When the C5 Corvette was finally unveiled critics were quick to notice a thundering new powerplant. It carried the LS1 designation, serving as the C5 Corvette’s base engine for the duration of the production run. Ironically, the C5 Corvette would only ever leave the factory with one of two individual engines. This included the aforementioned 5.7L LS1, as well as the all-powerful 5.7L LS6, which powered the C5 Z06.
The LS1 is the spiritual successor to the “small block V8” that GM uses in rear-wheel-drive cars, trucks, and vans. It was introduced in 1995 as the “GEN III” engine and it only shared rod bearings, lifters, and bore spacing with its predecessors (which was in production 1955 until 2003). Little did GM expect for the LS1 has become a legend.
The LS6, which served as the motivating force behind the 2001-2004 Corvette Z06, bested the prior LS1 in virtually every facet of performance and proved formidable, both on the track and street. Perhaps more importantly, this engine provided a glimpse into the LS platform’s future, and its ability to constantly evolve.