This van has the basic engine infrastructure from the Chevrolet C7 Corvette.

GM’s Chevrolet Express has remained structurally unchanged since it was introduced in 1995 but GM’s equipped these workhorses with the latest engines derived from their truck lineup, and MY 2021 is no different. According to Chevrolet in a larger press release they dropped earlier last week (Mar. 3, 2020) they’re finally equipping the Chevrolet Express van with an optional L8T 6.6L V8 good for 401 HP and 464 lb-ft.

Check out this push-rod engine made for the twenty-first century below.

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According to Chevrolet,

” Approximately 70 percent of current Express owners opted for the 6.0L V-8 option, and Chevrolet expects this new engine to garner the same or increased take rate.”

Looking at GM’s build configurator, it’s easy to see why. These vans start out at $33,295 with the base 4.3L V6 engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Optioning out for the bigger V8 engine with a 6-speed heavy duty transmission is only $999 more, a no brainer for most tradesmen or someone hauling around big loads who can benefit from more torque around town.

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The previous optional L96 V8 has just 341 HP and 373 lb-ft. First introduced into the Chevrolet Express in 2010, ten years and it’s time for a change.

It would also not be a lie to say this engine shares the same basic engine infrastructure with the LT1 A.K.A. the base engine for the C7 Corvette.

According to GM Authority,

The GM engine is based on the automaker’s fifth-generation Small Block engine architecture initially introduced by the 6.2L V8 LT1, albeit with a few key differences.

Instead of an aluminum block, this L8T has a more stout iron block. And, with 6mm more stroke and a lower compression ratio, this engine doesn’t have as much horsepower but has more torque way down low, as you’d expect in a work vehicle.

And you’d think customers would be clamoring for drastic change for these vans as the years have gone by but such is not the case. According to, GM sells upwards of 80,000 Expresses every year.

GM knows what their Express customers want, space and power at an affordable price. That’s it. While it would be harder to engineer in more space, they can always throw in more power. And for 2021, they’ve done just that.


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