Sometimes as we’re peering out over the horizon looking for the next iteration of Chevrolet’s supercar, evidence of its existence may be sitting right under our noses. That was the case when MidEngineCorvetteForum member meyerweb posted a thread containing information on a shipping crate located at the National Corvette Museum that gives some solid evidence on the Corvette LT7 Engine.
There was a crate holding an LT6 engine on display at the NCM. We’ve all swooned over the LT6 engine, that high-revving and overhead-cammed behemoth that powers the all-new Z06 Corvette. These crates are designed to hold various engines and are intended for use over and over as a means of shipping them. Their specific use is often grafted onto the surface somewhere for easy recognition.
Such is the case with this highly informative shipping crate. It denotes the engine for which it holds – a 670 horsepower LT6. What was really interesting and brought to light through meyerweb’s posting is that the stenciling on the crate decries ALL of the engines that this particular crate is suited to hold, which includes an LT7 engine! The stencil painted on the crate states, “LT6 Gamma, LT7 Beta, Front.” The “Gamma” and “Beta” verbiage designate how closely the engine is to production, “Alpha” being the first stage of development, with “Beta” being another step closer toward production.
A lot of information is given through some layers of wood and stenciled paint. Firstly, this crate is intended for dual-overhead cammed engines. You can see the LT2 crate behind this engine and clearly see that they differ in how they hold the two types of engines. Also, in GM’s penchant for “not talking about future products,” many have assumed that the LT7 engine was undergoing testing and evaluation, but no one could confirm anything. That appears to have been firmed up greatly by a thin layer of black paint unassumingly applied to a pallet.
The LT7 Corvette Engine
Horsepower has been increasing at an almost alarming rate at Corvette. And rumor has it the LT7 engine will not disappoint. Based on the LT6 format (the reason it fits the same crate), the LT7 looks to be a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo DOHC engine. Boosting has been a means for GM engineers to increase the performance of the upper-echelon variants of Corvettes for several generations. Still, the last time turbos were used was way back in the B2K years, thanks to a close-knit relationship with Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Two turbos are still a viable way to increase performance, even on a high-rpm engine such as the current LT6.
As for the LT7 engine, we’ve heard the rustling of 800-850 horsepower for the next, best ‘Vette engine. Corvette already has the distinction of having the highest horsepower engine ever placed in a GM product, and it looks like that trend will continue. Many surmise this will be placed in what will be the C8’s version of the ZR1 Corvette. For now, the only thing that is relatively apparent is that the folks at GM are still working on internal combustion engines for the foreseeable future. Whether that engine will wind up in the ZR1, the Grand Sport or the legacy-honoring Zora model is yet to be determined.