In today’s world of 700+ horsepower, factory superchargers and now, mid-engine Corvettes, it can be hard to imagine for some of our younger readers what it was like being impressed with 400hp. As technology continues to improve and power increases as a result, it’s easy to leave the past behind and look to the future.
However, upon a recent browsing of YouTube, we ran across this awesome video from Motorweek, that gives the viewer a behind the scenes look at the process of building the DOHC LT5 V8. Designed in conjunction with Lotus, GM and Mercury Marine, the 5.7L V8 produced an impressive for its day, 385hp when it was introduced in 1990, before getting a bump in power to 405hp in 1993.
Exclusive to the Corvette ZR-1 of 1990-1995, this propelled the hallowed C4 to supercar status, putting the now collectible Vette in the same company as some models from Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche. Upkeep and repair was better left to certified GM technicians, though many had difficulty diagnosing these engines when trouble arose. More often than not, it would ultimately result in completely replacing the engine under warranty.
What most owners never encountered, was the behind the scenes skunkworks of the manufacturing and assembly process, where Motorweek was lucky enough to do so. During a visit to MerCruiser Assembly, Motorweek got a firsthand look at the complete process, as well as MerCruiser’s own ZR-1, and LT5-powered “WetVette” speed boat.
The experience is definitely worth the watch!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.