GM may be pushing hard towards electrification, but it’s not done with internal combustion. Last week, the company announced an $854 million investment into its factories to build small block sixth-generation V-8s. This is the first confirmation that GM is working on a new small block, although the company has yet to release any technical details about the engine.
Of the $854 million, $579 million will go to GM’s Flint engine plant, which will manufacture engine blocks, cranks, and heads, and assemble complete units; $216 million will go to the Bay City, Michigan plant, which will build camshafts and connecting rods, as well as engine blocks and heads; $47 million will go to the Defiance, Ohio plant, which will make block castings; and finally, $12 million will go to the Rochester, NY plant, which will build the intake manifold and fuel rails.
The Chevrolet small-block V-8 dates back to 1954, with the current fifth generation debuting in 2013. Along with Stellantis’ Hemi and Ford’s Godzilla truck engine, the small-block is the only surviving overhead-valve V-8. sold. in a new car today. (All three manufacturers also offer V-8 pushrod crate engines.) Today, you can find the small block in GM’s full-size truck and SUV lineup, plus the Camaro, Corvette, and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.
In its press release announcing the investment, GM only made specific reference to full-size trucks and SUVs. We already know the CT5-V Blackwing is one-and-done, with the Cadillac brand headed for full-EV sales, and the current Camaro is likely the last of the breed. We imagine the little block will soldier on in some capacity for Corvettes as long as Chevy is allowed to sell them. New hybrid E-Ray provides a good look at the future of the Corvette—an old-school naturally aspirated V-8 assisted by electric power.
We probably won’t see a small Gen-VI block for at least a few years. We also wonder if it will be the last of its kind.