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20 September 2018

You have to hear this Corvette with a flat-plane crank

By James LisleJames Lisle

If there's anything to know about American V8s - LS-engines in particular - it's that they're big, meaty, and produce a distinctive throaty warble.

They're also large and rather unsophisicated. Italian V8s on the other hand, like the ones in the Ferrari 355, F430 and 458, are faster-revving, zestier, and far more technical.

One of the biggest contributors to this is the near-magical flat-plane crank: a crankshaft that lets a set of pistons to fire after a full 180-degree rotation. Because of the impact it has on the engine's firing rate, it's one of the key components in turning an 'ordinary' V8 - either pushrod or overhead valve - into something a little more special.

They have downsides, of course, but who hasn't wondered what it would sound like in a 7.0-litre Corvette Z06? Well, thanks to Renata Wilkins in Indiana, now we know.

Unsuprisingly, it has divided some of the Corvette faithful. But if you haven't made your mind up, here's a regular Z06 C6 for comparison.

Do you think the LS7 sounds better with a flat-plane crank? Tell us in the comments.