It used to be that American muscle cars were competing against themselves when it came to power. But rumor has it that, in the case of the Chevrolet ZR-1, the domestic horsepower war has a new international benchmark: the BMW M-division V10.
Word is that "German competition is driving the higher horsepower and torque numbers coming to the Corvette." Chevy engineers said that the new LS9 was created to "match up favorably" with the V10 found in the M5 and M6. The supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 has 620HP and 595 lb-ft of torque, with 535 lb-ft available from 2,600 RPM and a 6,200-RPM redline. The high-revving, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V10 has 507 HP and 385 lb-ft of torque, and goes all the way up to 8,250-RPM.
It's good to see Chevrolet taking its cues from the best, no matter whether its domestic or international. Especially when it's applied to an engine created with a different philosophy (large-displacement, low-revving grunt) to go in a car with a vastly different purpose than the M5 or M6. BMW's S85 V10 has won at least two International Engine of the Year awards for three years straight, and the LS9 still needs to prove itself. In the mean time, the far more powerful LS9 can gloat that it gets better highway gas mileage: 20 MPG versus. the V10's 17. American ingenuity, +1.
[Source: The Car Connection]