Looks can be deceiving.
In a bid to bring the best of both worlds, Chevrolet has swapped out some of the 1969 Chevelle’s original internals to make room for the company’s latest tech. Lurking underneath the hood is a new direct-injected LT376/535 crate engine based on the LT1 powering the Corvette. In this application, it has received different camshafts and heads to squeeze an extra 75 horsepower (56 kilowatts) for a grand total of 535 hp (399 kW).
Not only does it have a new engine, but this second-gen Chevelle is also rocking a modern SuperMatic 4L75-E four-speed transmission capable of distributing as much as 650 pound-feet (881 Newton-meters) of torque to the wheels. Speaking of which, the car is riding on a new set of 18-inch front and 20-inch rear polished alloys complemented by a substantially lowered ride height thanks to an air suspension to make the Chevelle worthy of its “Slammer” name.
Chevy says it has also made some subtle changes to the black body to lend the car a sleeker appearance while retaining the desirable classic lines. There are even more changes than meets the eye, as hiding underneath the lovely sheet metal are modern brakes borrowed from the latest Camaro.
The interior cabin has also been subjected to a few changes and it has been trimmed and painted in Adrenaline Red. Chevy took the 2016 Camaro’s seats and placed them inside the Chevelle, while the custom gauges denote the concept is powered by a new engine.
Chevy will have the Chevelle Slammer concept on display until Friday at SEMA where it shares the spotlight with an all-modern Camaro Slammer. These two are just the tip of the iceberg, with Chevy showcasing around 20 cars in Las Vegas, including a Camaro Turbo AutoX concept, a customized Colorado ready for the beach, and a bunch of new performance parts.
Chevy Chevelle Slammer concept
CHEVY CONCEPT COMBINES STYLE, HIGH-TECH PERFORMANCE
Chevelle Slammer introduces new LT376/535 crate engine, 4L75-E transmission
Chevrolet’s Chevelle Slammer concept combines hot-rod style with modern performance and technology, with the all-new LT376/535 crate engine, controllers and SuperMatic 4L75-E automatic transmission.
“The direct-injected LT376/535 is the newest and one of the most technologically advanced crate engines ever from Chevrolet Performance,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It is based on the LT1 engine found in the Corvette Stingray and Camaro SS, but with a unique camshaft-and-heads package to help it produce 535 horsepower — 75 horsepower more than the LT1 in the Stingray.”
The LT376/535 crate engine and SuperMatic 4L75-E transmission are offered as a Connect & Cruise package from Chevrolet Performance that includes the controllers and harnesses.
The 2017 Chevrolet Performance catalog features the new LT376/535 along with the industry’s widest range of crate engines, including Chevrolet Small-Block, Big-Block, LS- and LT-Series engines. The catalog also includes COPO Camaro and circle-track racing engines.
Chevelle Slammer is bad in black
From every angle, the Chevelle Slammer design is all about one thing: stance. It’s low, raked and dripping with hot-rod attitude. The chassis was modified to accommodate large 18-inch front and 20-inch rear polished wheels, while almost every inch of the vintage body was subtly revised to give it a smooth, custom appearance, but not at the expense of its classic lines.
“The ’69 Chevelle is one of the best-looking cars of the muscle car era and we didn’t want to mess with its classic cues or period-perfect proportions,” said Humberto Ortiz, Chevrolet designer. “We’ve simply enhanced it where we could, knocking down the chrome in certain areas and tightening other exterior details such as the bumpers, grille and more. It’s still a 1969 Chevelle at a glance, but as you continue to examine it, the details really stand out.”
An air suspension system alters the stance at the push of a button, including dropping it all the way to the ground for maximum profiling when on display. The car also features a Gen Six Camaro-based performance brake system, including six-piston front calipers.
And while the exterior exudes attitude in all black, the interior makes a searing statement in Adrenaline Red.
“The contrast between the exterior and interior is stunning and dramatic,” said Ortiz. “The idea was to give the cabin the appearance of being dipped in red.”
Mission accomplished. Everything from the instrument panel, door panels and carpet to the headliner, interior panels, console and seats is trimmed or painted Adrenaline Red. The seats come from a 2016 Camaro, while a set of custom gauges in the instrument panel were selected for their compatibility with the electronic signals from the Chevrolet Performance engine and transmission controllers.
LT376/535 crate engine is a high-tech powerhouse
Chevrolet’s all-new, direct-injected LT376/535 crate engine builds on the Gen V Small-Block family’s technologies and takes them to the next level, leveraging CNC-ported heads and the high-lift LT1 Hot Cam to deliver 535 naturally aspirated horsepower.
Chevrolet Performance engineers developed the high-performance camshaft-and-cylinder-head package in-house, leveraging the design elements of the LT1’s advanced combustion system to channel airflow through the optimized cylinder head ports.
The Chevrolet-developed camshaft profile extends the horsepower-building range of the engine higher in the rpm band, pushing it to about 6,800 rpm while still maintaining strong low-rpm torque. Direct injection enables a high 11.5:1 compression ratio that contributes to the engine’s strong horsepower-to-displacement ratio of 1.43:1, or 87 hp per liter.
“The LT376/535 crate engine represents the best of Chevrolet’s performance engineering,” said Rocko Parker, Chevrolet Performance Parts engineer. “Adhering to the same standards as the development of production engines, the LT376/535 offers tremendous power with the drivability expected with a new vehicle. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Chevrolet’s LT376/535 crate engine — part number 19355378 — includes a production intake manifold, throttle body assembly, ignition coils, water pump, balancer and more. It requires Chevrolet Performance’s engine controller kit, part number 12677124.
SuperMatic 4L75-E automatic transmission offers big capacity
The Chevelle’s crate engine is paired with Chevrolet’s new SuperMatic 4L75-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission (part number 24283281) featuring a torque capacity of 650 lb.-ft.
That exceptional capacity makes it suitable for many of Chevrolet’s highest-output crate engines and a great alternative to the 4L80 series when packaging space is an issue. The 4L75-E’s “barrel” is significantly smaller than the 4L80 series, making it easier to install in many smaller vehicles. It is also lighter, which enhances overall performance and vehicle balance.
The new 4L75-E is based on the already robust design featuring five-pinion gearsets and other strengthened components. It also includes a unique high-strength input housing, higher capacity servo, heat-treated stator shaft splines, induction-hardened turbine shaft, eight-friction-plate 3-4 clutch, larger 2-4 band and specific valve-body calibration.
“The Chevelle Slammer’s combination of style and performance makes a strong hot-rod statement and is the perfect platform to launch the new direct-injected LT376/535 crate engine and 4L75-E transmission,” said Campbell.
The Chevelle Slammer joins approximately 20 additional Chevrolet models at the SEMA Show, Nov. 1-4.