We've sung the praises of General Motor's pushrod V8s several times before on these pages, as they combine mechanical simplicity, compact packaging, and very healthy amounts of power in an affordable package. But let's say that you've purchased a vehicle with the LS2, and you've now grown accustomed to 400 horsepower. What next?
GM High-Tech Performance, a magazine dedicated to fuel-injected GM performance vehicles, put a LS2 on the dyno at Livernois Motorsports to see what they could get with a couple of traditional hot-rodding techniques - a larger cam, and ported heads. Just swapping out the stock bumpstick for Livernois' mild "Stage I" cam yielded an additional 92 peak HP, with the somewhat wilder "Stage II" part picking up 98 HP for an even 500 HP. Align yourself with a decent calibration guy and you'll pass emissions with either cam, and will have bumped power up into the LS7 region for an investment of under $1K and a few hours under the hood. Spend another $949 on Livernois' CNC ported heads, and the dyno output tops 520 HP with 467 lb-ft of peak torque. Yummy! Now, we just need someone to donate a Chevy TrailBlazer SS to us so we can try things out for ourselves.
[Source: GM High-Tech Performance]