General Motors did power junkies a solid when it announced at this past year's SEMA show that the famed LS9 engine will be offered as a crate motor. Because the LS9 was designed to live within the tight confines of the Corvette ZR1 engine bay, this engine should fit nicely into all manner of undeserving machinery, a fact that has made our minds reel with endless possibilities.
All that was before we heard the price. As much fun as it would be to drop a ready-made 630-hp supercharged whale-of-a-motor into, say, a Volvo 240 wagon, the $21,000 price tag is a bit of a buzzkill. To put it another way, the LS9 crate motor costs about the same as a base 2010 Ford Mustang. The high price isn't all that shocking, especially considering that Ford charges $17,699 for the 500-horsepower, supercharged 5.4L crate engine that's offered through its Ford Racing Catalog.
As our friends at Autofiends point out, though, anyone with a modicum of experience would be able to eke out even more ponies from a less exotic, standard LS-series engine, which can be had for a song if you're willing to look hard enough. Oh well, like many of the finer things in life, this crate motor is something to be enjoyed by only a limited few with deep pockets.