New C7 Corvette

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Seemingly confirming one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, a General Motors insider has revealed that the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette will be one of the first road-going vehicles to feature GM’s new 5.5L V8.

According to one of Motor Trend’s inside sources, the Corvette C7 will come equipped with GM’s new 5.5L small block V8. The new mill will feature a number of technical advancements — including direct-injection and a new combustion system – but will retain its old school overhead valve design to cut costs and keep the engine compact.

Power for the new engine will likely total 440 horsepower, which would be a slight improvement over the 436 horsepower currently available in the C6 Corvette. However, thanks to the 5.5L’s smaller size and its advanced features, expect a noticeable jump in overall fuel economy – improving on the C6’s already impressive 26mpg highway rating.

Chevy’s new 5.5L has already made its world debut, appearing between the fenders of the C6.R racecar. GM has also committed $890 million to develop and produce the new small block. Expect to see the C7 Corvette in 2012.