I’m going to come out here, right now, as an LS swap hater. They’re boring, over-done, and just downright uncreative. Oh, you wanted more power, so you added displacement? From the same engine everyone else uses for that purpose? How interesting.
2JZ swaps are better, K-swaps better still. If you throw a Barra under your hood, you’ll really have my attention. But perhaps the most interesting swap of all is a new option from HPA Motorsports: A crate 550-horsepower turbocharged VR6.
The VR6 actually shares some of its best swap features with the LS: Size. The LS is such a popular swap because of its cam-in-block design, making for a smaller engine that’s simpler to fit in any number of engine bays. While the modern VR6 holds its cams in the head, its narrow-angle design makes it a good fit for tight spots — like engine bays built to hold compact, inline engines.
HPA’s crate VR6 has a few benefits not shared with the LS, however, the biggest of which is its sound. The company posted an Instagram reel teasing the engine’s release, which showed a swapped Golf R making some truly incredible noises — the revs, the turbo, the launch, all music to the ears.
HPA doesn’t appear to have a release date for these crate VR6es yet, but the company did confirm a few specs on Instagram. The engines will be 2.5 liters, making 550 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. If the idea of a 2.5-liter turbocharged VR6 sounds familiar, that’s a layout VW itself manufactures for the Chinese market — though that stock motor is likely a far cry from what HPA is bringing to market.
This 550-horsepower VR6 is yet another reason not to put an LS under your hood. There are a world of possibilities out there, so many interesting engines that your project car could house. Do something unique, something neat — not just another Chevy V8.