One more piece of the performance puzzle for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette has now dropped into place with news that the 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 engine in the hot Corvette ZO6 will carry an official SAE rating of 650 horsepower as well as develop 650 lb-ft of peak torque in both Coupe and Convertible form. Those final stats handily exceed the previously announced 625/635 preliminary figures making the LT4 GM's most potent engine ever in any of the automaker's production models. The LT4 is based on the same Gen 5 architecture as the 455-horse LT1 V8 in the standard Corvette Stingray. Jordan Lee, chief engineer for Small Block engines, also points out that "the power density of the LT4 makes it one of the smallest and lightest 650-hp engines in the industry."

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Just how well does the LT4 stack up against its predecessor? Not only does it pack 145 more ponies than the 7.0-liter LS7 engine used in the 2013 ZO6, the new LT4 also cranks out 40 percent more of those ever-critical twist units. This new supercharged small block even tops the lofty 638/604 numbers developed by the LS9 V8 used in the previous-generation Corvette ZR1. 

"The new LT4 engine builds on the design strengths of our previous supercharged engine and leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray - direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing - to take Corvette performance to an all-new plateau," notes Lee. "Our new, very compact supercharger also helps the engine make power more quickly, and perhaps more importantly, it helps produce more torque earlier in the rpm band." How much and how soon? Try 457 lb-ft off idle and 625 lb-ft at just 2,800 revs with the full measure in hand at 3,600 rpm. Best of all that instant responsiveness is on offer with either a 7-speed manual transmission or an all-new 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic. 

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The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 goes on sale here in the fourth quarter. No final word yet on its pricing or EPA numbers. 

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