GM Gearing Up To Release LS9 Crate Motor Photo:
Tony O'Kane | Oct, 31 2008 | 17 Comments

Crate motors. Is there anything more joyous than being able to flip through a catalogue, select a donk with the power output that best suits your tyre budget, wait a few weeks and then open your front door to see a brand-spanking-new, fully-assembled performance engine sitting on your patio? The guys and gals at GM Performance Parts certainly agree that for the time-poor and cash-rich enthusiast, a crate motor makes a hell of a lot of sense, and have decided to expand their range of boxed-up mills to include... the 476kW supercharged LS9 V8 straight outta the 'Ring-dominating Corvette ZR-1!

That's right, the world of insane engine swaps is about to get a hell of a lot crazier.

Going on sale in the third quarter of next year, the LS9 crate motor will give all you mad-scientist types a much easier way to cram some serious grunt into your hotrod/custom/lowrider/classic/import/golf buggy. The engine comes fully assembled from GM and, straight out of the box, is capable of generating a mighty 476kW and 819Nm. There are a few additions that buyers will need to supply themselves, such as an external oil tank for the dry sump, a coolant reservoir for the water-to-air intercooler and the ECU and engine harness - a small price to pay for the godlike amount of power the LS9 is capable of.


Pricing will most likely be confirmed at the LS9 crate motor's launch at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas, however we're certain that there'll be no shortage of interested parties - no matter the cost.

So all you TMR-ites, what would YOU shoehorn this bad boy into? Something retro-cool, like a '57 Chevy, or something barking mad, like a Honda Z or a Mini Moke? Nominate your preferred transplant recipient in the comments below!


LAS VEGAS - The LS9 6.2L supercharged V-8 is the power behind the most powerful and fastest production car in GM's history - the 2009 Corvette ZR1. In the third quarter of 2009, it will be available as a complete crate engine package from GM Performance Parts. It delivers a stunning 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm).

The LS9 crate engine will be the ideal all-in package for enthusiasts and racers who want the ultimate LS power plant for their project cars, from resto-modified vintage Corvettes, muscle cars and street rods to late model F-bodies and "shoebox" Chevys. The supercharger and charge cooler are integrated in the engine's valley for a lower profile, allowing creative builders to fit the engine in a variety of applications with plenty of hood clearance.

The engine's 6.2L displacement is shared with the LS3, but the LS9 is built for high-revving power with a supercharger. It uses stronger cylinder head castings and steel cylinder liners that are honed with a deck plate installed to maximize performance and cylinder sealing.

High-rpm-validated lightweight reciprocating parts, including titanium intake valves, are used, along with high-flow cylinder heads that draw the charge forced on them by a sixth-generation supercharger. A new, four-lobe rotor design delivers greater power at the low end and sustains it longer through the rpm band for broad, on-demand power, whether off-idle or at speed. A dual-brick charge cooler is integrated on a unique manifold system that mounts the "blower" in the engine's valley, with charge cooler on top.

GMPP's LS9 crate engine assembly comes fully dressed, including the ignition system, supercharger assembly, exhaust manifolds and more. It also includes the production dry-sump oil pan and provisions for the charge cooler's liquid cooling system. Builders will need an external oil tank, external coolant tank (for the charge cooler) and an ECU/wire harness.

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