The 2011 Corvette brings back the familiar 6.2-liter LS3 small block V8 that has been a tried and true engine choice for the Corvette faithful the last three years since its first appearance in the 2008 Corvette Coupe.
The cast aluminum engine block is rated at 430 horsepower when mated to the standard short-throw six-speed transmission and pushes out 424 ft.-lbs. of torque when left to its own devices with the stock exhaust system. An optional dual-mode exhaust system increases the production of the small block and sees horsepower ratings increase to 436 horsepower while torque jumps to 428 ft.-lbs.
With 376 cu. in. of displacement, and cast aluminum cylinder heads combined with two valves per cylinder and sequential fuel injection, the 2011 Vette’s LS3 powerplant keeps weight down and provides a high level of performance in the Corvette while keeping fuel economy respectable among its competition.
The LS3 comes standard in the base model of the Corvette and is powerful enough to blast the Corvette off the line, reaching the 0-to-60 run in only 4.2 seconds and still has better fuel economy than many V6 cars.
With fuel economy reaching 15-mpg during city driving and 25-mpg on the open road when paired with the optional six-speed automatic transmission or 16-mpg in stop-and-go driving and 26-mpg on the freeway with the standard six-speed manual, the Corvette achieves better fuel economy than its V6 competition including the BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK350 and Porsche 911 Targa S.
The fuel sipping numbers of this engine choice are good enough for owners to bypass the federal gas-guzzler tax that has plagued performance vehicles and haunted the automotive industry trying to keep cost down while providing a powerful car that lives up to consumer expectations.
In addition to its high degree of fuel efficiency, the Corvette with the 6.2-liter LS3 is also heavily geared toward a racing attitude, capable of propelling the car all the way up to 190 miles an hour on a sanctioned mile long straight track.
When paired with the manual transmission, the LS3 aluminum engine block also receives Chevrolet’s version of launch control, helping to get the Corvette rolling in less time, using all the available horsepower and traction available to make the car fly off the line.
The launch control feature uses a computer chip that analyzes the ambient conditions and determines the best possible launch rpm and modulates the engine to reach that number so the Corvette takes advantage of every last drop of power. This technology is able to modulate engine torque 100 times per second once the driver releases the clutch and gets the power to the road in the most efficient manner possible.
The manual transmission the LS3 is mated to helps to get the power to the pavement by way of carbon cone synchronization that utilizes carbon fiber material to create more friction and create smoother shifts to get the power to glide from the engine to the wheels below.
Matching the 6.2-liter LS3 small block V8 powerplant with the lightweight frame of the Corvette is a sports car match made in heaven. The abundance of power available in the Corvette Coupe and Convertible’s base engine is more than what would be expected in a car of that price range and the technology involved in engineering the LS3 V8 is widely respected and held in high-esteem.
Picking up a 2011 Corvette with the standard 430 horsepower 6.2-liter aluminum block LS3 V8 engine is a great choice as the Corvette engine has been proven for a long time to be a very reliable engine with cutting-edge technology usually reserved for top-tier, exclusive supercars.