The new LT1 is the first of the fifth generation of GM small block aluminium engines, a 6.2-litre V8 set to debut in next year’s all new Chevrolet Corvette.
GM fans will notice that it is the same size as the LS3 unit found in the current Corvette, however there are a few differences. Although the basic architecture of the LT1 is the same as the LS3’s, the cylinder block casting is new. The LT1 has more new features, such as: direct fuel injection; variable valve timing; Active Fuel Management, which shuts down half the eight cylinders at low speed; a new cylinder-head design; new sculpted piston design; a tri-lobe design for the single camshaft; as well as a ‘runners in a box’ intake manifold – a system with individual runners that help increase airflow efficiency.
The LT1 pumps out 450hp (335kw) and 450 lb ft (610Nm) of torque, which should enable the next Corvette to sprint from 0-60mph in less than four seconds. The LT1 has a higher compression ratio than the LS3 at 11.5:1, and can get a claimed 26 mpg (US, EPA-estimated) on the highway.
This isn’t the first time GM has used the LT1 name for one of its engines, the first time was in the 1970s, and the last time was in the 1990s – powering some Camaros, Firebirds, Corvettes, and other GM products. The new LT1 also puts to rest rumours (for now at least) that a smaller 5.5-litre engine – based on Chevrolet’s Corvette C6.R GT2 racing car – would be powering the next Corvette.