The hot rod industry has been built around the small-block Chevy. After five decades of production car development, million of dollars in engineering, and countless racing exploits, GM Powertrain released the LS1. We first learned about the virtues of the LS1 when it appeared in the '97 Corvette. It took the pushrod V-8, mixed in all the tricks learned on the racetrack, and provided bulletproof performance to the masses. The LS platform quickly became standard equipment in the F-body ponycars, millions of truck and SUVs, as well as anything else with a V-8 in the General's lineup.

In loose terms, the LS architecture offers up a six-bolt main cap design in an aluminum block (in most cases), incredibly high-flowing production cylinder heads, and a deliciously quick-revving valvetrain. The LS engines are light, take up a modest amount of space, and bring race car technology to the street. It's no wonder that an entire industry has been built around LS engine/vehicle modification.

Because of the virtues that GM has built into the basic design, it's quite clear that the heir apparent to the hot rod throne is the LS small-block V-8. Irrespective of that status, the evil geniuses at GM Performance Parts have been working overtime to take the LS platform to levels of performance that no one had imagined possible. Let's take a deeper look ...

The LSX Block
We first started hearing about the "LSX" in 2006 as GM Performance Parts prepared to debut a new high-performance LS block at that year's SEMA show. GM trademarked the term "LSX," and in doing so, targeted a whole new line of parts based on the LS engine architecture. Logically, the engineers started with the foundation of any engine: the block. The GM Performance Parts LSX Bowtie Block (PN 19166454) takes the learnings of several GM divisions, and pours them into one effort that offers racers and serious street car enthusiasts the LS foundation for anything you could dream up. Its six-bolt mains, true priority main oiling system, six-bolt-per-cylinder head design, thickened deck surfaces, high-quality materials, and 4.250-inch bore capacity allow you to build up a 500-inch LS small-block (with the 9.7-inch tall deck version).

At SEMA, GM rolled out a '69 Camaro with heavy influences from muscle car collector and baseball hall-of-famer Reggie Jackson. While the car was a great example of state-of-the-art hot rodding, we were impressed with the engine. It utilized the very first LSX block, along with the engine-building skills of Warren Johnson, to showcase a 454-cubic-inch engine that made over 650 horsepower on pump gas. The Camaro ran 10.80s in the quarter-mile while hurtling the car past 140 mph on the GM Milford Proving Grounds.

With all of that experimental research and testing done for one car (and really one individual block), it was only a matter of time before GM rolled out an entire engine based on the LSX block. GM Performance Parts has always lead the industry with crate engine solutions, but the LS (and now the LSX) architecture has allowed their engineers to do something truly special.

LSX Components From GM
A whole new line of LSX parts are on the way from GM Performance Parts, and the LSX 454 is the first example of this amazing new portfolio. While it may have been two years since we first learned about the LSX block, the GMPP engineers have been very busy designing, engineering, validating, and building the pieces necessary to crank out some amazing new crate engines.