Big, rumbling V-8s have been a Corvette staple since the introduction of Chevrolet’s small-block in 1955. However, this particular Vette is singing a different tune. Currently listed for sale on eBay is a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with a high revving, flat-plane-crank engine. And no, it’s not a Ferrari swap.
For those unfamiliar, most traditional American V-8s utilize a cross-plane crankshaft that creates and uneven firing order between cylinder banks. It provides these familiar powerplants with greater balance (when compared to flat planes) and their trademark growly exhaust note. Their downside? The setup is significantly heavier and hinders high-rpm performance.
Flat-plane V-8s still fire every 90 degrees of rotation, but alternate between banks for better exhaust scavenging. Common modern-day examples include Ferrari’s 458 Italia and Ford’s limited-production Shelby GT350 Mustang. But be aware, the lower-weight of this setup does come with the drawback of increased harshness and vibration when compared to their cross plane cousins, which only gets worse as displacement fors up and the rotating assembly gets heavier.
At 5.3 liters and 560 hp, the beating heart of this Corvette would appear to have started life as the already-rev-happy 7-liter LS7 small block. The 4-inch stroke, cross plane crank was removed and replaced by a 3-inch flat-plane unit. This – along with upgrades to the rest of the rotating assembly and cylinder heads and valvetrain – allows the now-internally-smaller V-8 to scream all the way up to 8250 rpm, a full 1250 higher than the stock Z06’s redline.
The seller claims this car to be the only naturally aspirated, flat-plane Corvette on the planet. Judging by the list of custom parts and hours of intense labor required to create such a Vette, there’s a good chance they’re right.