According to Motor Trend, which is citing unnamed sources within General Motors, the next-generation Corvette will come with a brand-new engine. Despite rumors to the contrary, it seems that Chevrolet's halo vehicle will continue using its trademark V8 engine and not a V6. Still, the C7's powerplant will be downsized from its current 6.2 or 7.0 liters.
It's likely that this new engine will be the first application of GM's next-gen small block family, and we'd expect it to sport direct injection, E85 capability and a new combustion system design. One thing not to expect, though: overhead cams. You can bank on the fact that The General will stick to its tried-and-true overhead valve design, which serves to lower manufacturing costs and allows for comparatively small overall engine dimensions.
All of these technologies should make the venerable V8 more fuel efficient and cleaner, but also sufficiently powerful to uphold its sportscar heritage. In fact, Motor Trend reports that the C7's V8 will displace 5.5 liters while hammering out 440 horsepower. Though that significantly smaller in displacement, the power figure would actually be up from the current 430 ponies. We can hardly wait... but we'll have to anyway. We don't expect the next Corvette to bow before 2012 at the earliest.