Assembly line workers, executives and reporters cheered along the production line at the GM Powertrain Build Center, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.
On hand was David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., and son of Ed Cole, who designed the first V-8 small block, a 263-cubic-inch engine.
"There's an elegance and sophistication about this engine in its simplicity," Cole said.
"It's easy to make things complicated, and it's difficult to make things simple," he added.
Sam Winegarden, GM executive director for Global Engine Engineering, said engineers were still working off of concepts designed into the small block engines.
"Things like cylinder deactivation, friction reduction and combustion efficiency were first developed on the small block V-8s before migrating to other engines," he said. "It is still relevant."