Meet Chevrolet’s all-new 350 “small block” V8, the most powerful 350 ever made

Chevrolet and “small block V8” go together like Intel and microprocessor in that Chevy’s known for their renowned, long-running 5.7L V8, which has been around in various forms with many technological upgrades since 1955.

And to continue the automaker’s long lineage and history of making the renowned eight-cylinder, Chevrolet just revealed their latest rendition of their “small-block V8,” complete with a 350 cubic-inch displacement rating, of course amounting to the traditional metric figure of 5.7L.

Called the ZZ6, the new 350 V8 is a crate engine, specifically designed and produced by Chevrolet’s Performance branch, featuring some new kit and caboodle to be the most powerful 350-based V8 ever produced by the Golden Bowtie. Such tech includes (WARNING, NERD ALERT) a new “Fast Burn” cylinder head, featuring “bee-hive” valve-springs, which are essentially valve springs with tapered ends, originally from the latest line of LS motors featured in the likes of the Corvette Stingray.

This design allows for high-rev capabilities and faster engine response, and greater durability during heavy-duty use. It also reduced the reciprocating mass of the valvetrain, increasing the functional efficiency of the valves.

The ZZ6 V8 also features much more aggressive camshaft timing to support the faster-revving capabilities of the valvetrain by increasing air and exhaust flow. But unlike

All in all, the final result is a rating of 405hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, and this is with an old-school carburetor, given the fact this is a crate motor meant for rat-rods and dragsters, in what Chevy calls a modern take on legendary classic.

For the press release, scroll down below.


New ZZ6 Chevy Small Block Advances Crate Engine Legacy

Revised Fast Burn heads with LS-inspired valvetrain enhance high-rpm performance


DETROIT – Developed with contemporary technologies, including a high-rpm valvetrain, Chevrolet Performance’s new ZZ6 crate engine offers builders a modern twist on the classic Chevy Small Block 350.

It uses updated Fast Burn cylinder heads with beehive-style valve springs inspired by the LS engine family – a feature that enhances high-rpm capability, enabling the new high-performance engine to achieve 405 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque.

That’s more power than any factory produced 350 engine ever installed in a Chevrolet production vehicle and it’s one of the most powerful 350 Small Block-based crate engines in the nearly 27-year history of the “ZZ” lineup.

“The new ZZ6 is the ultimate ZZ 350-based crate engine from Chevrolet Performance,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “After more than six decades, our powertrain engineers continue to refine and update the classic Small Block architecture, adapting new technologies to advance the legacy of the industry’s most adaptable V-8 engine and giving customers new choices from the company that pioneered the concept of high-performance crate engines.”

A pair of high-flow, Fast Burn-style aluminum cylinder heads, with large intake runners and 2.00/1.55-inch valves, enable the ZZ6 to flow big air, while the beehive-style valve springs offer exceptional high-rpm performance and durability. The unique, tapered shape of the valve spring allows for the use of a smaller spring retainer, which reduces the reciprocating mass of the valvetrain resulting in better valve dynamics.

The ZZ6 also uses an aggressive hydraulic roller camshaft, with .474/.510-inch lift and 208/221-degrees duration, that supports the engine’s high-rpm airflow capability, while maintaining excellent low-speed drivability. Rounding out the rotating assembly is a forged steel crankshaft and durable, quiet high-silicon aluminum pistons housed in a four-bolt-main cast iron block.

A pair of all-new, aluminum valve covers caps off the new crate engine, giving it a distinctive, premium appearance.

Chevrolet Performance offers the ZZ6 crate engine in Turn Key and Base versions. The Base kit (P/N 19351532) includes a single-plane aluminum intake, distributor, water pump, damper and flexplate, but requires the carburetor and other accessories to be added.  

The Turn Key kit (P/N 19351533) includes the carburetor, an air cleaner that matches the unique valve covers, the starter, distributor, alternator and additional accessories such as the air conditioning compressor and front-end accessory drive system.

Availability for the Turn Key and Base ZZ6 crate engine kits will be announced at the SEMA Chevrolet Press Conference on November 3, 2015.

FAST FACT: The first “ZZ” crate engine was introduced in 1989. Dubbed ZZZ, the 350 high-output engine was rated at 350 horsepower.

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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