Chevrolet Performance is replacing the LS7 with a more powerful, less expensive 427 LS small-block
Chevrolet Performance is offering up a new, more powerful version of its LS7 crate engine as it appears the original 505-horsepower version is being phased out. Even sweeter, it’s shaping up to be both less expensive and easier to install in your next project car.
The LS7 debuted in the 2006 Corvette Z06 and was last used in the 5th-gen Camaro Z/28 for 2014 and 2015. In both applications, the big-cube small-block produced 505 horsepower and incorporated slick technology (literally) like a dry-sump oiling system. With a 4.125-inch bore and 4.0-inch stroke, it remains the largest displacement small-block Chevrolet has ever put in a production car.
Lauded at its introduction for its wonderful torque curve and raucous exhaust note, the LS7 was the most powerful V-8 ever offered in a Corvette at the time. It uses a forged steel crank and main bearing caps for bottom-end strength. The connecting rods and saucer-sized intake valves were made of titanium, which helped minimize weight, allowing the big engine rev to 7,000rpm.
The new LS427/570 takes the potent LS7 and adds an LS3 oil pump along with a 1998-2002 Camaro LS1 oil pan to make for a more affordable, simple oiling system. Camaro also donated other parts, like the Z/28’s tri-Y exhaust manifolds. Even more interesting is that the LS7’s hydraulic roller camshaft with its 211/230-degree split duration and .593/.588 inches of lift was replaced with a 227/242 duration cam with .591/.590 inches of lift. We can imagine that the resulting idle and full-throttle pulls will sound even better than what we’ve come to expect from the LS7, but more importantly, thanks to that camshaft its output has been boosted to 570 horsepower at 6,200rpm. Torque is also up significantly, with a peak of 540 ft-lbs coming at 4,800rpm, up from 470 ft-lbs.
Chevrolet Performance has offered a crate engine version of the LS7 for years, but it has been a bit overshadowed recently. The LS376/525 crate engine, essentially a 6.2-liter LS3 with a higher-performance cam, offered up 20 more horsepower than the LS7 with a lower price tag in part due to its simple wet-sump oiling system. By ditching the LS7’s dry-sump in favor of a traditional oil pan without any exterior lines or plumbing required, the LS427/570 should make engine installation that much easier.
The LS7 is currently priced at $14,837 according to Chevrolet Performance, whose website notes that there are limited quantities available. Chevrolet Performance doesn’t have pricing on the LS427/570 just yet, but a peek at Scoggin Dickey Parts Center, one of the country’s most popular crate engine dealers, shows it at just over $12,700. That actually puts it higher than SDPC’s discount price for the LS7 at $10,700. However, it’s a safe bet that it will be more affordable than an LS7 once the dry-sump and its necessary plumbing are accounted for.
While we may be a bit sad to see the LS7 crate engine go, the easily swappable, more powerful LS427/570 seems like a worthy replacement.