General Motors’ powertrain engineers have undoubtedly demonstrated with the LS family of V8 engines that pushrods still have a place in the 21st century. As successful and popular as the LS has been, I don’t think it’s much of stretch to assume that the new LT1 V8 in the all new seventh generation Corvette will eventually replace the LS engine in its various permutations and applications. The LT1, still a cam in block engine, and still with Ed Cole’s 4.40 inch bore centers, adds direct injection to the Small Block Chevy heritage. The LS family has also been popular as crate motors, used by customizers and high performance enthusiasts as well as with a small industry of companies that specialize in high performance GM products. While you can buy a LS from General Motors with up to 638 horsepower, if that just doesn’t satisfy your need for speed, companies like Callaway, Lingenfelter and Hennessey have shown that the LS engine’s basic architecture is capable of putting out almost twice that power. After talking with Ken Lingenfelter about the new Corvette, I wonder, though, just how tuner-friendly the new LT1 will be. (Read More…)
Ford’s commercial booth is very quiet at the Chicago Auto Show despite having on display the biggest news in commercial vehicles at the show. OK, so a new cargo van isn’t that exciting, I’ll give you that. While Ford had their cargo hauler locked, I was able to get a few impressions.
Toyota chose Chicago to introduce the new 2014 Tundra. Following the lead of the big three, the Tunda is bigger and has a more premium interior. Unlike the big boys, Toyota still won’t have a 3/4 or 1 ton models, but they are touting the Tundra as having the highest North American parts content of any other 1/2 ton truck. Them’s fighting words.
Some rough, back of the napkin calculations based on available information suggest that the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has a break-even point fit for Methuselah
Behold, the Citroen Jumper…err, the Fiat Ducato. Ok, it’s the Ram Promaster. Instead of the Mercedes-based Sprinter, this is the new commercial van from Chrysler. It can be equipped with a Pentastar V6 or a 3.0L diesel four-cylinder. It has two-piston Brembo brakes and, horror of horrors, it’s front-drive. I’m not sure that really makes a difference, but somebody will doubtlessly criticize Ram for importing a “wrong-wheel-drive” commercial van.