General Motors has a new piece of hardware for their trophy case thanks to WardsAuto, who selected the C7 Corvette LT1 V8 as one of their 10 Best Engines for 2015, the second straight year that the LT1 was so honored.
To be eligible for the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, an engine or propulsion system must be all new or significantly re-engineered and available in the U.S. market with a base price not exceeding $60,000. Eight WardsAuto editors drove the vehicles in October and November in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit scoring each engine based on power, torque, technology, observed fuel economy, and relative competitiveness, as well as noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.
The Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition pits 27 of the latest engines available in the U.S. market against the returning 10 winners from the previous year. Four engines that won last year returned to the winner’s circle for 2015: the Chevrolet LT1 V-8, Ford 3-cyl., Ram diesel and the Volkswagen 4-cyl.
General Motors’ 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 is the heart and soul of the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette. The LT1 is part of the Gen 5 family, which also includes the 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8, and 6.2-liter V8 truck engine, and combines several advanced technologies – direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing – to support an advanced combustion system.
Direct injection is a primary contributor to greater combustion efficiency by ensuring a more complete burn of the fuel in the air-fuel mixture. This is achieved by precisely controlling the mixture motion and fuel injection spray pattern. Direct injection also keeps the combustion chamber cooler, which allows for a higher compression ratio.
The advanced technologies in the LT1 small block contribute to making the 2015 Corvette the quickest, most powerful and most fuel-efficient standard Corvette ever. The engine delivers an SAE-certified 460 horsepower, helping propel the car from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and a quarter mile in 12 seconds, while offering an EPA-estimated 29 mpg on the highway with an 8-speed automatic or a 7-speed manual transmission.
WardsAuto editors were impressed not only with the Corvette’s performance, but also the Stingray’s fuel mileage. After flogging the Corvette for over 300 miles, the editors averaged more than 20 miles per gallon with the 8-speed automatic.
As Corvette enthusiasts, we all have been given grief by pseudo engine experts about Corvette’s continued use of an “antiquated” engine having only two valves per cylinder and no overhead cams. In response, we need only point to Wards 10 Best Engines for 2015 and note that the Corvette small block V8 was among the winners that included an electric motor, a supercharged V8, several turbocharged DOHC engines, and a fuel cell. By any definition, that’s keeping company with some pretty advanced technology.
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