No, this isn’t clickbait, it’s not April 1, and no, we aren’t talking about some aftermarket crate engine. This is a legitimate, original Gen-1 small-block Chevy engine, from the GM factory. It’s being produced again as a service replacement engine in the Springfield, Missouri plant.
The “all-new” (as in all-new parts) engine is debuting in three variants, named Gen 1, Gen 1e LD, and Gen 1e HD. The first variant is aimed at 1987-1995 model-year trucks, vans, and SUVs, while the LD and HD variants are aimed at light-duty and heavy-duty trucks, respectively, from 1996-2002.
“Building on the history and versatility of the original 350 first available in Chevrolet models such as the Camaro and Corvette, this engine continues to deliver,” said Andrew McKittrick, manager of GM’s propulsion portfolio. “Every GM Genuine Parts engine incorporates our very latest engineering technology and product enhancements to offer a reliable and dependable product for our customers.”
As a foundation, the new 350 gets a brand-new four-bolt main block, which is both roller-camshaft-ready and capable of using a mechanical fuel pump. The brand-new castings are CNC-machined on GM’s latest and greatest equipment, for precise dimensions on the new blocks. The service engines also include a forged-steel crankshaft for durability and provisions for a dipstick on either side of the block.
The cylinder heads are brand new castings as well and also benefit from GM’s CNC-machining, although not in the way you performance enthusiasts might be hoping for. While no cylinder head, rotating assembly, or camshaft specs are available from Chevrolet currently, we do know that the engine will be backed by a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Only time will tell if this new engine will make for a cost-effective base for a mild performance build, but the fact that GM is producing the small-block Chevy engine again is an extremely interesting development, which should make a lot of people happy. The engine is available to order now, through GM’s dealer network, which can be found HERE.