What is The History Behind The GM LS1 Engine?

Posted on May 1, 2013

The GM LS engine family is an engine design intended solely as the only V-8 engine used in General Motors’ line of rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. The LS series was a “clean sheet” design with very little in common in terms of shared parts with the classic Chevrolet small block V-8, although its basic design layout owes a good deal to the essential concept of Ed Cole’s original small-block design of 1954-55. Some LS engines are all-aluminum, especially the performance oriented engines, while others are cast iron, and all LS engines have six-bolt main bearing caps.

The LS engine has been the sole power plant of the Chevy Corvette since 1997 and has been used in a wide variety of other General Motors vehicles, ranging from sport coupes like the Camaro to full size trucks. Due to the engines relatively compact external dimensions compared to its displacement and power output; the engine family is also a popular choice for kit cars, hot rods, buggies, and even light aircraft. If you are in the market for an LS1 High Performance Engine, contact Golen High Performance Engines. We can take an LS1 crate engine, and build exactly what you need to snap your head back into the headrest!

When introduced in the 1997 Corvette the LS1 was rated at 345 hp (257 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 350 lbf·ft (470 N·m) at 4,400 rpm. After improvements to the intake and exhaust manifolds in 2001 the rating improved to 350 hp (260 kW) and 365 lbf·ft (495 N·m). The LS1 was used in the Corvette from 97-04. It was also used in 98-02 GM F-Body (Camaro & Trans Am) cars with a rating of 305–325+ HP, which was rumored to be conservative. The extra horsepower was claimed to come from the intake ram-air effect available in the SS and WS6 models. In Australia, continuous modifications were made to the LS1 engine throughout its lifetime, reaching 382 bhp (285 kW) in the HSV’s YII series, and a Callaway modified version named “C4B” was fitted to HSV GTS models producing 402 bhp (300 kW). These models were street rockets! So, if you need a beast of an engine, Golen High Performance Engines is the company to call!