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Lately, I’ve been inundated with LS-driven questions. Some are simple looking for the differences between an LS1 and LS6, and others are a bit more complicated, asking for specific combinations. Of them all, my personal favorite has to be: What’s the big deal about having an LS engine on the street?
To be completely up front with you, until about a year ago, my experience with the LS engine family was mostly limited to engine dyno duties. I’ve tested a myriad of off-the-shelf combinations for the past seven years, ranging from simple bolt-ons to complete big-inch buildsincluding a number of nitrous and supercharger packages. Sure, I could tell you what any number of combinations could potentially produce, but I’d had very limited street time with them.
Given my experience, my sentiment could be summed up in that they made great power with minimal effort. Of course, much of that can be attributed to the great cylinder heads. To probe a bit deeper, I especially like its aluminum construction, along with the four-bolt main and cross-bolt assembly. Plus, the little use of sealants with the factory O-ring gaskets has really won me over.
A few weeks ago, I learned just how much I enjoy having an LS mill on the street. At the last minute, I decided to head out with a friend of mine and the boys from Camaro Performers and check out their Duel In The Desert event, being held at the Super Chevy Show in Phoenix. The 400-mile drive was a breeze, and I managed to get nearly 30 mpg, but that’s not even the impressive part.
At the event, we participated in the True Street challenge, where we completed three back-to-back runs on the dragstrip with minimal cooldown time. From there, to finish up the challenge, we headed over to the autocross course and proceeded to get in a few laps. At the end of the day, we ran 12.56 at well over 119 mph (definitely not stock, but we’ll have the details in an upcoming issue) and got through the autocross course with no issues whatsoever.
The following morning, we opted for the scenic route home and headed north to Sedona, Arizona, and checked out the red sandstone formations, which incidentally, are absolutely incredible in person. After a quick bite, we forged ahead to the Grand Canyon before rounding out our trip home. The impressive part: We logged 1,200 miles in three days with the A/C going, pushing the car to the limits, and still managed to get 27 mpg. What else can I say? I had an absolute blast and this certainly validates the LS for me. What about you, what’s your story?