Road Ahead

Ward’s 10 Best Engines Spec Sheet: Corvette 6.2L V-8


As we pick our 10 Best Engines, ask yourself: Is the small-block better than Chrysler’s Hemi and Ford’s 5.0L V-8s? Will there always be a need for a strapping lad of an engine that “gets ’er done” and stokes your inner NASCAR driver?

As the WardsAuto editorial team continues with 10 Best Engines testing, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, with its fifth-generation small-block V-8, gives us plenty to think about.

We’re studying the specs and have pulled together this informational sheet for fellow judges to consider:

OK so maybe the 2-seat Corvette and Ford’s 4-seat GT500 won’t be cross-shopped, but they’ve both been here for 10 Best Engines, so let’s run a little comparative study.

The GT500’s 5.8L DOHC supercharged V-8 delivers outlandish stats: 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.7 seconds, a quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph (201 km/h), 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed. That’s in addition to an outrageous 114 hp/L specific output and respectable 15/24 mpg (15.6-9.8 L/100 km) ratings.

The all-new Corvette Stingray has a bigger naturally aspirated pushrod 6.2L V-8 with a specific output that is dowdy by today’s standards, a mere 74 hp/L.

But its track times are surprisingly similar to GT500: 3.8 seconds 0-60 and a quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 119 mph (192 km/h). Car and Driver estimates top speed at 190 mph (306 km/h).

The Corvette is nearly 600 lbs. (272 kg) lighter than the GT500, which explains the great equalizer between 460 hp and 662 hp. Both cars elude gas-guzzler taxes.

In the fuel-economy battle (if there is such a thing at this high-octane level), the Corvette wins hands down.

One editor topped 21 mpg (11.1 L/100 km) in the Stingray during our loan, and at least three did better than 17 mpg (13.8 L/100 km). Last year, no editors came back in the GT500 with an average higher than 14.9 mpg (15.7 L/100 km), although the numbers were somewhat better this year.

Also, EPA ratings are much more favorable for the Stingray: 17/29 mpg (13.8- 8.1 L/100 km) vs. 15/24 mpg for the GT500. Active Fuel Management is standard in the Corvette, while cylinder deactivation is not available in the GT500.

A Corvette engine hasn’t been on the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list since 1999, when the beefy LS1 5.7L V-8 earned two consecutive wins.

The new LT1 6.2L is one of four all-new, ground-up re-engineered small-block engines from GM that we’re driving this year, from trucks to sports cars, and it’s safe to assume more variants will be coming in the future.

Small-block engines have longevity: since 1955, four generations have yielded 100 million units.

From a packaging and weight perspective, the small-block has an advantage over every competitive V-8, and smart sharing of certain components allows GM to save big bucks across various vehicle platforms.

By just about any measure (efficiency, drivability, NVH, technology and brute strength), this fifth generation is the best yet.

As we pick our winners, ask yourself: Is the small-block better than Chrysler’s Hemi and Ford’s 5.0L V-8s? As 4-cyl. and now 3-cyl. engines proliferate, are these hogs still relevant overall in the market? Is there anything technically wrong with old-school pushrods? Will there always be a need for a strapping lad of an engine that “gets ’er done” and stokes your inner NASCAR driver? 


Discuss this Blog Entry 11

on Nov 18, 2013

Still can't go wrong with a reliable small-block pushrod engine.

on Nov 18, 2013

Nothing beats the small block Chevy's. If your a NASCAR fan or own a Chevy truck you'll know what I mean.

on Nov 18, 2013

Yea, V-8s might be falling out of style, but GM pretty much nailed the landing on this one.

on Nov 20, 2013

Pushrods ? Come on it's the 21st century.

on Nov 20, 2013

I thought the same thing. Wait til you drive it. Bentley does pretty well with pushrods.

on Nov 28, 2013

Can a corvette stand a light weight 7 1/2 psi ceramic drive supercharger, 740 hp, smog legal, equal fuel mileage and low cost. They didn't seam interested.

on Dec 12, 2013

Wow, the test drives were probably fun, but is that the proper way to evaluate a engine to an engine for an award? Now you are adding, gearing, transmission selection, front drive vs. rear drive, aero dynamics, tires, traction controls etc. So I would call it a engine/certain car award. I love Horsepower too and I think the HP/Ltr, torque, fuel economy, fuel type, techonolgy, maintenance ease and cost, expected longivity or duriabilty testing, cost of engine, would be the thing to evaluate to say "best Engine Award". If you had catagorys for "best performance in a mass production car, OK these two cars can battle it out for best engine, another catagory for green technology, best diesel, best compact etc.. Keep up the great work, just a difference of opinion.

on Dec 12, 2013

You're right LedMan, so many factors play into our selections of best engines. Absolutely, a transmission can make or break an engine's chances. Performance is critical, but so are the other metrics we study: fuel economy, technology, cost, competitive specs. As for engine categories, we've never used them in 20 years and have no plans to start. That's what makes our list so dynamic. It's our chance to read the powertrain tea leaves and see which 10 really light us up.

on Dec 12, 2013

Yes, this type of engine is still very relevant. A small displacement, high tech engine does not guarantee good fuel economy. Grab a well maintained 2001 Buick Park Avenue 3.8L and a 4-cyl 2001 Honda Accord, wait for the temp to drop well below freezing and drive around the hills of southern Wisconsin for a few days. You may be surprised by the lack of fuel efficiency from many 4-cyl engines when it's cold. All engines drop in efficiency at these times, but the larger displacement power plants with more accessible torque curves tend to do better.

my 0.02

on Dec 13, 2013

We all know that cars suffer both in performance and efficiency in the harsh cold. I just filled up my '99 Civic this morning (1.6L stick-shift). My last tank, which was over the past 2 weeks in frigid Michigan weather as Tom mentioned, I averaged 30mpg. I doubt a early 2000 Buick with a V-6 will be able to do that here. In hilly terrain, I would give you that.

on Dec 12, 2013

Will have to give that a try sometime. Southern Michigan is plenty cold right now for such a test.

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What's Road Ahead?

Blogs with an emphasis on technology, design and suppliers.


Drew Winter

Drew Winter is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto World magazine and a Senior Editor at He was won numerous awards for his work in both print and digital media and has been...

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is executive editor of WardsAuto World magazine, with an emphasis on technology and suppliers. He leads selection of the Ward’s 10 Best Engines and Ward’s 10 Best Interiors...
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