Ruthless Pursuit of Power: Lucky Seven Edition: The Mystique of the 7-Liter, 7000-RPM, LS7
Everything you ever wanted to know about the C6 Corvette’s LS7 engine and the men and women behind this incredible work of engineering!
by Hib Halverson
© May 2013
For a long time, the only C6 Z06es I drove weren’t mine. Great to be able to beat on, ah…test somebody else’s expensive Vette and have fun doing it.
I first had C6Z seat time in the Fall of ’06. In Detroit to research an article for the late-great, Corvette Quarterly magazine on the car’s LS7 engine, I conned GM Communications out of a Z06 for four days. Between crappy weather and commuting to various interviews and photo venues, for three days all I did was cruise greater Detroit. That began my understanding of the LS7 mystique. In all that mundane driving, the engine was surprisingly docile, for such a big engine got great mileage and, other than “LS7” stamped on the beauty covers, it looks like any other Small-Block V8. But, don’t let that stuff fool ya–the car is clearly bi-polar.
The OMG Effect
On the last day, I drove down to Lingenfelter’s in Indiana to drop in on my pal, Graham Behan, who’s Chief Engineer there. The run down to Decatur was a rainy, windy trip but the weather dried-up for the trip back and there wasn’t traffic on US 24 North. Outside Ft. Wayne, as I cruised the speed limit watching ahead and behind, I wondered: what’ll this sucker do? I back-shifted to fourth and floored it. The exhaust bypasses popped open and the LS7 took a deep breath. I watched the HUD count into triple digits and listened to the wind noise increase. I lifted and let the car coast down to something legal.
Hmmm…so that’s what 470 pounds feet of torque feels like. Cruising along at 75 in sixth once again, I mused, now that was fun. But, I want to experience 7000 RPM. My Valentine 1 had been silent for miles. Checked the mirrors– a few cars way behind–nothing in sight ahead, so this time, I pushed over into third and stomped on it. RPM on the HUD passed 6 going for 7. Got fourth and kept my foot on the floor. 160 on the HUD and about 7000. I lifted.
OMFG! Now THAT’S some motor!
[author image="/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/tn_HibHalverson2.jpg"]Hib Halverson is an automotive writer and content supplier for print and internet media.[/author]