High-Performance Chevy Engines for Racing

Chevrolet is a car manufacturing company that opened its doors in 1911. To this day, this brand is considered as one of the world’s largest, continuing with their goal to provide high performing vehicles. The racing engines under the Chevy brand has seen a continuous evolution throughout the years. With a history in racing that continues since a century back, the racing engine division has continued to improve. 

If you are planning to build your own race car, or simply want to enhance the power of your engine under the hood, checking out the following high-performance Chevy engines for racing will no doubt save the day. With the number of options that are currently out there, you may end up feeling confused and overwhelmed. Worry no more! We are here to help you with your special project. 

  1. 427 Engine

It was in 1963 when Junior Johnson attracted the attention of the crowd at the qualifying race at Daytona 500 with unprecedented performance. Under the hood of his car was the 427 engine, dubbed because of its size, while being given the nickname “Mystery V8”. According to GM, this engine was designed especially by Chevrolet, incorporating some elements in design which would later be integrated into the family. 

American Muscle
  1. 409 V8

The 409 V8 engine is considered as the patriarch of the Big Block family. In the 1960s, this engine has played a huge role in the racing industry. While it debuted back in 1961, it continues to gain attention from enthusiasts with its high horsepower and strong torque curve capacities. It is easy to recognize, thanks to its rocker covers that come in a W-shape, setting its own trend in the engine world. The rating from the factory reached 425 HP, making it a powerhouse. During the 1963 model year, the output of this engine went up to 425 HP. It was made available for racing through the middle part of 1965, then it was replaced by the Mark IV Big-Block Engine. 

  1. 427 ZLI Big-Block

This engine was first developed under the Can-Am series for racing and was later on reintroduced under a special ordering system of Chevy. This motor continued to flourish as swapping engines became more and more popular, and have become very easy to complete. The 427 ZLI Big-Block offered the best, with the power of a real Big Block, while weighing less, with the use of aluminum in its construction.

  1. 302 Small Block

As Chevy used its options on Small Block engines, the engineers came up with a decision to use the 4-inch bores out of the 327 engine, combining it with a 3-inch stroke coming from a 283 engine. As a result, the 302 cubic inch engine was born. With their goal of achieving an inspected and approved homologated engine for eligibility on the series, the company chose to use a special version of its Camaro installed. The car that was powered by this engine eventually became the famous Z28 model. This chevy engine, despite its size, can easily fit into anything. However, it does not mean that its size cannot handle amazing power, as it is powerful enough to make it to the line of racing engines.

  1. R07 NASCAR Engine

Chevy continued to search for ways to improve the potency of their engines. The R07 race engine was introduced first in 2007, as a monstrous V8 engine that features computational fluid dynamics. This engine was strictly designed for NASCAR racing, powering NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors, with a blast of 15 wins in 2015, along with a record-setting manufacturer’s title in 13 consecutive times. 

  1. SB2 NASCAR Engine

The SB2 NASCAR Engine represents the very first time in which Chevy created an engine package that was developed primarily for NASCAR races. It was inspired by the classic Small Block V8 engine but brought to a new level by introducing features such as a one-off arrangement of the valve which allowed for higher RPMs, and more durability and efficiency than other GM cylinders. 

  1. 1.6 Liter Turbocharged Inline-4

This may not be considered as the biggest out there, but it definitely made some rounds in the racing industry because of its fun offers. It is despite the fact that it is simply a 1.6-liter turbo motor, it has established domination at the World Touring Car Championship series. It is dynamite that came in a small package. This engine is also based on the production engine that was used in several global brands and in the Cruze models. 

  1. 2.2 Liter Twin-Turbo V-6

In 2012, this engine received attention. Just like other amazing engines created a few decades back, this engine features a direct-injection, as well as a small-displacement type of engine which has the capacity to produce about 700 HP in a consistent manner. For this reason, this engine was almost lacking in weakness. It has made possible the 10 victories of Chevy drivers at the 16-race season in 2015. 


Indeed, Chevy is one of the most recognized manufacturers of high-performance engines for racing. The list mentioned above will no doubt give you a clear view of the options that you have. Factor in your personal considerations such as budget, preferences, and needs, and you will no doubt be able to get one that will not just improve the power of your car, but will no doubt give you a satisfying ride, whether on the race track or for everyday use!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.


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