Capabilities notwithstanding, Alameddine spent many hours sneaking up on the turbo engine's tune. It wasn't a simple plug-and-play operation. The fuel trim was kept safely fat and both rpm and boost were initially limited, as dyno pull after dyno pull revealed what the engine was capable of handling.
ON THE DYNOAlameddine's attention to detail paid off when Thomson began making full dyno pulls, but there was something clearly holding back the engine. It was making more than 1,500hp, but was stymied by the mufflers on the dyno's exhaust system.
It was a simple matter of too much exhaust backpressure and once Thomson's technician's uncorked the system, the engine blew unrestricted and instantly hit the 2,000hp mark. Keep in mind that the performance-hampering backpressure wasn't anticipated because the dyno's exhaust system already measured a large five inches in diameter.
With the unrestricted engine blowing hard on the dyno, it recorded a peak of 2,048hp at 7,140 rpm and a neck-straining 1,507 lb-ft of torque at the same rpm level. And while the engine makes big power even at lower revs-about 700hp at 4,000 rpm-the power comes on like a sledgehammer from about 5,000 rpm onward. In fact, power jumps from about 980 horses at 4,800 rpm to nearly 1,400hp at 6,400 rpm.
Similarly, torque leaps from the merely super-strong 906 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm to nearly 1,700 lb-ft at 6,400. That's nearly 90 percent more torque in the time it takes the tach to swing only 1,600 rpm higher. Talk about driveline shock.
Thomson says there was even more power to be extracted from the engine, but the dyno sessions ceased when GM Performance Parts asked to put the engine in a '96 Impala SS they'd constructed especially for it. Of course, it's no ordinary Impala SS. It was disassembled and rebuilt was a full-frame race car.
"With more time and more boost, I think we could have seen perhaps 2,500hp," he says. "There's a lot left in it."
As we went to press, the folks at GM Performance Parts were not ready to make any passes in the car, but we've got a detailed look at it and we'll bring it to you in a future issue.
For now, contemplate the implications of a 2,000hp, 400-inch LSX engine and what the trickle-down benefits will be for street/strip engines. It's pretty heady stuff, for sure.