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Strongest smallblock ever?


Well-known member
Nov 2, 2000
The Land of Enchantment
In the market
I've heard it said that the LT4 is the strongest smallblock ever put in a Corvette. While it's great for bragging rights, I'm not sure it's realy applicable. What about the LT5? It's a small block 350, just like the LT4. Is it not considerd due to the DOHC and 32 valve design as opposed to the traditional Corvette engine pushrod design?

Before anyone mentions the LS1, or the LS6, I'm talking about pre C5 cars.

Mmmmmm.....good question Jason. This issue has been raised many times before and I can't remember what the outcome is....I think it's time to hit up our resident media-wonk, Hib Halverson for this one.

Actually, now that I think about it....I had an email discussion years ago with Hib and possibly even Corvette Powertrain Engineer, Jim Ingle about this. Let me dig through some old dusty emails and see what I can find.
Most powerful corvette 350

The key to your most power quest is "in a Corvette". Factory motor vs aftermarket modifications. We run 352 Chevy pushrod motors that dyno over 750 hp in circle track racing.
Stock for stock, my guess would be the LT-5 like you said. I don't think it should matter if it's a DOHC or not, it still has 350 cubic inches:)
Here is Hib's response:

"The LT4 is a "Small Block V8" and IS the most powerful production Small
Block V8 ever built by GM.

The LT5 could be considered a small-block engine by virtue of its
5.7L/350 cu in displacement however, in the literal sense, it's not a
small-block because of its rather large physical size and weight compared
to a Small Block V8.

As for LT5 being considered part of the Small Block V8 engine family? No
way. It shares almost nothing with small-blocks except the 4.40 bore
center spacing."

Hib Halverson
Thanks for clearing that up for me Rob. I guess the LS6 now holds the "strongest smallblock ever" title?

Good point about the LT5...

What I would like to see is a straight-across shootout between the LT4 and the LS6... too bad someone hasn't wedged an LS6 into a '96 C4 yet... :)

Hey, wait a minute... about that project car idea...

Seriously, I think the overall C5 "package" would give it such a dominance over the C4 package that you'd have to almost run the two engines in the same car (yeah, one at a time guys!) to even out the playing field.

Overall package-wise the Z06 has got to be one of the most phenominal setups ever offered on a Corvette. Sure the '67 427 may have more raw power (L88 or ZL1 anyone?) but the overall product is truly amazing. Chevy reached WAY down in their bag of tricks for this one... even the blue-oval Cobra R blinks first... and you gotta love that !!

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