Late last week Bob Lutz told the Automotive News that VL Automotive, his venture to retrofit Fisker Karma’s with Corvette drivetrains, has negotiated a deal with an Asian investor in Fisker to give VL access to the software code that runs the Karma’s integrated infotainment system. ”Without getting those codes, it was close to impossible to get a working car,” Lutz said. He said that VL has now bought 25 brand new unsold Karmas and that the finished product, what Lutz and his partners call the Destino, will be offered with either the 450-hp direct-injected LT1 V8 from the new C7 Corvette or an upgrade to the 638 hp LS9 supercharged V8 from the outgoing C6 ZR1. (Read More…)
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…)
When Bertel Schmitt launched TTAC’s Behind The Scenes series with an exclusive and in depth look at Toyota’s high-tech LFA Works, I thought to myself, “Self, you live in Detroit. Lots of automotive scenes to get behind in and around this area.” So, following up on Bertel’s idea to use the access TTAC affords us to give you a look at things you might otherwise not experience, I sent an email to someone in communications at GM about their Performance Build Center in Wixom, MI.