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General Motors Media Press Release

FOR RELEASE:  November 6, 1996
CONTACT:  Kathy Bommarito
Phone:  (313) 974-7136, fax (313) 974-0321
CONTACT:  Jill Witzenburg
Phone:  (810) 635-5413, fax (810) 635-1369

GM Performance Parts Adds LS1 Engine to its Lineup

LAS VEGAS -- For the first time, GM Performance Parts is offering a complete all-aluminum small-block engine--the LS1 engine--to the automotive aftermarket.

This evolutionary, new third generation small block engine will be available at GM dealerships early in 1997, according to Michael Fellberg, general product manager for performance parts for General Motors Service Parts Operations (SPO).

"This engine is a powerhouse that incorporates new technology that improves performance and reduces emissions, while retaining some of the strongest features of the legendary Chevrolet small-block engine," Fellberg said. "The intake manifold is made of a composite material rather than cast aluminum, and this combined with the aluminum block reduces overall engine weight by nearly 65 lbs.--a significant improvement over the Chevrolet small block."

Mark McPhail, a GM Motorsports engineer, says that the advances in the LS1 that will be most apparent to auto enthusiasts are weight reduction and improved air flow. "Engineers designing the LS1 paid particular attention to these areas as a means of increasing performance and reducing emissions. The smooth surface of the composite intake manifold and redesigned cylinder heads facilitate air flow, which positively impacts horsepower. This new technology allows the 5.7 liter, 350 cubic-inch, V8 to achieve 345 horsepower and 350 lbs.-ft. torque.

"Many people believe it is necessary to compromise on emissions to achieve increased performance," continued McPhail. "That notion is not true with the LS1. The cylinder heads have replicated, free-flowing intake ports that improve air flow, while reducing emissions at the same time. It's a win/win situation."

The overall design of the engine assembly is more rigid than previous engines. A new direct-mount accessory drive system, deep skirt block and hollow-camshaft design all contribute to reduced engine vibration and noise. Relocation of the oil pump to the front of the engine helps achieve a shorter block, reducing the LS1's length. McPhail added that this is especially critical in light of future design and customer requirements.

Although the LS1 differs significantly from the Chevy small block, both engines share some common characteristics-- both are 90-degree V8s, employing 350 cubic inches of pushrod, two-valve power.

"Engineers designing the valvetrain started with a clean slate, but concluded that the simplicity, cost and package size of the classic pushrod system are superior to single- or dual-overhead cam systems," explained McPhail. "New rigid, lightweight roller rocker arms allow higher engine operating speeds while reducing friction for improved fuel economy and higher specific output."

On a continual quest to hike performance a notch higher, Fellberg said he expects aftermarket professionals and enthusiasts to look for ways to modify the LS1 engine still further. "GM Performance Parts engineers are already at work designing components and parts for the LS1 engine that will enable them to do just that."

GM Performance Parts is adding more than 70 new part numbers to its product lineup during 1997. Product families that are growing include engines, camshafts, rocker arms, manifolds, gauges and many others. Consumers can call 1-800- 577-6888 for the location of the nearest GM Performance Parts Authorized Center.

SPO, headquartered in Flint, Mich., markets automotive replacement parts and accessories worldwide under the GM and ACDelco brand names. For more information, visit the ACDelco "On The Edge" web site at and the GM Goodwrench Service "Cyberbay" at SPO has exhibits at BIG I/APAA in Booth Number 4038 and SEMA in Booth Number 6650.

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