Before we can bring up the unknown, we should talk about what has been made official or is strongly expected in the upcoming fifth generation small-block V8 engine that will debut next year in both the Corvette C7 and GM’s next line of full-size pickup trucks.
First is that the block is expected to be made from aluminum, while second is that direct injection — what we currently see in engines like the LFX V6 — will also be a sure bet. A “brand new combustion system” is also official for the Gen. V small block, though nobody has any idea what on earth that means, except for the engineering team which have gone mute. The next generation of active fuel management will also make its way into the upcoming engine, as will variable valve timing. Also highly expected, according to LSXTV, is a heightened compression ratio (12.2:1?) and even more advanced and complicated software technology that will govern how the engine operates. It’s also expected that the new small block will have varying displacements, just like the current one with numbers mimicking the current 5.3 and 6.2-liter sizes.
LSXTV also wagers that there’s a 95-percent chance of a raised camshaft tunnel. The website states that this move has its benefits, such as better packaging of the fuel pump, better flexibility with the valvetrain geometry and also larger-diameter cam core. A 93-percent chance is given for the likelihood of a dry-sump oiling system for the Corvette’s small block variant. As for the truck engines, LSXTV gives them a 90-percent chance for eAssist technology.
The odds begin dropping significantly for other elements of the engine. For instance, a concentric camshaft (cam-in-cam) gets a 50-percent chance of existing in at least one of the variants. Such a configurations allows control of both intake and exhaust valves independently. This might have something to do with a “brand new combustion system”, if it turns out to be true. Even lower is the notion of three valves per cylinder, which LSXTV figures has a less than 20 percent chance of existing in the new small blocks. We hope not. As for an active intake manifold, it comes in at less than 10 percent.
These predictions are bold, but remain grounded in terms of expectations. Will they be right? Tell us in the comment section below what your predictions are for GM’s next generation small block engines.