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Combustion engine in a corvette.

Taking a Closer Look at Chevy’s Performance Engines

Have you been eyeing Chevy’s grouping of performance cars? In that case, we’re sure you’re focused on the various engine offerings, as they play a major role in the vehicle displaying its “performance” prowess. Of course, considering all of the options Chevy provides, it can be tough to zero in on one particular offering. That’s why we’re here to help. Below, we’ve explored the various engine offerings (ignoring the Connect & Cruise options) that are available in Chevy’s performance cars. Take a look at your options, and you’ll have some clarity before you head into a Chevy dealership


Small-Block Engines

These offerings are categorized as “small block engines,” but let’s not be mistaken… there’s nothing small about these particular units. Each of Chevy’s incredible options manages to crank out a whole lot of power. Therefore, if you opt for any of these available engines as you’re building your next ride, you can fully expect to keep up with your fellow drivers on the highway.

For instance, take a look at the 350/290 Deluxe engine. Despite being the brand’s “weakest” small-block engine, the unit still pumps out more power than many rival systems. Ultimately, drivers can anticipate an incredible 300 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque, leading to a whole lot of muscle. On the flip side, the SP383 Deluxe is one of the brand’s most hulking options, thus making the “small-block” classification a bit of an oxymoron. When operating a vehicle that’s equipped with this particular engine, drivers can expect an incredible 435 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque.


The brand’s other small-block engine offerings include:

  • HT 383, HT 383E: 323 horsepower, 444 pound-feet of torque
  • 350 HO Turn-Key: 333 horsepower, 381 pound-feet of torque
  • Ram Jet 350: 350 horsepower, 403 pound-feet of torque
  • SP 350/357 Base, SP 350/357 Deluxe, SP 350/357 Turn-Key: 357 horsepower, 407 pound-feet of torque
  • SP 350/385 Base, Sp350/385 Turn-Key: 385 horsepower, 405 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ6 Base: 404 horsepower, 406 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ6 Turn-Key: 405 horsepower, 406 pound-feet of torque
  • SP383 Deluxe: 435 horsepower, 445 pound-feet of torque


Circle Track

While we’re sure the brand wasn’t channeling a “racetrack” when they were naming this particular crop of engines, the name still fits. After all, the trio of offerings consistently provides the utmost power, making them a logical target for those who like to push the pedal to metal.

The CT350 is the smallest offering, but drivers will still be impressed by the system’s muscle. After all, the engine promises 350 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque. The next step up is the incredible CT400, which cranks out 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Finally, for those seeking the utmost power form their Circle Track engine, the CT525 is the logical target. This unit manages to deliver a practically unmatched 533 horsepower and 477 pound-feet of torque.



Don’t let the simple name fool you; this offering of engines delivers a crazy amount of power. To be clear, we’re not talking “mid-200-horsepower” power… rather, we’re talking about specs that approach (and in some cases, exceed) 600 horsepower.

The L96 engine is the lowest of the offerings. Unsurprisingly (and similar to the other engines mentioned on this list), the unit still promises a whole lot of might. Ultimately, drivers can anticipate an incredible 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the LSX454R, which delivers some of the craziest specs in the entire class… and that’s not hyperbole. The listed power numbers for this particular unit is 776 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque, so be prepared to overcome your fellow drivers and any odd road conditions.


The other LS offerings include:

  • LS3: 430 horsepower, 425 pound-feet of torque
  • LSX376-B15: 476 horsepower, 444 pound-feet of torque
  • LSX376-B8: 476 horsepower, 475 pound-feet of torque
  • LS376/480: 495 horsepower, 473 pound-feet of torque
  • LS7: 505 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque
  • LS376/525: 525 horsepower, 486 pound-feet of torque
  • DR525: 525 horsepower, 494 pound-feet of torque
  • LS376/515: 533 horsepower, 477 pound-feet of torque
  • LSA: 556 horsepower, 551 pound-feet of torque
  • LSX454; 627 horsepower, 586 pound-feet of torque
  • LS9: 638 horsepower, 604 pound-feet of torque



This is arguably Chevy’s most well-versed grouping of engines. Each of these offerings seemingly land on their own tier when it comes to power. For instance, the LTG (while nothing to sneeze at) delivers ordinary specs at 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The next in line, the LT1, elevates those numbers to 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque.

Chevy didn’t fool around with their final two offerings. The LT376/535 boosts those power specs to an impressive 535 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, but the brand’s engineers managed to top those specs with the LT4 engine. That particular offering ultimately delivers an awe-inspiring 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.


Big Block

Looking for the ultimate power from your Chevy performance car? Then you should consider equipping the vehicle with one of the brand’s incredible Big Block engines. The various offerings deliver all of the power you could possibly want, even if you opt for offerings that are on the lower end of the totem pole.

For instance, the HT502 engine delivers an incredible 406 horsepower and 541 pound-feet of torque… and the unit is considered to be the “weakest” among this class of offerings. On the other side, the practically unmatched ZZ572/720R Deluxe engine delivers astonishing power specs at 727 horsepower and 680 pound-feet of torque.


Some of the brand’s other Big Block engine offerings include:

  • 454 HO: 438 horsepower, 500 pound-feet of torque
  • 502 HO: 461 horsepower, 558 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ454/440: 469 horsepower, 519 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ427/480: 480 horsepower, 490 pound-feet of torque
  • RAM JET 502: 502 horsepower, 568 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ502/502 Base, ZZ502/502 Deluxe: 508 horsepower, 580 pound-feet of torque
  • ZZ572/620 Deluxe: 621 horsepower, 645 pound-feet of torque



Nah, this isn’t a nickname for a hated baseball player. Rather, it’s the final grouping of Chevy’s impressive performance engines. It starts with the LS3 E-Rod engine, which cranks out 430 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Next in line is the LT1 E-Rod, which promises an impressive 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the LSA E-Rod takes those numbers to a whole new level, promising 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque.

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