The seventh-generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is powered by an all-new small-block V-8 engine dubbed as the LT1 -- fifth-generation of GM’s famous eight-cylinder. It boasts an output of at least 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. The LT1 displaces 6.2 liters and makes use of direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing in order to achieve higher performance and better efficiency.
Chevrolet is targeting that the 2014 C7 Corvette can achieve a 0-60mph acceleration time of less than four seconds and can reach a 26-mpg highway fuel economy rating. The LT1 stands for a new milestone in the 57 years that this small block has been around. GM claims that this engine is 99.9% new. Small-block engine chief engineer Jordan Lee conducted the presentation in front of journalists. He showed them some carryover parts all fitted inside a sandwich bag. Inside it were two starter bolts, a piston pin, and a few assorted bits.
In addition, the 466-pound engine maintains several small-block hallmarks. The LT1 keeps its 4.4-inch bore spacing and a camshaft fitted in the block with pushrod-actuated valves. The C7 Corvette’s hoodline had to be raised since the overhead camshafts would add four inches to the small-block’s 25.3-inch height.
The Corvette team wasn’t willing to compromise on the hood height and so they raised the compression ratio to 11.5:1. It’s also expected that the LT1 would be the first overhead-valve engine with direct injection, with injectors positioned deep in the engine’s vee. These are being fed by a cam-driven fuel pump.
The variable valve timing is new to the Corvette but it isn’t as advanced as majority of overhead-cam arrangements. The small-block can shift the valve events by up to 62 degrees. However, it doesn’t have the ability to adjust intake and exhaust valve timing independently. To get more torque, the valve timing is advanced and retarded for improved fuel economy.
Due to cylinder deactivation, the engine can function as a 3.1-liter V-4 using cylinders 8, 2, 5, and 3. Chevrolet claims that its efficiency is raised by 20% if the system (called Active Fuel Management) is active. Juechter said that the engineers pledged that the engine note will meet expectations in all conditions. He added that the company is hoping to offer “another generation of ground-pounding American thunder.”