The combustion chamber in the LLT's 319 cast-aluminum heads. Peeking in at far right is the tip of the injector. Not visible are the so-called secondary throat cut inlet ports (which are in the valve seat area), said to improve the tumble of airflow into the combustion chamber. Interestingly, the intake ports are fed not by the weight-saving composite intake typical of many new engines, but rather one cast from aluminum. The reason is that being a denser material, aluminum is better able to suppress radiated noise. It's one of many NVH-friendly items befitting a Cadillac that trickle down to the Camaro. --->
But there's much more that makes this engine special, as high-strength and durability-enhancing features abound. For one thing, there's a forged steel crank. "This is one of the big enablers," says Lee. "It allows us to put quite a bit of force through the crankshaft and still maintain a lot of refinement, and tolerate pretty high output levels." There are also sinter forged steel connecting rods, an inverted tooth timing drive (for durability and noise improvement), and piston-cooling oil jets. It's noteworthy that this engine is used in some GM truck lines-like the award-winning Acadia/Enclave/Traverse/Outlook crossovers-and GM subjects all engines destined for truck duty to further durability testing above and beyond what is done on a car. "So the design is very, very robust because of that," notes Lee.
The V-6 engine block is sand-cast from 319 aluminum and features cast-in iron cylinder liners. High-strength features include sintered steel, copper-infiltrated main caps with a 6-bolt design (4 vertical and 2 side bolts, just like in an LS) for a very rigid bottom end. There's also a structural cast aluminum oil pan (not shown). A nice feature, and one the LS-series lacks, is a cartridge-style oil filter for less messy oil changes and reduced waste; you can see where its adapter bolts to the block near the front driver side corner. --->
Lee's enthusiasm about the LLT was clear during our conversation with him. "This engine is extremely efficient; its Brake Specific Fuel Consumption numbers are outstanding, both compared to anything internally that we have as well as to our competition. For the fact that we can put a base engine in the Camaro that not only gets good fuel economy, but also makes a lot of power, I think it gives us an edge on our competitors. Most people who drive a GM car with this engine are very shocked at how fast it is-for a base powertrain, they are thrilled that it has that much performance." Having track-flogged LLT-equipped CTS Cadillacs, we GMHTP editors can tell you that's the truth and nothing but! And just in case you think GM is blowing smoke about this being a durable performance engine, Tim Price chimed in to say the high-feature V-6, in addition to its being used in performance-oriented Holden vehicles, has been tested extensively for this application at various locations in Australia, and "it's performed extremely well for the Camaro. That included work at Holden's proving ground at Lang Lang, and calibration and development trips throughout Victoria and Australia."
In sum, this mill has a lot going for it: it's a heck of a medium-displacement engine that promises additional fuel economy and reduced cost over the V-8s while still providing at least 300 horsepower. And while we haven't seen any forced-induced Saturn Outlooks prowling the streets, the LLT should be sturdy enough to tolerate abundant power-enhancing modifications. Fans of fourth-gen, 3800 V-6 Camaros, rejoice: the LLT is ushering in a new era of six-cylinder Camaro performance. We say, "bring it on!"