by Hib Halverson
©2001, C5 Registry
All rights reserved. No use without permission

 

LS6 in 2001 Z06
Photo: Author
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Z06 owners already know the rush one gets from the new, LS6 engine.

If youíre considering a Z06--which I call "the Corvette for hardcores"--trust me...youíre gonna like it. The main reason for the Z06ís appeal? Its engine kicks some serious ass.

Shift an LS6 at 6500 rpm, just 100 rpm shy of its rev limiter. While the motor peaks at six grand, itís power curve from there to its 6600 rpm fuel cut-off is nearly flat. Better yet, it out-powers the í97-í00 LS1s, not just at the top end; but everywhere, once youíre off idle. As always, the C5 Registry brings you in-depth coverage our cars. We hope you enjoy this look at the new, LS6.

 

This newest member of the "Generation III Small-Block V8" engine family presents us with a chance to quantify the rate at which technology marches by comparing it to the LT5, a dual-overhead camshaft V8 introduced by GM 13 years ago.

GEN III - LS6
  Photo: GMPT Communications
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Developed jointly by Englandís Lotus Engineering and GM Powertrain Division and manufactured by MerCruiser in Stillwater, Oklahoma, LT5 was the first production V8 in an American car to surpass the one, SAE net horsepower per cubic inch mark. This historic, all-aluminum, four-cam, 32-valve, 350 cubic inch V8 was in all Corvette ZR-1s and is responsible for the performance that made those cars legends back in the first half of the í90s.

With LT5, the technology advancements GM, Lotus and MerCruiser made in large-bore, high-performance, mass-production V8s stunned the automotive world more than a decade ago. Key LT5 features were incorporated in the Gen IIIs used in C5 (the LS1) and the iron-block versions used in GM trucks. For a dozen years, LT5 reigned as the most powerful production engine in any GM car since 1969. It kept the ZR1 King-of-the-Hill Corvette until the Z06 debuted in the fall of 2000. When it was introduced in the summer of 1988, the LT5 generated 375 SAE net hp at 6000 rpm and 370 lbs/ft torque at 4800 rpm. That kind of performance was cutting-edge...for its day.

LT5 was then.

LS6 is now.

LS6 Internal View
Drawing: David Kimble/Chevrolet Communications
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This newest Gen III puts out 385hp at 6000 rpm and 385lbs/ft torque at 4800rpm. A dozen years of engine technology advancement gets us 10 horsepower and 15 pounds/feet torque with identical peaks. If that doesnít seem like much, consider that improvement comes from an engine with: slightly less displacement, smaller physical size, only one cam, only two valves-per-cylinder, pushrod valve gear, less weight and better fuel mileage.

Now that, C5ers, is big news.

 

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© 2001 C5 Registry