By Nick Aziz
Tuesday, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 9:12 am
 
With so much incorrect information out there about GM's future LS motors, we though it would be a good time to query our sources and get the real deal. From the Cadillac CTS-V to the Corvette ZR1, we take a look at the LSA, LS7, LS8, LST, and LS9.



LS7

This is, of course, the current 7.0-liter, naturally aspirated motor in the Z06. It's handbuilt at GM's Wixom performance center and is very expensive to make. Too expensive with the LS9 motor coming. While there will be several months where the LS7 and LS9 will be built at Wixom, the LS7 will eventually die, probably sometime between late-2009 or mid-2010.

Several publications have repeatedly insisted the new CTS-V will be powered by the LS7, but this is completely false. GM cannot spend engineering dollars on a CTS-V to start with the LS7, then 12 to 18 months later, switch motors after the LS7 is discontinued. Rather, the super Caddy will feature an all-new powerplant.

LSA

The LSA will find its way under the hood of the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V. The LSA is a 6.2-liter, smallblock V8 with a supercharger. It features an intercooler integrated into the intake manifold.

Preliminary specs have it over 500 horsepower with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The CTS-V will start production in September of 2008 with this motor. Look for around 6000 to 8000 units annually.

Original plans also had the LSA going into an Escalade V-series truck. However justifying the development cost -- not to mention CAFE considerations -- might put possibility of such a truck in jeporady. At present, it is unclear whether the Escalade-V a truck is still part of the plan.

LS8

This is another 6.2-liter, smallblock V8 with a supercharger. It also features an intercooler integrated into the intake manifold. This will be the motor going into the top-end Zeta platform cars. The most premium Camaro, probably called Z28, will get this motor.

That said, original plans had this motor going into a Denali SUV or truck, however, those plans now seem to be canceled. Again, this maybe a result of CAFE.

Some of Holden's vehicles may also get this motor eventually. Initial specs have this motor at 475 to 500 horsepower with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

When the LS7 dies, the Z06 will get this motor. Possibly, slightly uptuned from the version the Zeta cars would get. This motor will start production in first or second quarter of 2010.

LST

Yet another 6.2-liter, smallblock V8 with a supercharger. It also features an intercooler integrated into the intake manifold. This motor may or may not still be in GM's plans. The original plan was to put it in GM's Heavy Duty trucks.

Delivering in excess of 450 pound-feet of torque, it was set to start in the middle of 2008. However, it now seems this motor may no longer be part of the plan. GM may have decided its diesel offerings were sufficient. It's also possible GM had a hard time justifying the cost of development. Of course, CAFE might have also played a role.

LS9

This is the 6.2-liter, smallblock V8 with a supercharger going into the ZR-1 Corvette. Like all the others, it has an intercooler integrated into the intake manifold. Original specs had this motor at 600 horsepower and 550 to 560 pound-feet of torque. It now seems the horsepower rating may have jumped to as much as 650.

If that's true, it would probably be safe to estimate a similar jump in torque to around 600 ft lbs. Sources have stated the LS9 can make 700hp on a test stand. Obviously though, that is without a car attached to the motor. Don't look for any production hp number starting with "seven."

It now appears an auto/paddle shift may also be an option on the ZR-1. This motor will be handbuilt at GM's Wixom performance center. They will only make 1500 to 2000 units a year. Production of the ZR-1 starts in July of 2008.