This could be an argument starter for those unaware of the past. Chevrolet built turbocharged engines in the early 1960s, and it offered a 153-inch Super Thrift four-cylinder engine available in a Chevy II. But, never did the twain meet until the engineers at Chevrolet Performance decided to stuff its 2.0 liter turbo crate engine into a 1967 Nova.
Chevrolet Performance engineers built the turbo 4-banger to showcase the LTG direct-injected 2.0L turbo crate engine as an alternative to conventional V-8 conversions. Rated at 272 horsepower, it offers comparable power to the 275-hp 327ci (5.3L) V-8 originally offered in the ’67 Nova SS – and more than the 195-hp 283ci (4.6L) V-8 also offered in the Chevy II lineup.
With a curb weight of approximately 3,100 pounds, the 327-powered Nova SS was widely praised in its day for a strong power-to-weight ratio, which helped make it one of the industry’s quicker muscle cars. That performance advantage is amplified in the Chevrolet Performance concept, as the all-iron V-8 has been replaced with an all-aluminum turbo-four, for a more enviable 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution. And, in place of the original four-speed transmission is a modern six-speed manual.
The modern, lightweight powertrain helps the Nova 2.0 sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.
For those interested in a hot 4-banger conversion, the LTG crate engine, the electronic control unit, the engine accessory-drive system and even the six-speed manual transmission – and requisite installation kit – are all available from Chevrolet Performance.
In addition to its modern powertrain, the Black Gold-painted Nova 2.0 is home to a host of contemporary hot-rodding touches, including a billet aluminum grille, narrowed and tucked bumpers, shaved nether regions with electronic latch releases, custom 17-inch Z/28-style wheels – in a satin bronze finish – and four-wheel disc brakes. The suspension has been updated with height-adjustable air bags, front and rear, and a triangulated 4-link in the rear.
The turbocharged Nova 2.0 will be shown along with 20 Chevrolet concepts and production vehicles this week at the SEMA Show, in Las Vegas.