BAS: The Secret Code Name Behind the 2019 Corvette ZR1’s 755-hp LT5 Engine


BAS: The Secret Code Name Behind the 2019 Corvette ZR1's 755-hp LT5 Engine

It’s been long rumored that Chevy was planning another Corvette ZR1 to give the C7 generation a fitting sendoff.

But we didn’t know for sure if the Bowtie Brand would actually follow through, nor how many horses would be under the hood if the ZR1 did come back.

Of course, everyone knows now that the C7 ZR1 is a reality, having been introduced to the world in Dubai as a coupe, then at the LA Auto Show as a convertible, and likewise we know that its new LT5 engine will make a whopping 755 horsepower and an equally impressive 715 lb-ft of torque.

During those mysterious years of development, though, the creative engineering geniuses at Chevy came up with a secret code name for the LT5 engine that will be under the ZR1’s shaker hood: BAS.

What’s that, you ask?

Well, Chevy was hoping that snoopy reporters would think it just stood for “belt alternator system,” which is actually used in GM’s diesel engines.

But actually, BAS stood for something a bit more sophomoric but totally accurate: Big Ass Supercharger.

Who’s to argue with that description?

BAS: The Secret Code Name Behind the 2019 Corvette ZR1's 755-hp LT5 Engine

After all, the new LT5 engine’s supercharger is 52 percent bigger than the LT4 in the Z06. Ironically, though, Jordan Lee, chief engineer of the new LT5, says the ZR1’s supercharger actually spins slower than the LT4’s to produce less heat at 15,860 rpm versus 21,000 rpm in the LT4. We all know how important heat can be for an engine.

To produce the 110 horsepower needed to run that new bigger supercharger, though, Chevy had to use a larger 11-rib belt, meaning that the LT5 actually makes 865 hp before losing 110 of its output to the supercharger.

Now, that’s a Big Ass Supercharger if we’ve ever seen one!


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