Corvette Engine Hall Of Fame

Part 2: '71-'06

K. Scott Teeters Aug 1, 2006 0 Comment(s)

Introduction
The year 1971 was the beginning of a long dry spell for performance enthusiasts. The petroleum industry was busy switching over to unleaded gasoline, forcing automakers to drop compression ratios and slashing the output of many of their top performance engines. The following year, GM stopped posting "gross" horsepower ratings and began using more-realistic "net" numbers. Although the switch in ratings methodologies had no effect on engine output, it did serve to amplify the perception that automotive performance was in a tailspin.
Fortunately, recent advances in engine technology have allowed modern net-power ratings to approach-and, in some cases, even exceed-the gross ratings of the musclecar era. High performance is back in a big way, and the future has never looked brighter.

Vemp_0608_01z 350_tuned_port Injection_small_block_l98 Engine 2/9

'85 350 "Tuned-Port Injection" Small -Block L98 (230 hp)Unveiled in March 1983, the long-awaited C4 Corvette paired a world-class chassis design with the rather primitive "Cross-Fire Injection" engine used in the previous model. Fortunately for Vette enthusiasts, help was on the way. The "Tuned Port Injection" (TPI) L98, introduced for 1985, proved superior to its predecessor in every way. Output was up by 25 hp, torque was up by 40 lb-ft, and gas mileage increased 11 percent. The L98 served as the Corvette's base powerplant through 1991, receiving incremental improvements along the way. During that time, Corvettes dominated Showroom Stock racing to such an extent that the model-specific Corvette Challenge series was created.

Specs
Displacement: 350 ci
Horsepower: 230 @ 4,000 rpm (1,985 net)
Torque: 330 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm
Compression: 9.5:1
Component materials: Cast-iron block and heads, hypereutectic-aluminum pistons, aluminum intake
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Cast-iron manifolds, dual exhaust pipes
Years offered: '85 to '91

Vemp_0608_02z 454_big_block_ls6 Engine 3/9

'71 454 Big-Block LS6Between the delayed availability of Chevrolet cars in 1970 and the confusion over the "on paper only" 465hp LS7, the new 454 seemed destined for legendary status. Chevy helped fuel the engine's mystique by bringing a drag-prepped 454 Corvette to a preproduction press event in the summer of 1969. Equipped with a Turbo 400 transmission, open headers, and 10-inch slicks, the car clicked off high-10-second quarter-mile runs . . . until someone broke the motor.



Specs
Displacement: 454 ci
Horsepower: 425 @ 5,200 rpm (gross)
Torque: 474 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Compression: 9:1
Component materials: Cast-iron block and heads, forged-aluminum pistons, aluminum intake
Induction: Single four-barrel Holley carburetor
Exhaust: Cast-iron manifolds, dual exhaust pipes with optional side exits
Year offered: '71

Vemp_0608_03z 350_small_block_lt5 Engine 4/9

'90 350 Small-Block LT5 (375 hp)After purchasing Lotus in 1986, GM immediately put the company to work developing a new world-class powerplant for its upcoming "Super Corvette." The resulting engine was produced in Oklahoma by Mercury Marine, and it was just one part of the $27,016 ZR-1 option introduced for 1990. With an additional 125 hp, the ZR-1's performance was mind-boggling. Zero-to-60 times were in the 4.3-second range, with quarter-mile times of 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph. It had taken 33 years, but Zora Arkus-Duntov's dream of an all-aluminum, DOHC, fuel-injected Corvette engine had finally become a reality.

Specs
Displacement: 350 ci
Horsepower: 375 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque: 370 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Compression: 11.25:1
Component materials: Aluminum block, heads, and intake; forged-aluminum pistons
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Stainless steel manifolds, dual exhaust pipes
Years offered: '90 to '95

Vemp_0608_04z 350_small_block_lt1 Engine 5/9

'92 350 Small-Block LT1 (300 hp)At GM, improvements in engine performance usually happen in baby steps. The '92 Corvette's new small-block engine was a giant, 50hp leap forward. Hoping to evoke fond memories of Chevy's glory days, product planners resurrected the "LT1" name. But unlike its famous forebear, this LT1 was standard on every Corvette. Even better, the new engine boasted features no one could have imagined 22 years earlier. Aluminum free-flow heads, a reverse-flow cooling system, and computer-controlled spark timing capable of "hearing" detonation in each cylinder and adjusting accordingly gave the reborn LT1 the power to back up its legendary moniker.

Specs
Displacement: 350 ci
Horsepower: 300 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque: 330 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Compression: 10.4:1
Component materials: Cast-iron block, aluminum heads and intake, hypereutectic-aluminum pistons
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Cast-iron manifolds, dual exhaust pipesYears offered: '92 to '96

Vemp_0608_05z 350_small_block_ls6 Engine 6/9

'01 350 Small-Block LS6 (385 hp)The Corvette's performance evolution continued in 2001, with the introduction of the Z06 option. Available only in six-speed hardtop form, the Z06 Corvette was essentially a street-legal race car, with comprehensive modifications to the suspension, body, and engine. Dubbed the LS6, the car's heavily revised powerplant relied on a higher compression ratio, a more-aggressive camshaft profile, better-flowing cylinder heads, and various other upgrades to give it a 40hp boost over the base LS1. A bright-red engine cover provided the finishing touch. At only $7,025, the Z06 package was worth every dollar.

Specs
Displacement: 350 ci
Horsepower: 385 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 385 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Compression: 10.5:1
Component materials: Aluminum block and heads, hypereutectic-aluminum pistons, composite intake
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Cast-iron manifolds, dual pipes with titanium rear section
Years offered: '01 to '04

Vemp_0608_06z 350_small_block_ls1 Engine 7/9

'97 350 Small-Block LS1 (345 hp)Prior to 1997, new-generation Corvettes had always used powerplants carried over from the previous model. With its fresh-from-the-ground-up LS1 engine, the fifth iteration of the car broke with that tradition. Notable features included all-aluminum construction, fast-burn cylinder heads, cross-bolted six-bolt main bearings, a composite intake manifold, and eight ignition coils-one for each cylinder. The net result was an increase of 45 hp and a weight savings of 44 pounds. The C5 was off to a stunning start.

Specs
Displacement: 350 ci
Horsepower: 345 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Compression: 10.1:1
Component materials: Aluminum block and heads, hypereutectic-aluminum pistons, composite intake
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Stamped-steel manifolds, dual exhaust pipes
Years offered: 1997 to 2004

Vemp_0608_07z 364_small_block_ls2 Engine 8/9

'05 364 Small-Block LS2 (400 hp)Just when it appeared things couldn't get much better, the sixth-generation Corvette raised the performance bar yet again. The new car's LS2 engine boasted incremental improvements from top to bottom. Displacement was increased to an even 6.0 liters, horsepower was bumped to an even 400, and torque was rated at 400 lb-ft. Compression jumped to 10.9:1, cam lift was increased, lighter exhaust manifolds were installed, and a new wingless oil pan provided improved pump scavenging in high-g conditions. It all added up to a base Corvette capable of 0-60 mph times of just 4.1 seconds and quarter-mile passes in 12.5 at almost 115 mph.

Specs
Displacement: 364 ci
Horsepower: 400 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Compression: 10.9:1
Component materials: Aluminum block and heads, cast-aluminum pistons, composite intake
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Cast-iron manifolds, dual exhaust pipes
Years offered: '05 to present

Vemp_0608_08z 427_small_block_ls7 Engine 9/9

'06 427 Small-Block LS7 (505 hp)The '06 Z06 Corvette provides one of the finest examples extant of racing technology being applied to a production car. Perhaps the most direct beneficiary of this "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" philosophy is the car's 427ci LS7 engine. Race-car goodies are plentiful in the LS7 and include a dry-sump oil system, titanium connecting rods and intake valves, CNC-ported aluminum heads, a forged-steel crank, and hydro-formed steel-tube headers. It all adds up to sub-4-second 0-60 mph times, 11.7-second quarter-miles, and a top speed of nearly 200 mph.

Specs
Displacement: 427 ci
Horsepower: 505 @ 6,300 rpm
Torque: 470 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Compression: 11:1
Component materials: Aluminum block and heads, hypereutectic-aluminum pistons, composite intake
Induction: Electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Hydro-formed steel-tube manifolds, dual exhaust pipes with bypass valve-equipped mufflers
Year offered: Introduced 2006

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History of Corvette Engines and advancements in Engine Technology - Vette Magazine
K. Scott Teeters Aug 1, 2006

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