Vijay Pattni25 October 2012

Meet the Corvette’s new V8

450bhp 6.2-litre ‘small block’ revealed, soon to be chasing down Fiestas in shopping centres…

We're fond a good V8 around these parts; specifically, a Corvette V8. Hands up who remembers Jeremy's Corvette V8-powered food blender? James still has nightmares about that beef smoothie...

Anyway, as you're probably aware, a new Corvette is on the horizon. It will be called the C7, and it will arrive in the year 2014. Of course, this means a new V8 will be required, and thus, we are presented with details of the heart of any good ‘Vette. Meet the LT1.

It's the first of the ‘Gen 5' family of small block V8s, has an all-aluminium block, measures 6.2-litres in capacity and is apparently good for 450bhp and 450lb ft of torque. Now, there must be people at Chevrolet capable of witchcraft, because despite not having any other specifics about the next Corvette, we are told it should be good for a 0-60mph time of under four seconds, making it the quickest standard Corvette ever (the current one does it in 4.3s).

How? Direct injection, amongst other things. It's a big step for the Corvette V8, spraying fuel directly into the combustion chambers rather than letting it hang out in the inlet manifold with air before being sucked into the combustion cycle. And if you need to know how awesome direct injection is, check out the new Ford Focus EcoBoost. Or ask Mitsubishi, who put it in a Galant way back in '96.

Of course, the fuel management and variable valve timing have been honed too, along with contoured pistons, a deeper spark plug and reversal of intake and exhaust valve positions, a tri-lobe camshaft that powers a high-pressure fuel pump (which in turn powers the direct injection), and a cleaner throttle body assembly. All this, apparently, helps it achieve an estimated 26mpg. Consider this: Merc's 6.2-litre V8, with a simliar 450bhp, achieves 23.5mpg.

It's all very technical, granted, but the engineers have been busy for good reason. If you're a baddie trying to chase down a road-tester in a Fiesta through a closed shopping centre, you need a ruddy good V8.

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