The car that we were all hoping HSV would bring to the Sydney Motor Show was the rumoured LS7 powered GTS, instead we were confronted with the nice but kind of boring (in comparison) 20th Anniversary model.
Well, HSV have been beaten to the punch by the guys over at Corsa Special Vehicles (CSV) in Melbourne, who have taken the Generals dry-sumped 7.0-litre LS7 V8 (from the Corvette Z06) tweaked it a little to produce 400kW/659Nm and bolted it into a HSV E-Series GTS.
The result is interesting and has you questioning HSV?s claimed performance figures for their LS2 6.0-litre powered Clubsport and GTS. CSV?s LS7 powered GTS (six-speed auto) will bolt from 0-100kmh in 4.89 seconds compared to the 5.05 seconds that HSV claim for their standard auto GTS. Not much in it, so either HSV are optimistic or the CSV car suffers serious traction problems.
The LS7 powered GTS will cover the 400m sprint in 12.9 seconds but a car like this is not just about acceleration times as the huge torque on tap would ensure that its in gear performance would be nothing short of staggering.
Fitting the LS7 engine into the engine bay of the GTS is apparently relatively simple, as it has the same external size as the LS2 and even bolts up to the same engine mounts and gearbox without modification. An oil tank and the requisite plumbing is required for the dry sump lubrication system and a few modifications to brackets but that is in simplistic terms about all.
Deep down we all know (hope) that HSV are working on their own LS7 powered E-Series car, with rumours of at least one prototype having been developed. An LS7 powered HSV would cap off the E-Series range nicely and make a wonderful Pontiac four door alternative to the Z06 Corvette in the States - or maybe HSV are eyeing off the new LS9 supercharged mill...
This article is just a very brief summary and there is a lot more information on the CSV LS7 conversion, including how it drives over at Motor Trend.