Leak Confirms GM Built All-New Engine For Corvette ZL1

Engine

People thought it would be impossible to make a more hardcore version of the Corvette given the Z06. People thought wrong.

With each leak that comes across our desks, a clearer picture of the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is beginning to materialize. The latest comes from Weapon X Motorsports, a tuning shop based in Ohio that spent some time digging through General Motors’ book of Regular Production Option codes (GM’s way of designating models and options, LTZ or ZL1 for example) to dig up what a previous leak had alluded to. It all centers on the letters “LT5,” which reference an engine.

We previously touched on a leak that mentioned the LT5 would be an aluminum 6.2-liter V8 engine saddled with a supercharger and fed by dual overhead cams. Special features like variable valve timing included. This particular leak mentions that the LT5 will be put into a 2018 model vehicle, but any other information about the engine is not mentioned. That means horsepower and torque ratings are completely unknown, as is the transmission options for the ‘Vette. Our intuition as well as GM’s current transmission options tell us it would be wise to expect the 10-speed automatic from the Camaro ZL1 to be the two-pedal car while a six or seven-speed manual will stand in as the choice for heel-toe aficionados.

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Given that it should be more powerful than the 650 horsepower Z06, we can probably assume it will be rated at 700+ horses. Previous rumors have indicated that figure could be closer to 750 horsepower. More grip and better handling will be on tap thanks to aggressive aerodynamics that come from the large rear wing and new body work. Thankfully Chevy hasn’t been too shy about showing us what that looks like, although it has yet to peel off the veil of black and white camouflage. At current, the Z06 uses a similar setup to the proposed LT5: 6.2-liters split amongst eight cylinders and topped off by a supercharger.

The main difference is that the LT4 under its hood is a pushrod V8 while the LT5 will be a more modern overhead camshaft setup. This alone won’t give it all of the extra grunt—a larger supercharger will likely be what adds power to the ZR1. We’ll learn more as the leaks keep coming or, once enough information is out, Chevy decides to take off the covers entirely.

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