• Mar 4, 2008
Click the image above for more high-res pics of the ZR1

The ZR1 Corvette is one serious piece of American metal, with the athleticism of a track star and the brute power of drag racer. While light weight materials, magnetic damping and 15.5-inch Brembo brakes sounds impressive, the real meat lies under the hood of the fastest ever production Corvette. GM's supercharged 6.2L small block V8 packs at least 620 hp and nearly 600 lb-ft of torque, and its duty is to finally put the Corvette into the supercar club. We were lucky enough to spend some time with Ron Meegan, the assistant chief of GM's small block engine program, and he gave us an engineer's view of the supercharged LS9 engine. Hit the jump to learn why GM didn't use the 7.0L V8 from the Z06, why the Eaton supercharger is so special, and whether or not GM is being modest with the ZR1's projected 620 hp rating.





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  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I cant believe the people here looking down on this engine. Was it cheaper to massage the 6.2L with a supercharger and get 620HP than it was to develop a Lt-5 sucessor that does it naturally? Of course it was by a lot. But the fact of the matter is this engine gets the job done and it does it efficiently without cutting any corners. It has the dry sump system, an oil cooler, oil squirters, intercooler, etc etc this engine will do what it needs to do and it wont need a super high dollar maintenance job every 15 - 30,000 miles. Of course everyone wants a wow factor when u pop open the hood but you have to pay for it. And if this car was 250,000 dollars everyone would be bitching about it despite having everything they wanted.

      GM did a great job and imo the only real gripe can be the hood window and the sub par interior. That is it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really don't get a rat's ass if people think it is an easy way out using forced induction. They had a goal of making an affordable supercar (affordable being a realative term).

      I say mission accomplished.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just like to add something, but the fastest cars in the world use forced induction...Veyron, S7 TT, CCX, Noble...the list goes on. There is only so much you can do with NA, which also all depends on money.

        $100K for 100 ho per liter is far better than anything available.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The McLaren F1 uses natural aspiration. A 6.1 liter V12 and 240mph.
        The Bugatti Veyron could have used a 10 liter, 1000hp V12, but they wanted to have 16 cylinder and 4 turbos.
        The Saleen only made like 500hp before they upped the engine to 525hp. Then they decided to slap a pair of turbos to make something like 700hp, and then really crank it to 1000hp.

        The Noble tries to make the most of a Ford V6, so twin turbos are required.
        CCX, again they started from a Ford modular V8 and went from there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Apparently, pushrods are still viable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Like to complement the folks at GM for their inclusive attempt by allowing various groups a hand in fine-tuning the design of this very fast Corvette. Particularly noteworthy is their reaching out to the local inter-city eighth grade shop class for the detail work on the side vents and spoiler. Good job GM.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That ferrari-esque window on the hood isn't well executed at all...it looks tacky with whatever HP's under there.

      Nice car, 620 HP is impressive, but not from a blown 6.2.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i bet that this 6.2 will make well over 620 hp. and will ge great mpg. this is not a hillbilly hotrod!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        6.2L is not a measure of engine size, it is a measure of engine displacement. This engine (sans blower) is smaller and lighter than the BMW 5.0L V8 in the (previous) M5.

        I agree the window is tacky.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Since when are muscle cars and balls-out American sports cars supposed to have a glass smooth idle with silence?

      That's not American, nor does it adhere to tradition. If that bothers you buy something else.

      If I'm buying an American muscle car like this I expect it to have a lopey idle with some throbbing I can feel, like it's alive, breathing and ready to explode with fury.

      That's part of the appeal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry, Enzos aren't "streetable?"
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK you win.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm just sad they did not use direct injection. Turbo would have been nicer as well but whatevs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In my day, "big block" vs "small block" had nothing to do with displacement. The exterior size of the engine simply was larger on the big block. I used to get a laugh out of the guys that said they had a Pontiac 421 "big block", because all the exterior dimensions of the Pontiac engines from the 326 to the 455 looked the same. If you set a small block engine next to a "rat" motor, the difference is obvious. By the way Shipey, 366 was the smallest "big block", (In large trucks). I presume you knew that and this is only a point I throw out there. We had many "tricks" back in the day, as we took good casting 283's and bored 'em out to 4.00 inches. We called them "301's". In '67 Chevy came out with the Z-28s with essentially the same layout and called them DZ-302'S. These new engines are not small blocks or big blocks in any sense of the former names as we knew them. Wicked power though. We were kings with 300 HP back in the late fifty's and early sixties. We laughed like hell at those guys with Ford flat heads, and 312's with dual fours. It took 'em 40 years, but they finally beat the 60's boys.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's about time GM decided to stab those crappy Italians with a pushrod and chew 'em up with a supercharger. I agree. OHV is the best.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every time I hear that opening guitar chord for Autoblog's videos, I think of the opening of the Beastie Boys' "fight for your right." Autoblog should add in a "kick it!" on their videos just for fun.
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