The Chevrolet Corvette received the new General Motors LS engine in 1997. Although classified as a small block, it had very little in common with the previous generation of small block engines produced by GM. It had the same bore spacing, but the engine block was aluminum. The bore was shorter than the previous small block at 3.908 inches (99.33 mm) and the stroke was longer at 3.622 inches or 92 mm. The pistons were flat-topped and the previous pentagon-shaped, 5-bolt cylinder head pattern was now a four-bolt square pattern. The firing order for the cylinders was new as well, which brought it in line with the other V-8 motors of the day: 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3.
The engine had a 5.7 L (345.7 cubic inch) displacement and put out 350
horsepower (260 kW) with 375 lb. ft. (508 N-m) of torque. The LS1 was
also designed to run 100K miles without a tune-up, something unheard of
in the old small blocks. And the engine had a throttle not actually
connected to the gas pedal. Instead, when the driver pressed the pedal,
it activated a sensor which was connected to the onboard “engine
management” computer. In 2001, the LS1 got the manifold that allowed
more flow and an improved camshaft, both from the LS6. In 1997, the
base model Corvette with the LS1 engine sold for $37,495.