No Replacement for Displacement? Next Corvette May Offer Small-Displacement Turbo V8

Corvette Centennial concept

There are three sure things in life: death, taxes and high-displacement Corvette engines.

Looks like in the coming two to three years we can cross at least one of those off the list, as General Motors just might introduce a small, turbocharged V8 in its classic super muscle car.

I, for one, happen to think this is terrific news, as it gives the ‘Vette some European sophistication it’s been missing since, well, forever.

Others, however, may disagree.

The Detroit Bureau reports that the C7 Corvette’s European-style V8 could measure just over 3.0 liters and use an overhead-cam setup with a dry sump oil system. With help of a turbocharger, GM sources seem to expect that this engine will produce somewhere north of 400 horsepower.

2010 Lamborghini Gallardo

Could a Corvette ever compete?

Even better, the smaller V8 could be a high-revving beast, capable of handling up to 10,000 RPM.

GM’s North American president, Mark Reuss, previously said the C7 will “target a very different sort of buyer,” which I certainly take as a hint that Reuss means the GM will target a buyer with at least some level of sophistication and might even go after the likes of the Lamborghini Gallardo. Of course, that would also mean a substantial interior improvement, which we understand is also slated for the C7.

All this said, we can’t know if any of it is true, because rumors of the C7 ‘Vette have reached near-mythical status. Everything from a midengine layout to rumors of the return of the split window have surfaced in recent months.

If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that traditional V8 enthusiasts don’t have much to worry about, as the story says that a full range of engines will be available, including the brute-force large-displacement units that have always found a home in the oh-so-American Corvette.

Would a smaller displacement turbo V8 finally put the Corvette on your list of dream supercars?


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  1. @Randy

    “outdated powerplant”

    Lets see, Lamborghini engine vs. ZL1 engine. Lambo cost $500k, Vette $100k – Both have nearly identical performance.

    GM warranties their engine 5 years. Lambo 3 years.
    Corvette oil change, $60 bucks at dealer or Jiffy Lube. Lambo, $1400.
    Corvette 100,000 miles without tune up. Lambo, $9000+ tune up every 15k.

    A Lambo is VERY lucky to make it to 50k miles without major engine damage. A well cared for Corvette engine can easily last 250k miles+

    The Lambo’s cost of ownership for two years is equal the price of a new ZR1.

    If your Lambo broke down in Maine, you would have a $5000 tow bill to the nearest person who can work on it. If your Corvette broke down in Maine, any GM dealership or corner garage can fix it.

    It never ceases to amaze me what some people with their heads up their rear ends consider “outdated” or “high tech”

    The truth is people should be asking Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari when they are going to start imitating Corvette. I hope this engine story is a bad joke because the uber rich morons who buy euro money pits won’t buy Corvettes and such a departure from tradition will run off the Corvette faithful. I wonder if Obama had a hand in this?

  2. GM is addicted to big pushrod engines because they are cheap to make. That’s one reason why nobody in the world auto market takes them seriously. You can bet that whatever the product, it will have an outdated powerplant compared to the competition.

  3. Also what kind of question is “Could a Corvette ever compete?” Compete in what way? The ZR1 already competes quite well in performance aspects such as Nurburgring times. Maybe a more luxurious interior would be nice, but they they are trying to keep costs down. If they could make the interior alot nicer for only a small amount it would be worth it, because people don’t want to pay over 200,000 dollars for a Corvette. Corvettes are suppose to be good value for your dollar.

  4. The first picture looks like they copied styling from the Cadillac Cien concept… That styling does not interest me, i’ll stick to a C5..

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