Looking to pump up your muscle car? Chevrolet has a deal for you: a new, big block crate motor that can pump out an astounding 1,000 horsepower and 876 pound-feet of torque.
Don’t expect to use it on the street, however. This big block behemoth, which displaces a whopping 10.4 liters, is specifically designed for track use.
Set to make its formal debut at the upcoming SEMA show, the new ZZ632/1000 engine won’t come cheap. Chevy hasn’t announced pricing yet but insiders suggest it’s going to push up toward the $20,000 mark.
The new crate motor is for those who believe in the old maxim: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” The bowtie brand decided to go with a naturally aspirated iron block engine, in sharp contrast to the Dodge Hellephant crate engine introduced last year. That package relied on a supercharger to punch a 7.0-liter Hemi up to 1,000 horsepower.
There are some advantages to this approach, Chevy claims, noting that the new ZZ632 engine has undergone more than 200 simulated drag strip races on a dyno without a single failure.
Not going to be seen on the street
And the drag strip is where this new motor is likely to stay. There may be a few performance diehards who try to squeeze the massive engine into a street vehicle but each is marked “for competition use only.”
Automakers have been on a tear when it comes to horsepower in recent years. It wasn’t all that long ago when a factory engine making just 400 hp was considered impressive. But the upward push has only accelerated, even as the internal combustion engine’s future becomes increasingly cloudy. Or, perhaps because of that.
Electric vehicles are now starting to push well above the 1,000 horsepower mark, the new Lucid Air Dream Performance model making a full 1,133 – albeit with multiple motors. General Motors’ new GMC Hummer Edition 1 will come in just four hp short of the new Chevy crate motor’s output.
And Chevrolet isn’t ignoring this brave new world. Along with prepping an array of its own battery-electric vehicles — like the Bolt and the upcoming Silverado electric pickup — it is now offering an eCrate motor package for those who want to convert traditional gas models to electric.
But there are still plenty of fans that want the raw, visceral feel of a big-block V-8. And the only real question is whether Chevy will find a way to squeeze out even bigger numbers as the horsepower race speeds up.