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GM's 100-Millionth Small Block Engine Is A 638-HP LS9

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GM's 100-millionth small block being built

GM's 100-millionth small block being built

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It powers the ZR1, and it has powered about 99,999,999 other cars, too: it's GM's small block engine family, including V-8s and V-6s, and it's been in action since 1955. Yes, GM has built its 100-millionth small-block engine, and it's an LS9 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 good for 638 horsepower--443 more than the first 4.3-liter small block built 56 years ago.

To get its massive total of engines built, GM is counting not just the familiar V-8s, but also the shorn-of-two-cylinders 4.3-liter V-6 also based on the small block basis, and it's aggregating total construction around the world.

100 million engines is no small feat, and as GM notes, the small block is still going strong despite its advanced age. In fact, updated versions of the very first generation of the small block are still in production as crate engines for hot rodders, and as standard production units for marine and industrial use.

GM also notes that the LS3, part of the Gen IV family of small blocks, manages to beat the highway fuel economy ratings of many of its V-8 and V-6 competition despite its mid-20th-century origins. These are all things we've noted before, particularly in the Corvette. You can call it old tech, but you can't call it obsolete. It still gets the job done well.

We congratulate GM's 100-million small-block milestone, and we look forward to seeing and driving many more. GM has plans to keep us happy by investing over $1 billion in its Gen V engine, due soon, which will keep at least one aspect of the original small block's formula--center-to-center cylinder spacing--intact.
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