• Apr 27th 2010 at 1:29PM
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Ah yes, the classic small block Chevy. No other engine in history carries as much nostalgia and General Motors looks poised to push its mouse motor well into the future by adding new technologies designed to clean up the mill's emissions and improve fuel mileage. Expect these engines to show up in applications from sportscars like the Camaro and Corvette to pickup trucks and SUVs.

According to GM, all of its next-generation small block V8s will use aluminum engine blocks in addition to being E85 compatible. We can also expect to see direct injection added to the small block's repertoire for improved efficiency and power production. Finally, the combustion chambers will see a redesign that will promote fuel efficiency.

Naturally, an update to an existing engine line requires a suitable investment, and this one is no different. GM will be investing nearly $900 million and will add or retain more than 1,600 jobs in Tonawanda, NY; St. Catherines, Ontario; Defiance, Ohio; Bedford, Indiana and Bay City, Michigan. More details can be found in the press release after the break.

[Source: General Motors]
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GM To Invest $890 Million To Build Cleaner, More Fuel-Efficient Engines

o Five plants receive work: Tonawanda, N.Y.; Defiance, Ohio; Bedford, Ind.; Bay City, Mich. and St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
o Investment creates or retains about 1,600 jobs
o New engines to save more fuel through direct injection technology and advanced combustion system design

DETROIT – General Motors will invest more than $890 million which will create or retain more than 1,600 jobs in five North American plants to produce a new generation of fuel efficient small block truck and car engines. The investment consists of the following:

* Two plants will support the engine production:
o Tonawanda, N.Y. – an investment of $400 million resulting in more than 710 jobs
o St. Catharines, Ontario – an investment of $235 million resulting in approximately 400 jobs (click here for Canada release)

* Three plants will support engine casting and component production:
o Defiance, Ohio – an investment of $115 million resulting in up to 189 jobs
o Bedford, Ind. – an investment of $111 million resulting in about 245 jobs
o Bay City, Mich. – an investment of $32 million resulting in over 80 jobs

The investments include facility renovation and installation of new, highly flexible engine machining and assembly equipment and special tooling designed for manufacturing efficiency and engine quality. At the casting facilities, investments include expansion of semi-permanent mold and precision sand casting technologies that result in a high degree of dimensional accuracy and material strength properties needed to support the newer, more efficient engines in GM's product portfolio.

"GM is investing in our plants, restoring and creating jobs and making progress toward our vision of designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "These latest investments show our commitment to improving fuel economy for buyers of every GM car, truck and crossover and giving them the best possible driving and ownership experience."

The next generation small block engine family will have unprecedented fuel efficiency through direct injection and an all-new advanced combustion system design. The new engine family will rely exclusively on aluminum engine blocks, which are lighter and contribute to the improved fuel efficiency. In addition to being E85 ethanol capable, these engines are being designed with the capability to meet increasingly stringent criteria emissions standards expected throughout this decade.

Specifics about the engine capabilities as well as product applications will be shared at a later date.

Since the launch of the new GM last July, the company has announced investments of more than $2.3 billion at 22 facilities in the U.S. and Canada. These investments restored or created more than 9,100 jobs, and they demonstrate a strong commitment to GM's future and to the United States and Canada.

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 217,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is blatantly clear who on this site hasn't melted down a set of tires with a LSx engine. Ford took a HUGE step back in '96 when they went OHC, and I still think to this day they regret it. New new 5.0L makes good power, but let's not forget that LSx f-bodys and Vettes have been knocking down 400hp and 30mpg on the highway for over a decade. The whole argument that smaller engines are more efficient just doesn't compute when you have 6.2L V8s getting as good mileage as V6 cars.

      A car is a package, not just an engine, and GM has always been at the top of their game on making large V8 knock down great mileage. Ford was not ready for the LTx engines in '92, and they damn sure weren't ready for '97 when the LSx engines came online. Imports aren't even worth comparing to because no matter what you do a 4L V8 will not offer the same tire frying torque that a 6L V8 will. Some of us like torque, drag racing, and don't sit around dreaming about a 4cyl buzzing away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hopefully, GM will make the 4L V8 the new 6L V8.

        I can't be the only one who thinks a smaller displacement V8 making equal amounts of torque and hp in the 250-350 range would be pretty awesome in a car and just right.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a wonderful engine. I hope they get another 25 years out of it. From the lowly pick-up, to hot-rodders, drag cars, nascar, legitimate supercars, to lemans winning sportscars, I doubt there is a more versatile motor on the planet.

      I'm not a GM fan, but I love this motor and respect what it's done!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look this up.
      The 7.0 Liter LS7 weighs less than the engine out of the E92 M3. So, now I can justify buying an abused M3. So now I'll make a pun by saying "Why not the LS2/LS7" in an M3?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have had a few LSx cars. Yes they get decent mileage when you drive it on the highway in 6th gear. Drive it hard and it eats gas...get real people. I hope you would not buy a V8 to tool down the road in 6th at 1800 rpm. They are a great engine and use displacement to get the job done. Simple matter of fact is without forced induction or some other power adder, if you have less displacement, you need to spin your engine faster to compensate. If you have to really spin it, you have to forget pushrods as they will not stand super high valvetrain speeds. No need to be a fanboy of either, just different approaches.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If i'm not mistaken direct injection results in higher compression ratios and in turn would keep the engines from running on E85. I dont think we will be seeing direct injection on the next gen small block, probably just see a more advanced VVT system and better heads.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is awesome news. I hope V8's don't die - it's the heart of many a great (and great sounding) car - but I'm glad to see them getting cleaned up and more efficient.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nash, Vortecmax wasn't a 5.3L, it was a 6.0L (now the 6.2L).

      And plenty of these trucks are driving around with aluminum blocks, in my past 3 trucks I've had an aluminum block 5.3L, an aluminum block 6.0L and an aluminum block 6.2L. Heck, there wasn't any reason to get an iron block (or it wasn't available).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Read in Motor Trent that new Camaro (2015 model year that will be sold in 2014) will be based on another platform, it will become smaller and lighter. So by the time these V8's will be available they make be too big for the Camaro.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A LT1 can fit easily in a MX-5's engine bay, or say a 280ZX or early RX7 (both very small sports cars). It's a very common swap. LS-series engines are smaller and lighter than an LT series small block.

        To the point that in the cast of the MX-5, it only adds 100lbs, and that's over the rear where the suspension and axles had to be beefed up to cover actually having more power than necessary. The weight balance is identical to a 4 banger-equipped MX-5.

        Only the RX7 sees a significant increase in weight, and that's because it uses a rotary engine. The 280ZX swaps may actually have better balance, since the engine weight is centered further back than the long straight six is.

        There are MG Midgets running around with LS series small block engines. You can put one of those in the bed of a Dodge Dakota (before they were full size trucks). Very few cars today can even meet safety standards at that size (MX-5 is far larger). Basically only the Smart, and it's highly unsafe. Mercedes had to bribe that POS into passing.

        So the next gen, if it stays the same size, will be able to fit in all but the smallest of cars, those of which are so tiny as to be insane. Anything respectable, like a MX-5 or even a MG Midget, will be able to accept it easily. A 2+2 car like the Camaro will have no problems.
        • 5 Years Ago
        These are the engines for the next-gen Camaro and Corvette. The Solstice could fit an LS7 in it's engine bay. The Mazda Miata will take a Ford 4.6L V8, I think, it maybe the old 5L, so there is no way the next-Camaro is going to be too small for a small block V8.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, they already have an all aluminum V8 since like 2001? Yeah its just an order code on the regular 5.3 engine I think they called it a vortexmaxx, but no one ordered it because it cost a few thousand more than the regular 5.3 with no benefit except a little lighter (but when your at 5300lbs, what does 200lbs matter, its like not inviting your friend Chuck to goto lunch; your Silverado isn't going to suddenly move any faster).

      Funny thing is this isn't going to be worth the investment, the problem is 8 gaping holes that need filled with gas and no matter how "efficient" that gets done, pushing the aforementioned 5300lbs your not going to increase fuel economy any significant amount.

      now if they would spend that money on stealing (aka copying the emissions controls) VW's diesel engines (that by the way are already sold in the US) and would decrease the overall "hugeness" of the truck they would be sitting pretty, but everyone on here that likes trucks already say this all the time, MFG's just don't care because we already own there junk.

      Ya know a older Chevy 454 only made 230HP (so probably less than 200 at the rear wheels) at the engine and it was the fastest/biggest engine in the truck at the time. Somehow America still moved, construction workers still worked, and they did it with 230HP. Somehow that became unacceptable in a full size truck... weird

        • 5 Years Ago
        They've had all-aluminum versions for quite some time now. They just didn't use them in trucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You cannot put VW's excuse for an aftertreatment system (Yes, I consider a NOx trap a shoddy method) on a medium duty truck and reliably meet emission standards - especially the ones coming down the pike. CARB has made it clear that they are discriminating against diesel engines and are going after exhaust constituents that are difficult to control in a diesel (down to automotive PZEV emissions).

        Just because you don't hear that a manufacturer is working on something does NOT mean it isn't under consideration. The biggest hurdle for a LD diesel in a smaller truck is being able to meet the future emission standards while not pricing it out of the segment. i.e., if you can't at least break even on your investment on an optional diesel powertrain - why would you chose it over a gasoline variant? (if economy was your focus)

        Delivering a viable diesel product in the USA is difficult to do these days. Before you say that VW, Mercedes and BMW do it, please keep in mind the volumes they offer here are minuscule at best - and they pull parts from mass-produced diesel production lines in Europe. To sell a small diesel platform here in the USA, by a domestic manufacturer is tough to sell to management because of the lack of demand:

        Most people think diesels are stinky, dirty, oily contraptions that they wouldn't be caught dead owning - the rest of the people left buy VW TDI's, lol. There simply is not enough demand to sell enough diesel vehicles (except for the 3/4 ton and up pickup segments) to warrant such spending.

        Jeez, I thought you wanted GM to spend YOUR (the taxpayer's money) wisely!? : )
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yup,..GM's really spending our money wisely,......or is it that aluminum is now getting cheaper?

      And they just didn't have the capacity to shift over.

      And BTW,...all you guys and gals,...Ford has been doing more,with less since the 289.Sure,..they may have been down on juice from the factory when compared to the larger GM offerings,...but the smallers motors usually already had better cranks,better main caps,...and little stuff that GM was cheap on.

      Plus,..GM needs the extra torque and HP,....their cars are pigs,...short of that plastic race car they sell called the corvette(named after boat no less).

      GM is where it's at today,...because they are asleep at the wheel,...and they appeal to the number crowds,....those are the ones that look at everything but the curb weight.

      Oh also,..the stickers,...ZR1,Z31,Z34,Z71,Z24,Z28,GTA,SS,ETC,....never seem to mean much....just a bit more,..for showing you paid more for the same junk.

      5 years from now,...GM will probably need another bailout,...because they are still stuck in the 50's for technology and engineering.

      And what I mean is,...short of the no show Volt,...they have no small cars worth looking at.
      Malibu and whatever the Buick equivalent is,...are still in the "rental" category.Trucks and SUVs and Camaros and Corvette potential buyers are the only thing keeping them afloat......barely.

      43 billion people,...this is what they still owe us.Microsoft has in 37 billion liquid and long term investments.

      GM is dead,....and the only thing have left for customers are the diehards who would NEVER own a small GM car anyway...just something else with that tank motor.

      The only numbers they (fanboys) should be worried about now are sales figures.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm very glad to see the legend live on. Go GM!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      And guaranteed it will be a cam-in-block, pushrod, ohv, sub100hp/l, Git 'Er Dunn Jethro fandango; http://www.sadtrombone.com/.
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