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Published on 12/10/2018

An LT5 Story: How the 755 HP Monster Went from the Corvette ZR1 to the Crate

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

For many performance enthusiasts, horsepower is king. So when the 755-horsepower LT5 crate engine was released at the SEMA Show, many gearheads (including us here at The BLOCK) deemed it a cause for celebration. During the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, we talked to longtime Chevrolet Performance engineer Rocko Parker about why the supercharged LT5 is now available straight out of the crate.

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Published on 12/10/2018
parts, events
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

An LT5 Story: How the 755 HP Monster Went from the Corvette ZR1 to the Crate

For many performance enthusiasts, horsepower is king. So when the 755-horsepower LT5 crate engine was released at the SEMA Show, many gearheads (including us here at The BLOCK) deemed it a cause for celebration. During the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, we talked to longtime Chevrolet Performance engineer Rocko Parker about why the supercharged LT5 is now available straight out of the crate.

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Of course, the engine powers the 2019 Corvette ZR1 supercar, but the folks at GM knew it would be in high demand for a variety of applications.

“It’s something we’ve done with all of the more high-tech engines we come out with, [it’s from] the Corvette and people really like it,” Parker said. “It’s the latest and greatest technology, the highest horsepower, it’s just something we’ve done because people enjoy it. They want to get it in their ’69 Nova or their older hot rod.”

Parker, a 33-year veteran of GM, primarily designs LS engines and is quick to point out that a team of 100 or so engineers and designers were behind the LT5. On this project, he was responsible for instruction sheets explaining how the engine works, how to run the cooling system and dry sump oiling system, and any other number of details to help customers get their money’s worth.

Amazingly, the LT5 crate available to customers is essentially the same one under the hood of the Corvette ZR1. Where the Chevrolet Performance side came in was in the development of necessary components for installation such as the engine controller, wiring harness and front end accessory drive kit. The team also spends a great deal of time tweaking the engine control module calibration for many crate engines.

“I’ve got guys who put them in older vehicles and run them in different conditions to make sure that they all drive well, be it 40 degrees or 80 degrees, and that they shift properly,” Parker says. ”So there’s a lot of work done on the controls of the engine for aftermarket crate stuff.”

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Otherwise, the 6.2L LT5 V-8 crate option features all of the same technology as is found in the version that comes standard in the ZR1. It is capable of 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, while a new, more-efficient supercharger on the LT5 maintains the same four-lobe design as the LS9 and LT4. However, it is much larger. The Eaton component checks in at 2.65 liters of displacement, making it 64 percent larger than the LT4’s 1.7-liter compressor and creates more boost.

To support all that extra air flowing into the engine, the LT5 also has a unique dual-fueling system. An extra set of port fuel injectors complements the standard direct injection system, meaning a whopping 16 injectors in total provide the fuel. Usually the engine will operate solely on direct injection, while the port injectors supplement the direct-injection system under heavier fuel loads -- like when the engine is at wide-open throttle. The engine also features the largest throttle body (95mm) ever on an LS or LT engine, camshaft phasing, an electronically controlled bypass for the supercharger, and unique rod and main bearings.

When asked about what Parker thinks the greatest appeal of the LT5 will be, his answer was telling, if not unsurprising.

“The horsepower,” he simply said. “People just love the horsepower.”

Seeing as this is the most powerful production crate engine ever produced by Chevrolet Performance, he is no doubt correct.

Much more about the crate version of the LT5 is in this video:

Also, keep watching The BLOCK and @theblockdotcom on Instagram for more from this year’s PRI Trade Show.

*Chevrolet Performance Crate Engines include a 24-month or 50,000-mile/80,000-kilometer limited warranty, whichever comes first. See your GM dealer for details.

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