DETROIT -- A new high-tech V-8 engine will make the next generation Chevrolet Corvette the quickest, most powerful and most efficient Corvette ever made, the company said Wednesday.
General Motors, which owns the Chevrolet brand, unveiled the new 6.2-liter V-8 on Wednesday. Engineers said it will put out 450 horsepower and take the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds.
It also is expected to beat the current Corvette's fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon on the highway, although mileage tests for the Environmental Protection Agency will not be done until next year.
The new version of the Corvette will be unveiled at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The sleek sports car has been an icon of Detroit muscle since its debut in 1953.
"The Holy Grail for developing a performance car is delivering greater performance and more power with greater fuel economy, and that's what we've achieved," Tadge Juechter, chief engineer on the 2014 Corvette, said in a statement.
The new engine, the first of the fifth generation of GM "small block" V-8s, will have direct fuel injection and can run on four cylinders during light-duty driving. With direct injection, gasoline and air are mixed in the cylinder surrounding the piston and fuel is burned more completely.
The engine will replace the current 6.2-liter powerplant in the 2013 Corvette. That engine makes 430 horsepower and can power the Corvette from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds.
GM doesn't sell a lot of Corvettes _ only 10,570 this year according to Autodata Corp. _ but the car helps boost the company's image as a stylish, fun-to-drive product.
Pricing for the new Corvette hasn't been announced. The current model starts at $50,575.