There’s a new small block in town, baby: keeping the spirit of the original 1949 Kettering OHV V8 alive. Piston Slap says the new name is sad: mediocre memories of the Optispark munching, reverse flow coolin’ LT-1 is not a fitting successor to the sheer splendiferousness that was the LSX. Vellum Venom says that the 2006 Ford F-150 called, asking for its fender emblem back. But what’s the real story?
All snark aside, the GEN V small block is a stunning piece of engineering on paper. The LT1’s (no dash) forged crank and connecting rods are pure hot-rod porn. Plus, gadgets found elsewhere: direct injection, variable valve timing and…wait for it…another try at displacement on demand for a V8. Third time is the charm, perhaps, and the promise of 26MPG from Six-Point-Two liters of engine sends the Porsche 911’s puny boxer motor packing. And this is the beginning, you know there will be hotter (LT4, anyone?) version with even more power. With the “Kettering factor” present in the compact, low center of gravity LT1, this must be the lightest production V8 @ 465lbs**: let’s put one in a new BMW M5, compare the cost, ease of repair, road course performance (even with 100 less ponies), etc just to prove a point. And then do more LT1 swaps on the competition. That would make a statement!
Or just put it in the Cadillac ATS (optional) and CTS (standard) and call it a day. That won’t happen, but kudos to GM Powertrain for another motor that will be The One To Have in your next engine swap fantasy.
And to that idiotic rumor of Chevy putting a twin-turbo V6 in the Corvette? Oh please: LT1-FTW, SON!
**dave504 corrected me, the normally-injected Ford Coyote is lighter. My bad.