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The LS7 from General Motors is an engine made for power and performance. These 7.0 L monsters are hand-built in Wixom, MI and constructed of extremely strong materials to support the power of this engine.
This engine is primarily available in the Corvette Z06, although it is also available in some other low-volume options, and numerous other project cars that are not documented, as this is another engine available to be purchased as a crate engine directly from General Motors.
The LS7 was also offered quite a bit later in Camaro Z28. In addition, a variation of the LS7 called the LS7.R was used in the Le Mans Series and was named the Global Motorsports Engine of the Year in 2006.
The LS7 was first produced in 2006 and built into the Corvette Z06 as a replacement for the LS6. This engine is still in production, although now it is primarily as a crate engine carrying a sticker price of $16,500. This engine is very popular for many reasons, not the least of which is its impressive power.
The engine is constructed of many very strong materials, using processes to add more to the strength, enabling it to reliably handle the kind of power this engine is capable of achieving. Also to support this size, the block is constructed using a Siamese block design, meaning there is no space for water passage between cylinders.
This design also uses pressed in cylinder liners to support this block architecture. Another unique feature for the LS7 is the dry sump oil system.
LS7 Performance Specs
The LS7 offers an impressive 505 horsepower at 6200 RPM and 475 lb-ft of torque at 4800 RPM. This offers about 100 extra horsepower and 75 extra lb-ft over its LS6 predecessor for the Z06. The redline for this engine is also quite impressive at 7000 RPM.
The 7.0L engine comes in at exactly 7.011 L, or 427.8 cubic inches. The LS7 has a bore of 4.125 inches and a stroke of 4.0 inches. This large bore means that overall any of the LS series heads can be used in combination with the LS7 block, however most other LS engine blocks are not compatible with the LS7 head.
Head and Block Construction
The LS7 is built using an array of impressive materials. The block is cast aluminum alloy with aluminum cylinder heads that are CNC ported. The crankshaft is forged steel to go with forged titanium connecting rods. Intake valves are of titanium construction while the exhaust valves are sodium filled.
The LS7 uses a conventional push rod overhead valve (OHV) valve train. The valve architecture uses 2 valves, 1 intake and 1 exhaust per cylinder. Early designs were considered using a 3 valve system, however it was later determined that this was not required.
Some of the other features helped to eliminate the need for the extra valve, such as a modified camshaft that provides approximately 15 mm of lift, allowing more air into the cylinder for combustion. The flat topped hypereutectic aluminum piston was also used for this engine, as is common for many of the LS7 engines.
The LS7 is an impressive engine that combined creative design with robust metals and processes. The result was a strong engine with very impressive performance. Although this engine is still under the Gen IV classification, many of the special techniques and architecture used in the creation if this engine really set it apart from many of the other Gen IV engines.
Any time you can exceed 500 horsepower with a naturally aspirated engine, it is no small feat.