I think what gets missed here is these names are and we’re order option codes for engines. These letters and numbers designate an engine type and which version for a particular model.
Marketing has at times used these numbers to try to sell the vehicles.
Z/28 is the same thing just an order code that became an emblem.
The original LT was in 1970 and has come and gone in variations over the years.
To be honest there is nothing that the public needs to read into these numbers but they do help to show what style block the engine is based on. We just need the year or what it was out of at work to find parts.
I had a LNF turbo 4. Mine stock was 260 HP but in a Solstice it had more torque than in my car or the others it was used. Yet it carried the same name. The designation just identified the basic engine being used.
From a marketing standpoint you would think someone would have realized putting the corporate names on the engines and matching that with the price points would actually be a selling feature.
Best part is, the masses wouldn't care so you'd just put the Chevy 6 banger in those crossovers whatever badge.
But the rest of us might enjoy a menu like this:
Biggest V8 for displacement is a Cadillac engine, supercharged. Could be a rare crazy money thing like the Blackwing (you know someone would pay to put that in a Vette or Camaro...)
Biggest V6 is a Buick engine, turbo.
I'd even do an Oldsmobile rocket. Or riff on the Quad 4... would have to think about that.
If you're being cheeky to an exotic inline 6 as the Pontiac engine.
And offer the Chevy versions as the reliable baseline. We know people love the idea of a Corvette version of an engine in their not-Vette.
I'm not proposing 7 different V8 architectures here... lots of shared components. But when you go to the speed shop and they say "Which GM V8 you have" and you say it's a 2024 Olds Rocket that means something more than just the sticker on the top of it.
Several of the branches of GM on their own (paying their own way, not sharing development and platforms) would have been in the same boat as the independents.
That is to say gone decades ago. Good chance that only Chevrolet would have made it to the 2000s if 1960s GM leadership hadn't been paying attention.
Once you realize all of those designations, like LT4, are in fact RPO codes it all makes sense since the RPO codes will never much sense anyway. The RPO is tied to a model and year with the first letter denoting the category (L = engine). Beyond that it's just marketing not thinking things through.
Valid point dan5
I'm laughing thinking of the genius-savant that could just manually read QR codes with no device.
Most mechanics have a laptop in the shop and a smartphone handy at all times now, unless choosing not to work that way (which is probably only a choice for those working on older stuff exclusively).