Meet the LT7. It's not what you might think.
Exactly one week ago we all but confirmed the 2020 C8 Corvette will initially come powered by the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated LT2 V8. Think of it as an updated version of the LT1 found in the C7 Stingray. This won’t be the C8’s sole engine during its expected long life. Chevrolet has grand plans for its first-ever mid-engine Corvette. While there have been rumors about a possible future hybrid C8, GM Authority has obtained detailed information about Chevy’s upcoming C8 Z06 powertrain.
Dubbed LT7, leaked information has revealed this engine will not utilize superchargers but will instead be turbocharged. However, don’t let its LT7 name confuse you; it is not a small block pushrod V8. Instead, it is based on GM’s new Dual Overhead Cam V8 architecture. Does that sound familiar? It should because it’s the same architecture used for the 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 in the Cadillac CT6-V, aka the Blackwing.
While not identical to the Blackwing, an engine exclusive to Cadillac, the LT7, according to sources, will have a larger displacement than the Blackwing and will produce over 650 hp. In other words, it will exceed output generated by the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8 in the C7 Z06. The Blackwing, to compare, has 550 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. It remains unknown whether the new LT7 will have the same block as the Blackwing, or whether the two engines will share the same design.
Previously leaked CAD images show the LT7’s turbochargers are located on either side of the Vee, below the cylinder banks. On the Blackwing they are mounted in the Hot V. Expect the twin throttle bodies, intake manifold, and the entire induction system to differ from the Blackwing. And because the LT7 has been specifically designed for a mid-engined vehicle, it does not feature a conventional front-mounted intercooler. Its general cooling system is unlike anything GM has previously done.
GM Authority also points out the Blackwing V8 is hand-built at the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant, which is also home to the Corvette. A coincidence? No way. For now, Chevrolet refuses to go into further detail about the C8 or future variants.
Fortunately, this coming Thursday is the big reveal and we’ll be on hand in Southern California to bring you all of the details. Chances are the C8 Z06 is still about a year and a half away, but we expect more leaked details to arrive well before then.