When the LS1 showed up in the C5 Corvette in 1997, nobody had any idea how much the engine would alter the face of the high-performance automotive world. The LS engine family has now been around for over 26 years, and it has been stuffed into anything with wheels, boats, and even airplanes.
There have been millions of LS-based engines produced and placed into all kinds of vehicles by GM. You can find LS engines with displacements of 4.8L (293ci), all the way to 7.0L (427ci). The LS engine family is fond of any power-adder you throw at it, and can make some serious horsepower naturally aspirated too. When you factor in the engine’s physical size, it’s easy to see why the LS engine is popular for V8 swaps.
Ford and Dodge have their own modern potent V8 mills, but they just don’t have the same cult-like following the LS has. While we were at Holley LS Fest East this year, we wanted to know why so many people select an LS-based engine as their weapon of choice for an engine swap. LS Fest is the perfect showcase for the LS because you really get to see the variety of ways the engine is used. There are amazing show vehicles on display, autocross competitors laying down fast lap times, drifters putting on a great show, and record-breaking runs on the drag strip. Check out this video where you get to hear from aftermarket gurus, and your average enthusiasts as to why the LS is a great engine for V8 swaps.