With the launch of the incredibly hyped up and anticipated C8 Corvette came a new GM small-block engine. The C7 Corvette used the LT1 for the standard models, LT4 for the Z06, and LT5 in the ZR1.
All of those engines are very good and have a lot of potential, however, they weren’t what Chevy wanted for the mid-engine C8 Corvette, so they developed the new LT2.
Traditionally, mid-engined cars are an absolute pain-in-butt to work on and regularly require engine-out services which are very expensive. With the LT2 in the C8, GM designed it to be relatively easy to maintain while also improving compared to the LT1.
As a whole, the LT2 is fairly similar to the LT1, but it has some adaptations to work in a mid-engine vehicle.
Similarities to the LT1
The LT2 has the same bore, stroke, compression ratio, forged crank, and forged rods as the LT1. Of course, it also shares the same overhead valve design, aluminum block and heads, and VVT system. On the outside of the engine, the most noticeable changes are the headers and intake manifold, which are vastly different and more efficient than the LT1’s.
Power output jumps from around 460hp in the LT1 to 495 in the LT2. The increase in power is accomplished thanks to the new intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and slightly more aggressive camshaft.
The LT2 intake lobes are the same as the intake lobes of the LT1, however, the LT2 camshaft has a little bit more lift on the exhaust lobes.
All Lubed Up
Lubrication was the main focus for GM when developing the LT2, because of the increased lateral acceleration thanks to the C8’s mid-engined configuration. Previously, the base C7 Corvette without the Z51 package did not have a dry-sump lubrication system. With the LT2 in the C8, all model has a dry-sump lubrication system.
The system goes from one pump to three multistage scavenge pumps, one in the valley of the V and two in the crankcase. The oil reservoir is mounted to the engine rather than just being in the engine bay, which makes assembly of the C8 much easier because the oil can be added during the engine assembly process instead of when the vehicle is headed down the line.
The LT2 uses a massive liquid-to-liquid oil cooler which is capable of 25% more thermal rejection. Thanks to the massively improved scavenging of the LT2, the oil pan is much shallower which allows the engine to be mounted an inch lower, and the smaller oil pan and more efficient dry-sump system reduces oil capacity from 9.7 quarts in the LT1 to 7.5 quarts in the LT2.
In the LT1, oil in the heads would drip back down the pan which slightly impeding the crankshaft. With the LT2, oil is scavenged from the V under in the intake manifold, which reduces windage.
Intake and Exhaust Manifolds
One of the main hurdles when designed a front-engine vehicle, is making the engine short enough to allow for a low hood height and better visibility from the cab. With the mid-engined setup of the C8, engine weight is less of concern, which allowed GM engineers to develop a slightly taller intake manifold, which ultimately flows more air.
As mentioned before, the exhaust manifolds are noticeably different on the LT2 compared to any other LT engine. The new intake manifolds use an equal length, 4-to-1 design, compared the LT1 which used a 4-to-2-to-1 design. The LT2 features an exhaust valve to give it a different sound depending on the driving mode, but it doesn’t have an effect on performance.
So, there you have it, that’s just about everything you need to know about the new GM LT2 engine. It’s very similar to the LT1, with a lot of minor changes for the mid-engined configuration of the C8 Corvette.