• Feb 19, 2009
Click above for high-res image gallery of the LS9 engine

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.


[Source Autofiends]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Author,

      It is pricey, but I would like to see someone build a 630HP engine in that space, that is as powerful, reliable, and has a warranty for 21,000. Start pricing components alone for 600+ HP and reliability with an LSX block and 20,000 comes pretty quick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM announced that its performance division is history and the people are being spread around the company if they have jobs at all. This could be the end of the line for these engines. The tiny volume and handwork dictates the price. Personally, I wouldn't give you more than scrap value for a pushrod design. Even your granny's Corolla has a more advanced motor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        His name should be mr. special ed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unbelievable! How is an engine, developed and perfected for decades, not respectable?! The CTS-V seems to do rather well in comparison to its competitors with its *gasp* pushrod engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mr Ed, that's just an incredibly dimwitted statement...about what one would expect from a talking horse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The ignorance of your pushrod comment is mind boggling.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Less than Daimler's $50K 6.2L 507hp mill....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Also, these engines are expensive/difficult/time consuming to make.(compared to other GM engines)

      The engine features exotic materials which are also expensive/difficult/time consuming to work with

      also consider that they aren't making many of them, which drives the cost up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The simplicity of this mill is what makes it so beautiful. I would pony up the cash, just to have it sit in my living room.

      Can't wait until GM slaps DI on the LSx motors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hear you there. I found an older article (2007) that said the 6.2 on the Escalade modified with DI was producing "well north of 450 hp", plus a mild increase in fuel economy.

        Unfortunately, I really don't know if GM has the cash to finish development on this engine, though it would greatly benefit their truck/suv line. I think GM probably has finished it, but it may be delayed in it's introduction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think the price is all that bad.
      If you were to take a Z06 crate engine, for $13500, and then build it up to this performance level, the price would exceed 21,000.

      Supercharger kit's are expensive these days, it's not like the foxbody mustang days where you grab one for $2500 and slap it on, most kits now start at about $6000.

      • 5 Years Ago
      i wonder how much an LSA will go for?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I might consider buying a Prius if it had one these in it
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've been waiting to see someone make a Prius-rod like that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Included in price:

      1 Reciprocating Saw
      1 Fiberglass Blade / 1 Steel Blade
      3 Different Shaped Plastic Windows

      You decide what vehicle deserves a window to a supercharger cover. Not quite the same effect as a full engine bay view on an Audi R8 or Ferrari. Still, it will up the Jones at the Trailer park…
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm just waiting for someone to do something really radical with this engine...

      Someone already got their ZR1 up to 700rwhp, with some "mild" modifications (search www.streetfire.net)

      I'm waiting for someone to take the ZR1, or any other car they could fit this into (GTO, F-body, etc) and then slap on a twin turbo system from www.ststurbo.com. That would be one heck of a car, regardless of what anyone says about pushrod or otherwise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In all seriousness, did you really expect it to be "reasonably" priced (whatever that means in the context of high performance, high technology crate motors)? This article is a bit nonsensical.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather spend $21k and have this sitting in my living room than buy a 2010 Mustang.
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