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What's Your Poison? - Shop Talk

What’s Your Poison?

It's hard to believe that it's already been 10 years, but back then we really pushed the envelope with LS powerplants. Meaning, at the time, we tested every available camshaft, cylinder head, and intake manifold, along with throttle-bodies and power adders, including nitrous and supercharger combinations.

The engine dyno data was phenomenal and proved how potent these engines were with minimal upgrades. Unfortunately, it was also a little too early for the general consensus, and we backed off the LS tech for a while.

Fast forward to today and that's changed quite a bit, especially with the amount of power the LS format is producing with today's aftermarket goodies. For example, take a fifth-gen Camaro, add in a supercharger and now you're talking serious power; we're talking 550-plus hp to the rear wheels. The good news is, that same gain can be had in any number of muscle cars by simply dropping in a crate engine with similar modifications.

Engine 2/2

If you're familiar with the LS family, then you know its potential. Even so, I wanted to make a call to action by addressing this question in particular and see what you, as a reader would like to see. I should note that while we've been getting plenty of emails requesting a variety of LS combinations, we're also getting emails requesting we back off on them for more conventional powerplants.

It's pretty clear that we love to cover the gamut and showcase what can be built for a potent street machine to more radical track duties for the autocross, road course, or the dragstrip. And the good news is, we're in the process of building everything from a bolt-on LS3 to a dedicated track combo based on a RHS tall deck block; can you say 481 cubic inches! For the conventional platform fans, we're already knee deep in a couple small- and big-block combos, namely a 383ci, 396ci, 496ci, and even planning to play with a Chevrolet Performance 502ci.

If you're wondering, I'm a huge fan of big-blocks for their brute strength and the ability to produce monster torque. But then again, LS engines that can do it all have really won me over. A good example is the mill in our project Z06. This is a factory stock LS6 with a supercharger, cat-back system, coilovers, and brakes; I can autocross all day long, run 119 mph in quarter-mile, and still get nearly 30 miles to the gallon on any road trip.

The choice is yours, so tell me, what's your poison?

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