GM marks 100-millionth small-block engine built [w/video]

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GM 100 million small block engines

GM 100 million small block enginesA lot has happened in the last 56 years… mankind landed on the moon, the Cold War ended and General Motors managed to build 100 million small-block V8 engines.

First launched in 1955 with 265 cubic inches of displacement, the small block V8 has seen duty in nearly every memorable machine produced by Chevrolet in the last five decades. In addition to being the bread-and-butter engine in GM’s bread-and-butter brand, the small block has also been widely seen in the engine bays of various Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the States, as well as in Vauxhalls in the UK, Opels in the rest of Europe and Holdens in Australia.

While the current fourth-generation small-black V8 engine from GM doesn’t share much at all in common with its forebears, it’s still a tribute to a solid basic design architecture (4.4-inch bore centers, eight cylinders and overhead valves) that has remained a stalwart in power, affordability and efficiency.

The actual 100,000,000 engine will be a supercharged LS9 V8 that would normally be found in the engine bay of a Chevy Corvette ZR1, but this milestone powerplant will be kept and preserved by GM as part of its historical collection. Fittingly, the LS9, with 638 horsepower, is the most powerful engine ever offered by the automaker in a production vehicle.

In related news, GM has announced that its fifth-generation small block, due in the “near future” (perhaps the C7 Corvette?), will be blessed with a new direct-injection combustion system for enhanced efficiency. Naturally, it will still have 4.4-inch bore centers.

There’s plenty of cool statistical information in the press release and video after the break, so we suggest you check it out for yourself… especially if you belong to the camp that believes pushrods automatically equal antiquated technology.

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GM marks 100-millionth small-block engine built [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Nov 2011 16:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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