Base C8 Corvette to Come with ‘Only’ an Upgraded LT1 V8 Engine

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C8 Corvette LT1

With the switch to a mid-engine layout, should Chevy also modernize the base Corvette with a DOHC engine?

The C8 Corvette appears primed to take Chevy’s legendary sports car to an entirely new level. With a mid-engine layout and exciting new technology, this future ‘Vette is in a great position to lay waste to its competition at a much cheaper price. You know, something the Corvette has always been known for. But recent rumors that the base model C8 will come with a somewhat “boring,” upgraded LT1 have folks like Corvette Forum member ConcernedCitizen, well, a little concerned.

“Does anyone else find the reports of the base model C8 getting an upgraded version of the LT1 with an estimated 500-520 hp highly unlikely? What about the Cadillac-derived 4.2? Compact design. Built in Bowling Green. Cadillac killing the car it was designed for. 550 hp and oh yeah, a reported 500 hp detuned version. Sound like that’s your base and GT powerplant to me. Why not showcase your latest tech in the most important car release in decades?”

Mid-engine C8 Corvette Zora Latest Image Render Corvetteforum.com

It’s a fair point, indeed. But Tom73 doesn’t exactly feel like this is such a bad thing.

“The CAD drawings of the C8 had it with an LT engine. I think it would make the perfect base engine. Good solid all round engine without the complexity and high service costs of a DOHC engine. Then you could have the DOHC TT in the optional versions for those that want that.”

NY09C6 agrees, because is there really anything wrong with a good old fashioned, naturally-aspirated pushrod engine?

“I would much prefer an N/A motor over something with turbos. CAFE will force the smaller turbo motors, but if they can sneak in a few more years of large CI N/A motors it would be great.”

And as elegant points out, this newfangled LT engine won’t exactly be lagging behind in technology for the most part.

“The upcoming ME will have, year one and probably after that, an LT1-derived but enhanced motor. The LT1 started development about eight years ago and appeared in GM trucks six years ago – an eternity in terms of motor development. The LT2 (for lack of a better code) will be an LT1 with major developments. Much like the four major ones that debuted in the brand new 4-cylinder GM truck motor.”

C8 Corvette LT1

As far as NY09C6 is concerned, Chevy can continue putting its “old school” V8s in the Corvette forever.

“The current LT motor has nothing in common with a 1955 small block. It also not a truck engine, as the torque profile of a truck engine is completely different from the Corvette LT engine. But if if someone wants a more complex DOHC engine that costs more, weights more, has a higher center of gravity, will be less reliable, is more susceptible to heat soak, has turbo lag and is more expensive to maintain/repair/modify so they can save a few cents at the pump, well, they are special. More power to them.”

So far, you won’t find too many people that hate the idea of an LT engine in the C8 Corvette. But we want to know what you think. So head over here and tell us if you’d rather stick with N/A pushrod power or move to a more modern DOHC engine!

Join the Corvette forums today!

Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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