Engine Of The Day: General Motors LS

Illustration for article titled Engine Of The Day: General Motors LS

Nobody does pushrod V8s like The General, and the LS is proof that you don't need some crazy Rube Goldberg tangle of chains and camshafts clattering all over the place to make 21st-century power.


Some snide Detroit-bashers claim that beads of petroleum byproducts sweat from the plastic of The General's more economical interior components, and then there's all that pesky financial mismanagement and bureaucratic inertia to get 'em hooting and pointing fingers in derision… but nobody laughs at, say, the 638-horsepower LS9, a staggeringly powerful yet compact engine that fits handily inside cramped engine compartments. The aluminum-block, six-bolt-main LS has been around since 1997 and has been factory-installed in everything from the Cadillac CTS-V to the Saab 9-7X. Displacement of the LS series ranges from 5.3 to 7.0 liters (and bigger, if you want to get a race-only factory crate motor), and about the only bad thing we can say about it is that GM couldn't think up a new designation for the engine, recycling the names of totally unrelated early-70s engines such as the LS4 and LS6; come on, letters and numbers are free! And hey, you can even drop one into a Miata!
[Wikipedia] Photo source: Zorly.com


Spencer Williams

Available from 5.3 to 7.0 liters. That pretty much says it all. This much horsepower at such a low price (whole cart or crate motor) deserves respect from every car company, ever. Hard to say as a Ford guy, but the LS series engines bring pain to all those who dare challenge.