Chevrolet hit a massive home run with its LS-series V8 engines. The first one appeared back in 1996, and these mills have become so popular that the term LS swap is nearly as common as Mustang crash in the car world. As such, Chevy has a broad offering of crate engines and today the lineup is literally stronger than ever. That’s because the Corvette ZR1’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 mill and all its 755 horses (563 kilowatts) join the party.
It’s one of three new crate engines the automaker is offering, and all will be showcased in vintage Chevy iron at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Along with the ZR1’s mill, a new 6.0-liter L96 V8 from the LS family will be available making 360 hp (268 Kw) and 380 pound-feet (515 Newton-meters) of torque. The other new offering is a bit more old school, nixing the LS flavor for the classic Chevy 350 V8 formula in a new ZZ6 fuel-injected engine making 420 hp (313 kW).
“Chevrolet Performance’s expanding crate engine lineup offers something for every enthusiast and his or her dream project,” said Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “That choice is matched with the peace of mind that comes only from factory-engineered systems tested to the same standards as production vehicles, for performance you can count on.”
Rather than simply bolting the new engines on stands, Chevy will show prospective buyers how the V8s work with three vintage builds. The ZZ6 engine is fitted to a classic 1967 C/10 pickup, with the L96 holding station in a 1978 Silverado truck. The ZR1’s LT5, however, is dropped into something we wouldn’t expect – a 1973 Chevelle Laguna that pays homage to NASCAR with its black wheels and small trunk spoiler. Such builds often involve classic Camaros, so it’s quite refreshing to see something different. And we love the way this old Chevelle looks.
Chevrolet now offers nearly 50 crate engines, and you can bet a majority of them – as well as these three newbies – will be on display at SEMA the end of this month.
Gallery: Chevrolet Crate Engines At SEMA
CHEVROLET’S NEW CRATE ENGINES SHOWCASED IN VINTAGE CONCEPTS
DETROIT — Chevrolet Performance’s newest crate engines go on display at the SEMA Show, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, in a trio of vintage vehicles that showcase the installation possibilities for builders.
The lineup includes:
- 1973 Chevelle Laguna with the all-new LT5 6.2L supercharged crate engine
- 1967 C/10 with the all-new ZZ6 EFI 5.7L V-8 crate engine
- 1978 Silverado with the L96 6.0L V-8 crate engine.
The new crate engines add to a portfolio of nearly 50 Small Block, Big Block, LS, LSX, LT, Circle Track and COPO crate engines, giving enthusiasts more choices for powering their projects.
“Chevrolet Performance’s expanding crate engine lineup offers something for every enthusiast and his or her dream project,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “That choice is matched with the peace of mind that comes only from factory-engineered systems tested to the same standards as production vehicles, for performance you can count on.”
Many Chevrolet Performance crate engines are offered as Connect & Cruise combinations and emissions-legal E-ROD systems. The innovative Connect & Cruise combos match crate engines with transmissions and the necessary controllers, while the E-ROD systems include emissions equipment that make them eligible for installation in millions of 1995-and-earlier vehicles in California.
For 2019, the supercharged LT4 E-ROD joins the lineup of LS3 E-ROD, LSA E-ROD and LT1 E-ROD systems.
1973 Chevelle Laguna / LT5 6.2L Supercharged
The Chevelle Laguna introduced sporty, more contemporary styling to the Chevrolet lineup in 1973, with distinctive, body-color urethane front and rear fascias. It also made its mark in NASCAR, powering drivers such as Cale Yarborough to the winner’s circle.
That racing heritage inspired the build of this show car, which features the new LT5 6.2L supercharged crate engine. It’s based on the engine that drives that Corvette ZR1 and is the most powerful production engine ever from Chevrolet, rated at 755 horsepower and 715 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s also a technology powerhouse, with Chevy’s first dual-fuel system, featuring direct injection and supplementary port injection, as well as a new, larger-displacement supercharger to boost the engine’s air charge.
Chevrolet designers adapted the production ZR1’s carbon fiber hood styling on the Laguna, in a nod to the propulsion system, along with front and rear spoilers that pay homage to the NASCAR racecars of the Seventies. The car rides on a modified suspension and 18-inch wheels.
1967 C/10 / ZZ6 EFI
The classic C/10 pickup that helped Chevrolet mark 100 years of building trucks is back, showcasing the new ZZ6 EFI crate engine.
Combining the drivability advantages of electronically controlled fuel injection with the classic style and installation versatility of the 350 Small Block engine, Chevrolet Performance’s new ZZ6 EFI crate engine kits offer a “best of both worlds” solution for hot rod and resto-mod projects. A fuel injection throttle body mounted in place of the carburetor allows a traditional air cleaner to be installed on the engine. The result is a great, traditional appearance and all the drivability advantages of EFI— and as strong 420 horsepower on tap.
Like the ZZ6 EFI, the ’67 C/10 show vehicle’s classic style is complemented with modern hot rod touches, including a lowered suspension, 20-inch wheels, smoothed and customized bumpers and tailgate, and a custom-trimmed interior.
1978 K10 Silverado / L96
Chevrolet’s 1978 K10 Silverado concept blends the classic, two-tone styling of the “square box” generation with the modern performance enabled by an LS engine swap — the heavy-duty truck-based L96 crate engine.
Rated at 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, the electronically controlled, fuel-injected L96 offers greater power than the Big Block engines of the square box era, in a lighter, more compact package. It’s matched in the concept vehicle with an electronically controlled four-speed overdrive automatic transmission, for a combination that exemplifies today’s popular trend of adapting modern Chevrolet LS and LT propulsion systems in vintage vehicles.
Inside and out, the black-and-red Silverado 4x4 looks factory-fresh, with a frame-off restoration that was completed at General Motors’ Milford Proving Ground. It’s a period look driven by modern technology.
Crate engines and more in new Chevrolet Performance catalog
In addition to crate engines, Chevrolet Performance supports builders with the complementing components such as accessory drive kits, fuel and spark, and other parts that help complete an installation and get the engine running.
There is also an expanded range of transmissions, including the all-new 6L80-E six-speed automatic that’s designed for LS/LT engine swaps.
The complete lineup of crate engines, engine parts, transmissions and more is available in the 2019 Chevrolet Performance catalog, which is available from Chevrolet dealers or downloadable at Chevroletperformance.com.