GM Copied The Ferrari 458 For The C8 Corvette

Mar 11, 2022 2 min read
GM Copied The Ferrari 458 For The C8 Corvette

Our suspicions have been confirmed…

It’s no secret that in the auto industry it’s common to crib from one’s competitors. After all, research and development costs can be astronomical, plus when you’re GM and you have a mountain of pensions to keep paying, cutting corners is essential. That’s why it’s not shocking in the least to learn GM engineers bought a Ferrari 458 engine to help with developing the LT6 found in the C8 Corvette.

Find out what happens when you go bowling with your Corvette here.

Before the C8 Corvette came out, GM had never offered a flat-plane crank V8 to the public. It had become a master at designing and building cross-plane crank small-block V8s, but this was a new trick the engineers had to learn. To do that they decided to get some pointers from the boys in Maranello, only they knew the Italians wouldn’t play nice with a direct request.

Automakers buy their competitors’ products all the time for benchmarking. They have many ways of sourcing cars, some of them carefully guarded trade secrets. However, GM has let it slip they acquired the Ferrari 458 engine.

Instead of just buying a perfectly good 458, the decision was made to find a donor engine. The team tracked down an engine from wrecked Ferrari in Poland, which was for sale on eBay, and they made the purchase. That’s right, General Motors with all of its might did what so many of us do. The engine was shipped on a pallet right to the GM engineering facility in Pontiac, Michigan, so there was no subterfuge involved when dealing with the Polish seller.

As you probably guessed, the engineering team tore into the Ferrari 458 engine, taking it apart to see exactly what made it tick. They learned some important lessons from the process and the result is an LT6 which so far doesn’t seem to be plagued with any big problems.

While GM admits they benchmarked a lot of cars while developing the C8 Corvette, not once did they mention the modern Shelby GT350. The Voodoo is a flat-plane crank V8, so why didn’t they tear into one of those? We’re sure GM enthusiasts have a lot of choice words for any Blue Oval product, but GM also didn’t explicitly say it didn’t look at the Voodoo during development, so we don’t know for sure on that one.

Source: The Drive

Photos via Ferrari and GM

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