Tonawanda plant manager, Steven Flinch, poses next to the Generation-V small block from GM. Image: Buffalo Business Journal

Since shortly after the introduction of the LS3 in 2008, enthusiasts everywhere have been anticipating the release of the Generation-V small block from GM. Rumors have been running rampant on everything from its displacement to its basic design. We’ve heard talk of direct-injection, 3-valve cylinder heads, and one point, even DOHC from a 5.5L engine displacement.

Truth be told, we’re not much closer to finding out any solid facts on its specifications. However, thanks to GM Inside News and the Buffalo Business Journal, we were able to get a sneak peek of a completed Gen V small block at the Tonawanda engine plant.

The first thing in the photo that sticks out to us is the unusual valve cover design. There are a number of oddly shaped surfaces on the valve cover, none of which are identical. It could be said that this might have something to due with the 3-valve design, confirming earlier rumors.¬†There’s also an addition of a large pulley under the driver’s side of the block, possibly for a dry-sump oiling system.

Looking back to the top of the motor, what looks to be the intake manifold at first glance is in actuality a sound suppressing engine cover sitting atop of the intake manifold and injectors. Nothing new there, since all current LS motors have them, but the height of the intake has us thinking it could be for a truck application. But then again, you never know.

Something else that strikes us as odd is the water pump/thermostat design, an obvious deviation the the Gen. III/IV arrangements that we’re used to. We’re not exactly sure the significance of the holes in the exhaust manifolds either, but the last time GM gave us those, it was to help increase emissions in the LT1 of the ’90s. We doubt that the Gen. V emits potentially high emissions, rather this is just a precaution to the ever-increasing CAFE restrictions in the coming years.

Obviously we don’t know the whole story yet on this new engine, but as facts become more clear to us in the future, we’ll be sure to share them with you as soon once they become available.