I have always been an AVID enthusiest of small displacement high technology engines. I used to own an Mr2 that put down over 400 crank have owned a Supra that put down 420 to the ground out of a 3L with factory turbo's etc.. I love all cars especially Ferrari so please don't see this as a marquee pissing contest. Rather its just a discussion of modern engineering progress in production engine design. This all started when a good friends of mine and I had an interesting conversation about today's state of the art naturally aspirated engines. 4 valves per cylinder and DOHC seems like standard issue for any high performance car but has all this complexity and inovations really yielded us serious benefits in the n/a world? On initial thought I said "OF COURSE!" without even thinking about it. I do drive a z06 but I bought it for bang for the buck I considered it a car that simply gets the job done without getting fancy or expensive. I never thought about how incredible the LS6 engine is when you compared it to manufactures I consider far superior like Honda. But as my friend and I started comparing modern DOHC's to this modern pushrod things started to get blurry. So let me go over what we talked about for some interesting food for thought arguments. Hopefully we'll get some good well minded posts going and not a bunch of mindless troll talk. Please let me know if my accuracy is off I tried to be as fair and accurate as possible. So lets compare the modern oldschool pushrod engine in the Corvette Z06 (LS6) to some of the best n/a engine builders in the world...Ferrari and Honda. Ferrari and Honda both have extensive F1 experiance which we would hope would trickle their way into production cars. With inovations such as variable valve timing etc the new designs should blow away the ancient old 2 valves per cylinder push rod engines away in EVERY way right? Otherwise Darwin would turn in his grave..progress must more forward.... I decided to compare the Corvette LS6 to 4 cars I had solid dyno data from...the Ferrari 360 Modena the Ferrari 456M the Honda S2000 and the Acura NSX. The s2000 is one of the highest hp/liter production naturally aspirated engines in the world and so is the 360 Modena. I did not want to cover engines like the Enzo or F50 because I had no real dyno data and price is obviously a big factor in an engines power/weight as that will allow for more exotic materials. Considering an Enzo or F50 powerplant costs I'm sure around 100K I didn't really see its relavance in the general automotive world. Lets focus on Power/Weight/Fuel Effeciency/Cost and Physical Size. I won't look at displacement because if an engine is the same phsyical size and weight of a smaller displacement engine then clearly it is superior. Weight Fully Dressed: Corvette Z06 LS6 (5.7L V8) - 450lbs 360 Modena (3.7L v8) - 370lbs 456M (5.5L V12) - 518lbs NSX (3.2L V6) - 426lbs S2000 (2.0L I4) - 326kbs These cars are either mid engine/rwd or front engine/rwd so I'm going to assume that the drive train losses is pretty close for them all with a slight edge to the Modena and NSX for being M/R. I won't go by any factory engine ratings as factory numbers are hardly ever accurate. Ferrari Dyno data comes from this board. Average Power Output to the Pavement Corvette Z06 LS6 (5.7L V8) - 355rwhp/350tq 360 Modena (3.7L v8) - 325rwhp/225tq 456M (5.5L V12) - 370rwhp/360tq NSX (3.2L V6) - 260rwhp/200tq S2000 (2.0L I4) - 200rwhp/131tq Cars with much higher hp then torque numbers indicates peaky power bands which will effect the true usability of its powerband as well as track performance. S2000 for example has very poor corner exit acceleration due to a powerband where its making much less than its peak horsepower through its power band. THus peak numbers does not neccesarily indicate how usable the power band is on the race track. Power to weight: Corvette Z06 LS6 (5.7L V8) - 1.26 lbs per HP 360 Modena (3.7L v8) - 0.88 lbs per HP 456M (5.5L V12) - 1.4 lbs per HP NSX (3.2L V6) - 1.6 lbs per HP S2000 (2.0L I4) - 1.6 lbs per HP The simple Pushrod engine beats all but the 360 Modena in power to weight and loses only by a small margin of .4 lbs per hp. Also its obvious from anyone with experiance of the 360 and Z06 as to which car has a more usable and wider power band on the race track. Well worth the extra 80lbs. Now fuel economy is a very difficult thing to determine as the cars are all different weights with different aero. But I'll just post the numbers up. Corvette Z06 LS6 (5.7L V8) - 19 City / 28 Highway 360 Modena (3.7L v8) - 11 City / 16 Highway 456M (5.5L V12) - 10 City / 16 Highway NSX (3.2L V6) - 17 City / 24 Highway S2000 (2.0L I4) - 20 City / 26 Highway Now the hightech advantage gets even more blurry. The old fashioned engine is the most economical on long trips and in the city looses only to the little 4 cylinder honda by 1mpg. Physical Dimensions These were hard to come by and I couldn't find any information online as to exact dimensions. Clearly the LS6 is smaller than the V12 in the 456M in every dimension and from straight eye by eye comparisons it definately shorter in height from the crank to the top of the valve covers than all the engines mentioned (which is how it clears that super low hood in the C5 as no DOHC would be able to). This also has the advantage of bringing the center of gravity of the engine to a lower point in the car. Length wise it is also shorter then the 360's V8 and very comparable to the two Honda Engines (Probably within 6-10 inches). So clearly the LS6 is a very compact power plant (for those who have seen it out the car it is amazing how small it really is). Infact people put the same block (LS1) into Rx7's which indicates how small it really is. So for any car builder this would be a very easy engine to build a car around as well as bring the center of gravity for the engine to a much lower point in the car than the DOHC engines. Cost/Complexity With only 1 cam shaft and 16 valves the LS6 is a very simple engine with very few moving parts. Ask any engineer he will tell you that the fewer parts a machine does to get the same job done the better. This also of course lowers build/operating costs considerably. THe 456M has 4 cam shafts and 48 valves the 360 has 4 cam shafts and 32 valves. The Honda motors have a complex VTEC system. A crate LS6 shipped to your door will run you about $5300. I couldn't find any definiative figures for the other engines but I will assume an NSX engine will be in the $10-11,000 and that the Ferrari engines are considerably more. Even the S2000 crate engine runs in the ball park of $6000 new from factory. Reliablity well there are plenty of LS1's that have gone 200,000 miles. THe honda engines will go a long long way as well. The Ferrari engines need constant attention and their reliabilty long term is questionable but that is part of the mistisim of owning such a prestegious marquee. So basically all this modern technology and yet this old fashioned engine delivers a superior power to weight than 3 of the 4 engines mentioned in a smaller physical size with the lowest center of mass with better fuel economy at a cheaper build/operating cost with far fewer moving parts...How is this progress folks?