It’s mated in the show truck to a 4-speed automatic.

The complete Chevrolet catalogue of crate engines, engine parts, transmissions and more is available from Chevrolet dealers or downloadable at