Over on eBay is a C6 Corvette Z06 whose LS engine was modified to have a flat-plane crank layout. As there are all kinds of rumors about the next generation C8 Corvette that may or may not have a similar setup, I wanted to check this out further!
Traditionally, GM’s small-block engines have utilized a cross-plane crank configuration where the crankshaft rotates 90 degrees between cylinder fires. This keeps the engine running smoothly as there is a constant rotation of the crank because the cylinder is firing during every 90-degree rotation. One of the benefits of V8s with a cross-plane crank is they can provide a large amount of torque beginning at lower RPMs.
A flat-plane crank can be found in many European exotics like Ferrari although Ford used the design in its Mustang Shelby GT350. Flat-plane cranks are designed to rotate 180 degrees between cylinder fires and consequently, they make their torque at higher RPMs. The redline is higher with flat-plane cranks with some going to 9,000 RPMs or higher. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 has a redline of 8200 RPMs compared with 7000 RPMs on the standard Mustang GT.
Obviously, there’s more to it than that, but I hope that’ll serve as a quick overview. One of the side-effects of a flat-plane crank is the sound they make when revving at high RPMs and that’s another reason why a Ferrari sounds so good at speed.
So now to jump back to our regularly-scheduled post. Here is a black Corvette Z06 that was fitted with a flat-plane crank and it can rev up to 8250 RPMs. The Z06 was set up to be a track car with LG coil-overs and StopTech brakes. The custom built engine provides 560 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
But it’s the sound that we want you to hear. The seller made a video of the Z06 coming and going on a deserted stretch of road and it provides a great soundtrack as to what a Corvette might sound like with a flat-plane crank. We get to hear the car revving and doing some drive-bys at higher-rpms:
We’ve heard from a few that perhaps the Corvette team should go with a flat-plane crank for the C8 Corvette for the higher redline, and one of the interesting patents that GM received recently was a two-stage turbo that would offer more torque at lower RPMs. So perhaps, but I’m not sold on that idea at all.
While I like a good sounding Ferrari as much as the next guy, I think I prefer the big sound that Corvette V8s are known for. What are your thoughts on a flat-plane crank for the Corvette? Let us know in the comments below.
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