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Introducing the Chevrolet Performance ZZ5 350

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Introducing the Chevrolet Performance ZZ5 350

Circle track and small-block fans, rejoice! Chevrolet Performance has announced an all-new addition to their 350 line up, the ZZ5 350.

The BLOCK team was on-site at SEMA 2013 for the unveiling of the new ZZ series crate engine. We caught up with Chevrolet Performance engineer Tom Bierbower to chat a bit about the new ZZ5. “It really carries on the tradition of the ZZ series of engines. We upgraded the aluminum fast-burn cylinder heads this past year, and decided we wanted to go ahead and make some more modern upgrades all-around. We figured out that with just a few custom parts the new blue LS-3 valve springs would work with the new heads. So we tried out that pairing and it worked beautifully.”

But the engineers at Chevrolet Performance couldn’t stop there. Tom tells us, “We went through the engine thoroughly to upgrade and optimize anything we could. When we were done with this we went back and re-dyno’d the engines. And of course, we came up with more horsepower and torque. And thus we’ve got this new splash in the small block world!”

We’re looking forward to seeing the new ZZ5 make its mark in the small-block and circle track worlds. For now you can check out our gallery of ZZ5 photos here, and read up on the engine with the official Chevrolet press release below.

Chevrolet Performance Introduces New ZZ5 350 Crate Engine

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet Performance today announced the all-new ZZ5 350 crate engine. A new version of the Fast Burn cylinder head design and a beehive-type valvetrain support greater performance and high-rpm durability. It’s rated at 400 horsepower – a 15-horsepower increase over the previous 350-cubic-inch crate engine with earlier Fast Burn heads.

The new head design with the beehive valvetrain is also included on an updated version of the ZZ383 “stroker” crate engine, which boosts power from 425 horsepower to 450 horses. It is also added to the CT400 circle track sealed racing engine.

“The ZZ5 350 builds on the legacy of the original, best-selling ZZ4 crate engine, proving our engineers are still finding new ways to make the classic Chevrolet small-block perform even better,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Chevrolet Performance pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine nearly 45 years ago and nobody knows more about building small-block power than us – in fact, the new ZZ5 is more powerful than any 350 engine every installed in a Chevrolet production car.”

All of the engines with the new Fast Burn head/valvetrain design complement their enhanced high-rpm performance with the low-rpm torque for which the classic small-block is renowned – at least 300 lb.-ft. by only 1,500 rpm. On the street or track, it translates into an immediate feeling of power that’s sustained across the rpm band.

The ZZ5 350 is available in an economical base form (part number 19301293), including an intake manifold, distributor, water pump, damper and flexplate, as well as a Turn Key package (part number 19301294), which adds a Holley four-barrel carburetor, starter, fuel pump, air conditioning pump, alternator, front-end accessory drive kit and more.

The new ZZ383 (part number 19301295) comes with a cast iron water pump and balancer, but the ignition system and other accessories must be purchased separately. The CT400 factory-sealed engine (part number 19318604) includes a racing-only eight-quart circle track oil pan featuring a dual kick-out design, along with a valve cover breather kit and a special “kool nut’ rocker arm design.

Every Chevrolet Performance small-block crate engine is assembled with all-new parts, including a strong iron cylinder block, with four-bolt mains.

Designed for high-rpm performance and stability

Chevrolet Performance’s new casting of the Fast Burn 23-degree cylinder head incorporates LS-style beehive valve springs to enhance high-rpm performance. The heads are easily identified by new bowtie insignias on the ends.

Compared to a conventional valve spring, the beehive design delivers greater high-rpm capability and valvetrain stability. The shape, which is smaller in diameter at the top and expands in an egg-shaped barrel at the middle, reduces the overall spring weight and allows for a smaller, lighter retainer. That translates into less reciprocating mass in motion, enabling quicker revving.

The unique shape places the maximum area of the spring’s coil at the position of greatest stress under load, enabling it to handle valvetrain stress more efficiently, for greater stability at high engine speeds. It also requires less spring pressure, for better valve control, and offers greater heat dissipation characteristics – all of which fosters longer valvetrain life, higher-rpm capability and can result in greater horsepower.

In addition to the new heads’ use on the all-new ZZ5 350, ZZ383 and CT400 crate engines, Chevrolet Performance offers new assembled heads and bare heads, along with a beehive spring conversion kit (part number 19300952) for retrofitting earlier Fast Burn heads.

More information about the new crate engines, head assemblies and conversion kit are available in the new 2014 Chevrolet Performance Parts catalog, which is available directly from Chevrolet dealers or can be downloaded at chevrolet.com.

About Chevrolet Performance

Driven by more than 100 years of motorsports heritage, Chevrolet Performance fuels the passions of automotive enthusiasts through high-performance vehicles, parts and racing. Performance cars include Camaro SS, SS 1LE, ZL1, Z/28 and the COPO Camaro. Chevrolet Performance parts include crate engines, transmissions, controllers and street-level components. Chevrolet competes in NASCAR, NHRA, ALMS, GRAND-AM, IndyCar and a variety of circle track racing series.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com