News Column

GM: Redesigned Corvette Engine 'Big Step Forward'

Oct. 24, 2012

Nathan Bomey

2012 Corvette
2012 Corvette

General Motors today revealed the completely redesigned engine in the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette.

The new small-block engine, which will be tucked inside the all-new Corvette when it goes on sale next year, is "a big step forward," Corvette executive chief engineer Tadge Juechter said.

For enthusiasts, a first look at the all-new 2014 Corvette engine is a something of an internal-combustion holiday.

"This has been a long time coming," Juechter said at a media event at the GM's engineering complex in Pontiac.

The Corvette will be powered by a 6.2-liter, V8 engine with cylinder deactivation technology, which allows the vehicle to stop using four cylinders of displacement temporarily to improve fuel economy.

Jordan Lee, chief engineer and program manager for GM's small-block engines, said the Corvette LT1 engine would produce at least 450 horsepower with fuel economy of more than 26 miles per gallon. GM said it would be able to travel from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in fewer than 4 seconds.

"These are the numbers we feel strongly we're going to be able to deliver," Lee said.

At 465 pounds, the new Corvette engine will be 38 pounds lighter than the 4.4-liter twin-turbo engine in BMW's base V8 engine, Lee said.

The body style of the redesigned Corvette will be revealed Jan. 13 at a media event in Detroit ahead of the North American International Auto Show. GM already unveiled a new look for the Corvette emblem. The new Corvette only has a couple carryover parts from the sixth-generation vehicle.

The vehicle, whose engine will be produced at the 75-year-old Tonawanda plant in New York, will compete against muscle cars like the Porsche 911 and the BMW M3 coupe.

The cylinder-deactivation technology will allow the Corvette to operate like a 3.1-liter 4-cylinder engine for "much of the operating time," Juechter said.

"The more time you can spend in that operating mode, the better the fuel efficiency," he said. "That's the reason why we're staying at 6.2 liters."

Lee said the Corvette engine is "extremely compact" and "power dense" at 25.3 inches tall. It will use direct-injection technology with a compression ratio of 11.5:1, which improves fuel economy and performance.

"It is indeed an all-new engine," he said.



Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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