Nelson Racing Engines has recently unveiled a 1200-horsepower LS-based crate V-8 that should satisfy just about any gearhead’s horsepower needs, at least for a small-block.
Nelson‘s new 427 is built on a Dart LSX block that, like Chevy Performance’s own LSX block, adds eight extra head studs compared to the production LS design. NRE also ups the diameter of the studs from 3/8 to half-inch while the extra studs afforded by the LSX design, which are located at the 12-o-clock and six-o-clock position of every cylinder bore, are expanded to 3/8, up from a metric size. Tom Nelson told us that this change allows for those studs to be now torqued to 55 lb-ft. That extra clamping force helps keep the head gaskets in place even with high cylinder pressures.
Those head studs are holding down a set of Dart Pro 1 280 cylinder heads that take LS3-style heads to a new level. The 15-degree heads flow more air through a 1.6-inch exhaust valve than the best factory Gen 1 small-block could muster through its intake.
A 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger adds 17 pounds of boost to coax the engine to produce twice the power of NRE’s naturally aspirated 427. Lucky for us it’s not twice the cost: NRE’s asking price is $26,000, which may seem expensive until you compare it to Mopar’s 1000-horsepower Hellephant Hemi that has an MSRP of $30,000, if you can find one. This monster motor also comes ready-to-run, with all the necessary wiring and fuel injection ECU.
The big Whipple supercharger, perched atop a water-to-air charge cooler, makes for a tall engine that likely won’t fit under the hood of many cars. There are plenty of classic pickup trucks, however, that could make use of their deep engine bays to house this dynamo. You could also opt for a hood scoop if you want to drop one of these engines into anywhere else you’d normally fit a small-block. If you prefer to keep your low hood, there’s also a 1000-hp version with a smaller supercharger or a 454 LSX that uses twin turbos and race gas to produce 1650 hp. The choice is yours.
If an LS Chevy-small-block isn’t your thing, NRE also offers big-block Chevys, Gen 1 small-block Chevys, small-block Fords, as well RB Mopars in wedge and Hemi variants in all sorts of naturally aspirated or boosted flavors.