The electrification zeitgeist is in full swing, but gasoline-powered engines won’t disappear overnight. Nor will V8 power, as GM just confirmed a new small-block V8 engine is coming soon. This will be the sixth generation of the legendary small-block V8 that has powered so many Chevy and GM products since its introduction in 1954 for the 1955 model year.
What vehicles will the new GM small-block engine be for?
It seems like all you hear from every automaker lately is electric-centric. Gas engines, and V8s in particular, seem like anachronisms next to the latest out of every automotive corner from Ford to Ferrari. But there is no denying V8 power is still very popular. And in GM’s case, needed.
The news came with the announcement that GM plans to invest “$854 million to prepare its engine facilities to produce the company’s sixth generation Small-Block V8.” GM says the new V8 will power both trucks and SUVs. Maybe it was paying attention to Ford F-150 enthusiasts hoping for a V8 in the Tremor. Ford listened and complied.
What is the new GM small-block engine replacing?
Currently, GM offers two different V8s in its trucks and SUVs. The 5.3-liter L84 small-block EcoTec3, and the 6.2-liter L87 big-block EcoTec3. There is also the fifth-gen LT2 6.2-liter in the C8 Corvette, which shares many similarities but is, of course, oriented for mid-engine placement. Better lubrication and performance are its main deviations.
GM has not indicated if the new V8 will also see action in the Corvette. The Camaro is phasing out in 2024, so it is doubtful the sixth-gen V8 will find its way into Camaros. After the first generation of the V8, which lasted over two decades, GM creates newer versions less than 10 years apart. As the design has progressed, it shares less with the original version, except for bore spacing.
Where will the new V8 be built?
Flint, Michigan, is the chosen plant for the new engine assembly. It currently produces the 3.0-liter LM2 I6 Duramax and 3.0-liter LZ0 Duramax engines. An expansion program has just begun to accommodate the additional engine demands. So, while no dates were announced for the beginning of production, it will undoubtedly begin once plant construction is completed.
The fifth generation small-block V8 first appeared in 2014, but the original LS debuted in 1997. It was replaced by the LT for the C8 Corvette after three small-block generations. So adding it up, there have been four generations over 26 years.
Three other manufacturing plants will receive the remainder of the $918 million GM is spending on plant upgrades. Since 2013, it has invested over $37 billion in expanding manufacturing facilities, according to GMauthority.