The Chevrolet 6-liter V-8 engine is produced by General Motors and powers not only Chevys but also Hummers, Cadillacs and GMC trucks. One version of the 6-liter V-8 powers the high-performance Corvette. These engines are the third and fourth generation powerplants of the original small block motors that were originated by Chevrolet in 1955.
The small-block Chevy V-8, the progenitor of the Vortec 6000 6-liter small blocks, was launched in 1955 with a 265-cubic-inch displacement to power Chevrolet passenger cars and the Corvette. The 283 followed, but the 327 and the 350 in the 1960s allowed Chevy to become a major player in the muscle car wars before giving way to the big block 454 V-8. The small block was compact, durable and packed a punch. The 327, for example, offered more horsepower per cubic inch than any other V-8 with the possible exception of the 302. The 6-liter V-8s of the 2000s follow the same principle, according to Chevyhiperformance.com.
The Generation III Vortec 6000 6-liter V-8 (there was no Generation II 6-liter), identified in-house as LQ4, was conceived as a truck engine. It was placed in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra one-quarter to one-ton pickups, the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon SUVs, the Hummer H2 sport utility truck and the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans. The Vortec 6000’s heads in 2000 were cast iron, but subsequent versions featured aluminum heads. A deep skirt block made the engine more rigid and reduced vibration. Its output ranged from 300 to 320 horsepower with 360 to 370 pound-feet of torque, the twisting force the engine creates for acceleration.
A performance version the Vortec 6000 was the HO 6000. Cadillac Escalades, including the truck model, were equipped with the HO 6000 from 2002 to 2006. The 2003 to 2007 Chevy Silverado Super Sport also was equipped with the high-output version. The HO 6000 generated up to 345 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque.
From 2007 through 2010 and later, the fourth-generation small block Chevy engine powered the Suburban, Silverado and GMC tucks and luxury Chevy Avalanche. It also was installed in the 2007 Pontiac G8. The L76, marketed as the VortecMax, featured an all-aluminum block, variable cam and Active Fuel Management system to generate 367 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque.
The LS2 6-liter V-8 powered the Corvette beginning in 2005. It’s the kissing cousin of the high-performance LS6 used in NASCAR vehicles. The 2005 to 2006 Pontiac GTO, 2005 to 2006 Chevrolet SSR, the 2005 to 2007 Corvette and the Australian-produced Holden performance vehicles were equipped with the LS2. The LS2 uses much of the LS1 technology that features high-flow cylinder heads taken from the performance LS6 and uses an electronically controlled throttle. It generates 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful 6-liter engines placed in a Chevrolet passenger car without requiring drivers to have the skills of a racing professional.