SEMA 2011: GM Performance Parts Big Crate Engine Announcements

Now you can build your very own LSA Crate Engine for your project car at GM's Performance Build Center.

This exciting new program allows enthusiasts to enjoy that magical do-it-yourself feeling, while still enjoying the value of a factory-engineered, warranted crate engine.

At SEMA this year GM has made two big announcements regarding their line of LS crate engines. The first exciting news is that the “Build-Your-Own-Engine” program for Corvette ZL1 and Z06 owners has been extended to include crate engines. Now, you can build your very own LS7 or LS9 crate engine for your project car under the guidance of a GM Tech at the GM Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Michigan.

Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports says, “Building an engine is a time-honored tradition in hot rodding, and this exciting new program allows enthusiasts to enjoy that magical do-it-yourself feeling, while still enjoying the value of a factory-engineered, warranted crate engine. For hands-on hot rodders, this program truly enables them to say they did it all when it came to building their project. There’s nothing else like it in the industry.”

The little engine that could - the E-ROD 5.3L crate engine churns out 320 horsepower and still carries a California CARB number...

The second big crate engine news announcement is the release of GM’s “Connect and Cruise” packages. The “Connect and Cruise” packages will be for builders who want to secure all the necessary parts to put an LS crate engine and transmission in their car at one time, and not have to shop for each component individually. With just one part number you can save time and money by purchasing your crate engine, ECM and wiring harness, automatic transmission, and transmission controller all at once. The first two combos to be offered under Connect and Cruise will be the 556 horsepower LSA and a 4L85-E transmission (Part Number CPSLSA4L85E) and the much-respected LS3 with a 4L65-E trans (Part Number CPSLS34L65E).

The Dale Jr. 70 Chevelle SS is powered by the LSA "Connect and Cruise" package.

To demonstrate the type of build that “Connect and Cruise” might be utilized in, GMPP teamed up with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., on an awesome 1970 Chevelle SS project car. The Chevelle is powered by the LSA Connect and Cruise package, and sports a laundry list of impressive aftermarket components. The stunning metallic gray paint job is set off by a set of flat-black ZL1 style 20-inch wheels (and we’re curious when these wheels will be made available through the Chevrolet Accessories catalog…), bolted over a set of massive Baer Brakes calipers.

The Dale Jr. Chevelle looks just right sitting on those 20-inch ZL1 wheels...

Connect and Cruise is a great concept from our point of view – we’ll be anxiously looking forward to the day when GMPP offers the CPSLS9TR6060 part number!

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About the author

Clifton Klaverweiden

Clifton has been a car fanatic since his late teens, when he started the restoration of his '67 Camaro. He considers himself a student of automotive science and technology, and particularly loves all things LSX. And, although he has an appreciation for everything, from imports to exotics, his true passion will always be for GM musclecars.
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