Will GM’s Promising New 6.6-Liter V8 Be the Future of Corvette Hotrodding?

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GM purposely kept things simple with its new Gen V L8T. However, there’s plenty of Corvette friendly potential here.

At this point, we know a good amount about the forthcoming C8 Corvette, except for a few crucial details. And we likely won’t until it finally makes its public debut on July 18. That mystery also surrounds what sort of motors will power the new mid-engine ride. But if you want to play a little connect the dots, look no further than GM’s brand new Gen V 6.6-liter L8T V8. The freshly designed pushrod motor was just announced for the 2020 Silverado and Sierra HD lineup, and it’s packing a ton of promise.

The 6.6 is a stroker version of the 6.2-liter direct injection engine used in the current 1500 series pickups. It was specifically designed to improve towing capacity, an all-important task in the highly competitive world of trucks. Outside of that, we don’t yet know a lot about this exciting new powerplant. But it sure sounds like hotrodder’s dream, and a good base for what might land in the coming Corvette.

Corvette 6.6-Liter L8T

The 6.6 features the same 4.065-inch bore as the 6.2-liter, but a larger 3.86-inch stroke to increase displacement. Rounded up, that makes it 401 cubic inches, for you old school guys. The block is cast iron for strength, with aluminum heads up top. Power output in this configuration is (ironically) 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. That’s actually down from the 6.2’s 420 hp, but there’s a good reason for that. GM wanted the new motor to run on 87 octane gas, so they lowered compression to 10.8:1.

Corvette 6.6-Liter L8T

Of course, those things aren’t a problem with high performance applications like the Corvette. There’s room with the L8T to increase the bore and add a good bit of compression with a piston change. The heads can also be fortified with larger intake valves, and a bigger cam and free-flowing intake would result in a big power jump. We’ve already seen this with the LT1 used in the current C7 Corvette.

It’s pretty clear that GM is sandbagging it a little with the L8T, for good reason. But we can’t wait to see what it’s truly capable of, whether that be in the C8 Corvette or just as a crate engine offering.

Photos: Hard Working Trucks

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

He 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, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

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

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