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1967 L88 Engine
No list of formidable Corvette engines would be complete without including the 1967 L88. The L88 was a fire-breathing variant of GM’s 427 cubic-inch big-block lineup, which served as nothing short of a production race engine. Officially rated at 430 HP, the L88 was capable of propelling its C2 host to previously unattainable performance status. The L88 was nothing, if not a loosely veiled production race engine.
Red 1957 Corvette
Though the 283 cubic-inch V8 seldom receives its share of attention in a world dominated by LS and LT series engines, this early Chevrolet small-block was ahead of its time. The 283ci showcased a plethora of new and innovative tech, and highlighted the engineering prowess of legendary Corvette luminary, Zora-Arkus Duntov.
First, this engine is the most powerful naturally aspirated, internal combustion engine (by a good margin) of any production Chevrolet small-block ever produced. Boasting a massive 670 horsepower, the LT6 trumps almost all its Corvette predecessors (save for the 2019 Corvette ZR1 engine, which boasted 755 horsepower, but needed a supercharger).
Chevrolet's 6.2L Gen V LT4 Engine
The LT4 engine has always been synonymous with high-performance. Introduced by General Motors in 1996, the LT4 was specifically designed as a more powerful variant to the next-generation LT1 engine previously introduced by GM in 1992. The LT4 small-block is a modern marvel, packing 600+ horsepower into a compact and affordable package.
1969 Corvette L88 Engine
The Vette’s performance dropped significantly during the early to mid-1970s, at the hands of newly implemented federal emissions standards, yet it remained relevant. At a point in which many iconic American performance cars fell by the wayside, the Corvette soldiered on. This served as a true testament to many of the memorable Corvette powerplants that were developed during the C3 era.
2015 C7 Z06 LT4 Engine
Many consider the Corvette’s seventh generation to be when GM’s iconic car finally came of age. It was during this time that the Corvette made some of its most extensive performance gains on the road and in racing. These performance gains can be attributed to the development in engine technology during the C7’s production run. The Corvette was offered with several available powerplants, all of which were potent.
1965 L78 Enginge
For more than a decade after the Corvette's initial release it had small-block power. In fact, the 265 cubic-inch V8’s 1955 introduction was largely responsible for the Corvette’s validation as a sporty, performance-minded vehicle. However, by the mid-1960s, those behind the scenes at Chevrolet had begun developing a new powerplant. This engine would become the first big-block V8 to be used in Corvette production.
2006 LS7 Engine
In the midst of the Z06’s development, engineers knew that something truly remarkable would be needed to best the base Corvette’s 400 horsepower LS2. In its production form, this new small-block V8 came to be known as the LS7. The LS7 was nothing short of all-powerful, featuring a displacement of 427 cubic inches and an output of 505 horsepower.
1998 Corvette Pace Car LS1 Engine
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.
1973 LS4 Engine
Was the 454 cubic-inch LS4 one of General Motors’ most powerful big-blocks? Absolutely not. However, it is historically significant nonetheless. The LS4 served as the end of the road for the big-block Corvette, as America’s sports car returned to its small-block roots. Today, many collectors seek out LS4 equipped Corvettes.
1984 L83 350CI V8 Engine
The C4 Corvette debuted to a frenzy of publicity and would ultimately enjoy a lengthy run, spanning 13 years of production. During this period, GM installed a number of memorable powerplants. Many of these engines proved to be quite innovative in design, even when saddled with newly-mandated emissions equipment of the era. The following is a comprehensive guide to powerplants of the C4 era.
1981 L81 engine
During many production years, consumers were provided with multiple engine options to choose from. This was especially true during the late 1960s. However, by the late 1970s, GM had begun to significantly scale back the number of production engines offered for the Corvette. This trend peaked in 1981, when only one engine, known as the L81, was offered to buyers.
L46 350CI engine
The 350ci V8 was actually a further extension of GM’s decade-old small-block engine series. In a bid to further cement the Corvette’s performance legacy, subsequent modifications to these earlier engines were made, thereby giving birth to one illustrious platform. It would serve as a mainstay of the Corvette line for over three decades to come.
1963 5.4L 327CI Engine in open hood of C2 Corvette
The 327CI small-block V8 was available to consumers in several distinct configurations, all of which produced varying degrees of output. Available in both carbureted and fuel injected forms, the 327CI small-block proved capable of producing anywhere from 250-360 horsepower, depending upon one’s choice of engine code.