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Chevy Turned to eBay to Develop the Corvette's Z06 V8, Spent $25K on a Ferrari 458 Engine

Development of the LT6, namely the engine powering the new Corvette Z06, started in 2014, and right off the bat, Chevy’s engineers were faced with a few problems, like how to make a flat-plane crank V8.
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 6 photos
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The reason is simple, as GM had never made such a lump before, never mind one that could rev so high, so the team behind the project had to take a look at the ‘competition’ to see how they do it. As a result, they decided to buy the engine of a Ferrari 458, and the perfect candidate was found on eBay.

We were able to buy a wrecked car engine from Poland on eBay. We sent them a check for something like $25,000, and we were all pretty pleased and thrilled that the engine actually did show up,” chief engineer Jordan Lee said during a presentation of the LT6, quoted by TheDrive.

So, where do you think they had it sent to? Not at a secret location, but their Michigan engineering facility, and immediately started disassembling it. Corvette’s chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, stated that they were surprised of “how small their bearings were.” From there, the team wanted to discover how Ferrari protected the ignition and electronic components from vibrations, coming up with their own solutions, though “examining engines like the [F136 – Ferrari’s 4.5L V8] was beneficial,” spokesperson Trevor Thompkins added.

An early Corvette C8 prototype was benchmarked against a real Ferrari 458 that the bowtie brand bought for the R&D process, “in large part because of the engine,” said Thompkins. Subsequently, they sold it and bought a 488, yet they decided to reverse course after seeing that the new turbocharged supercar was “lacking in soul” compared to the naturally-aspirated 458, whose 4.5-liter V8 makes 562 hp at 9,000 rpm and 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque at 6,000 rpm.

Speaking of the specs, we will remind you that the Corvette Z06, which will launch this summer, has a 5.5-liter V8 that can be revved up to 8,600 rpm and develops 670 hp and 460 lb-ft (624 Nm).


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