If you, like us, are waiting for the arrival of the new 2014 Corvette then you're in for a treat. We've unearthed a video of the engine that will power the new 'vette, but does it sound as good as previous Corvettes and the gorgeous V8s that power its European rivals?
The LT1 engine, whose name is inspired by the lumps that powered the Corvette back in the early 1990s, can be seen running as it's put through its paces on a dyno. We've no way of telling whether this engine is the finished version that will be used in production cars, or whether it's attached to an exhaust that's representative of the pipes on the road car, but it gives you an idea as to the sort of soundtrack you can expect.
It puts out a throaty wail that crescendos to a roar as it reaches its redline at around 6,600rpm. We don't think it's anywhere near as meaty as some of the Mercedes-Benz V8s we've encountered over the years (SLS AMG, SLK55 AMG et al.) but there's certainly potential, particularly if Chevy can mate it to savage enough exhaust.
Currently, the engine is said to be capable of at least 450hp and 450 lb ft of torque, which is pretty much what the standard Corvette is capable of now. However the engine, a small-block V8, is relatively light, tipping the scales at 38lbs less than the 4.4-litre twin-turbo engine in BMW's entry-level V8.
It should also prove more efficient than last Corvette lumps. It will use direct-injection technology, a compression ratio of 11.5:1, active fuel management and variable valve timing systems that use less fuel while extracting more power. Fuel economy is said to be 'at least' 26 highway mpg.
"Our objective for the development of the all-new LT1 was to raise the bar for performance car engines," said Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of global product development. "We feel that we have achieved that by delivering a true technological masterpiece that seamlessly integrates a suite of advanced technologies that can only be found on a handful of engines in the world."
The proof will very much be in the pudding. The 2014 Corvette will make its debut on January 14th 2013.