The Top 5 Greatest Engines Ever Put In The Corvette, Ranked


When the Chevrolet Corvette debuted in1953, it wasn’t what you would call an immediate success. Critics hammered the recently established Corvette for its substandard develop quality such as plastic side drapes in lieu of window glass and a suspension system that was raised directly from a sedan. Those peculiarities might have been forgivable however cars lovers simply could not neglect a weak, 150- horse power “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine. an enthusiastic engineer called Zora Arkus-Duntov promoted non-stop for a larger powerplant and in 1955, the Corvette got its very first V8 engine.

If it had actually not been for the intro of a V8, the Corvette most likely would not have actually endured its very first couple of years, never ever mind commemorating its 70 th birthday in2023 It appears proper to show on some of the timeless and modern motors that assisted specify the ‘Vette and move it into ending up being such a long-lasting piece of Americana.

5. 1985 L98 5.7-liter V8

Chevrolet L98 V8 engine

Jim Reed/Shutterstock

With the intro of the brand new fourth-generation C4 Corvette in 1984, Chevrolet made fantastic strides in handling, innovation, and convenience versus the aging C3 that it changed. It was still matched with Chevy’s notorious “cross-fire” throttle body fuel-injected L83 engine that produced simply 205 horse power and 290 pound-feet of torque. To add fuel to the fire, the L83 was as challenging to preserve as it was gutless, rapidly making the label “cease-fire!”

That all altered in 1985 when Chevrolet revealed its L98 5.7-liter (350 cubic inch) V8. The L98 had a little bump in compression ratio versus the outbound L83, however the huge news was the tuned-port fuel injection setup with its paired consumption runners and a specific injector for each cylinder. Suddenly, the C3’s output leapt to 230 horse power and 330 pound-feet of torque, which sufficed to hustle it down a quarter-mile drag strip in the 14- 2nd variety, something which had not been possible because the early 1970 s.

While barely the most extreme engine on this list, the L98 should have acknowledgment for raising the Corvette from its Malaise-era doldrums. The L98 stayed the Corvette’s base engine up until it was changed with the LT1 in 1992.

4. 1971 LS6 454 cubic inch V8

The 1971 Corvette C3 with the optional LS6 engine is among the rarest Corvettes ever. It was just used for one year and just 188 were made. Ranked at 425 horse power and 475 pound-feet of torque, it was the swan tune of the huge block engines in Chevy’s car. Sure, the huge block 454 (7.4 liters) would continue to be used through 1974, however lower compression ratios and emissions devices would strangle this engine with less horse power every successive year.

Interestingly, the 1971 variation of the LS6 varies from the 1970 version, which was unique to the Chevelle and El Camino. The 1971 Corvette LS6 had a lower compression ratio to much better get ready for the takeover of unleaded fuel at the pumps, however this possible unfavorable was balanced out by a set of effective aluminum cylinder heads, versus steel on the 1970 motor.

The LS6 was stated to be undervalued from the factory, particularly if some freer-flowing tubular exhaust manifolds (a.k.a., “headers”) were fitted. In stock kind, Car and Driver ran one down the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds and hit 140 miles per hour in the Nevada desert, a remarkable task for 50- plus years earlier.

[Above image by Sicnag through Wikimedia Commons|Cropped and scaled| CC BY 2.0]

3. 1957 283 cubic inch V8

1957 Corvette 283 motor

Sergey Kohl/Shutterstock

Though the very first V8 engine appeared in the Corvette as a choice in 1955, that 265 cubic-inch powerplant was an enhancement over the basic 6 cylinder, however still rather anemic. That would alter in 1957 with the intro of the 283 cubic-inch V8. The 283 (4.6 liters) was offered in a plethora of various horse power levels and induction alternatives, consisting of a single 4-barrel carburetor, double 4-barrel carbohydrates, or the brand-new “Ramjet” fuel-injection setup.

In reality, the 1957 Corvette was the very first American production vehicle ever to include fuel injection. The most popular variation of the 283 “fuelie” produced 283 horse power, which corresponded to one horse power per cubic inch, an achievement that was unprecedented for an efficiency vehicle at the time. Fuel injection, the 1957 Corvette likewise premiered a transmission with 4 forward speeds, a rarity outside of European sports automobiles. Road & & Trackdrove one from absolutely no to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds and covered the standing start quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds. That was actually race vehicle efficiency in 1957.

2. 1969 ZL1 427 cubic inch V8

The 1969 Corvette C3 with a ZL1 engine is the holy grail for Corvette collectors. Just 2– yes 2– were ever offered to the general public, among which brought $3.14 million at the 25 th Annual RM Sothebys auction in January2023 What the heck is a ZL1? It’s an all-aluminum variation of Chevy’s well-known L88- code 427 cubic-inch big-block engine (visualized above) that debuted in1967 The L88 was actually suggested for consumers who meant to turn their Corvettes into race vehicles and purchasing one for routine street driving was extremely prevented by Chevrolet and its network of dealers.

The ZL1’s aluminum elements suggested shedding the additional weight of an iron block and cylinder heads from the nose of the Corvette, which enhanced balance and the total power-to-weight ratio. The ZL1 alternative cost an extra $4,700, which nearly doubled the 1969 Corvette’s base rate of $4,781 The factor why so couple of were acquired.

Chevy marketed 430 horse power for the ZL1, however these engines were extensively reported to make closer to 500 horse power in truth. Back then, Road & & Track publication drove a model from no to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds and taped a quarter-mile time of 12.1 seconds at 116 miles per hour.

1. 2023 LT6 5.5 Liter V8

Chevrolet Corvette LT6 Motor


Exclusively offered in the C8 Corvette Z06, Chevy’s brand-new LT6 powerplant is ranked 670 horse power at an excessive 8400 rpm. Peak torque can be found in at 460 pound-feet at 6300 rpm, which is nearly the redline for a routine C8 Stingray. Completion outcome is a rocket that can speed up from absolutely no to 60 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds How does a reasonably big V8 rev so high? It has a light-weight, flat-plane crankshaft which gets rid of the requirement for big counterweights discovered with conventional crankshafts.

What’s more, some early dyno tests by fortunate Z06 owners appear to show that Chevy might have in fact undervalued the LT6. Automotive YouTuber Speed Phenom’s Corvette Z06 set 610 horse power on the chassis dyno at Dallas Performance in Dallas, Texas. Normally, parasitic load from a car’s drivetrain robs about 15% of the horse power as determined at the crankshaft. To end up at 610 horse power on a chassis dyno, the real output at the crankshaft is most likely in the community of 700 horse power. All in a plan that’s tame enough to be your everyday motorist.

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