By any measure, the LS7 that powers the 2006 Corvette Z06 is an amazing engine, and one that will hopefully put to rest the idea that a pushrod engine can't be sophisticated and efficient. Each liter of displacement contributes 72 HP, for a total of 505 as measured by the new SAE J2723 standard (this procedure should help prevent both under- and over-rating, of which there have been several examples in recent years) . A 7,000 RPM redline provides 800 RPM of overrev beyond its 6,200 RPM power peak. Those that have driven vehicles with rev limiters placed precariously close to the power peak will appreciate this when faced with a do-I-upshift-or-hold-this-gear situation at the end of a straightaway.
Most importantly, the dyno graphs show that output torque never drops below 350 lb-ft from just off idle all the way to redline, providing flexibility that is nearly unequaled among production engines. It?s the sort of thing that isn?t expressed by peak power and torque numbers (showing the futility of everyone?s favorite metrics), but it?s of immediate benefit in nearly every driving situation. Why choose low-end torque or high-end power when you can have both?
We?re going to break our coverage of the LS7 into several installments. Look for our future updates soon.