LS Thunder Down Under: The Best LS Engine Swaps In Australia

LS

Image via Street Machine Magazine

As Shark week 2017 breaches from cable TV like a Polaris attack from a Great White, more often than not, the waters off Australia are the featured location. As seen in the supplied video, sharks aren’t the only predators indigenous to the great island continent, as it seems many Aussie car enthusiasts have taken to LS engine swaps, creating tire-roasting, exhaust-bellowing automotive land monsters.

Perhaps no other people on earth share America’s love affair with muscle machines as much as our friends Down Under, and they are certainly no strangers to the Gen III/IV LS series of small-block Chevrolet engines. Beginning in 1999, GMs Aussie subsidiary Holden and its high-performance division HSV (Holden Special Vehicles), have been fitting both regular production cars and special editions with LS-based motors.

Vehicles including the Holden Commodore Saloon- (four-door sedan) and its two-door coupe variant, the Monaro (Pontiac GTO ’04-’06) have become famous for their muscular styling, strong build-quality and LS power. Even the (UTE) versions, Aussie-speak for coupe-utility-like our El Caminos, have been fitted with LS motors, right up to the present day, in what will unfortunately be the final year for Holden production.

Haltech RX3 Twin Turbo LS

Image via Haltech.

With that said and not much unlike here in the good old US-of- A, there is no shortage of LS engines available down under. Therefore, everything from early LS1s and truck-sourced LQ4s to supercharged LS9/LSAs from C6 Corvette and Caddy CTS-V fame, are finding their way into vehicles not originally equipped with LS power and quite frankly, never intended to be.

In our featured video, the quickest LS-based car in Australia is a 1970-something Mazda RX3, with twin 80mm turbos force-inducing a 427-cid/7.0L LS7 (ZO6). The little Koala of a car, makes 2,400-horsepower and literally flies down the track with it’s front wheels barely contacting the surface, in an astounding 6.84-seconds at 205-mph. And that’s in the 1/4-mile not 1/8-mile.

Well, at least I know there’s someplace like home I can go if I ever decide to leave the country-G’day-mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Andrew Nussbaum

Pontiac possessed by Smokey and the Bandit at 6 years old, and cultivated through the '80s by GTAs, IROCS and Grand Nationals, Andrew hails from Queens NY and has been writing freelance for ten years.
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