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Old 05-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
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LS9 vs LSA

As we all now know the new ZL1 will feature the LSA instead of the LS9
So my question is, why?!?

From what I have read both engines are essentially an LS3 with a supercharger, the only difference being the size of the supercharger.

Does the supercharger size account for all of the added horses? or is there something else that I dont know of. Also why not use the LS9, it seems to cost the same but has much more power.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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I think you may need to go back and read again. There are many differences between the two.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:47 PM   #3
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x2 it's more than just the super charger. I can't name all of them off, but I believe they have different pistons and other internals.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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JUST checked the price for the LSA V LS9 on JEGS and the top one on the ls9 =$22+k and the lsa is about $17.5 k , are you seeing what i am ?
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dalefj View Post
So my question is, why?!?

Thanks!
I've recently heard a rumor that the Z28 will have the LS9 as the top dog model of the Camaro line.

Now I can see why they call the LSA model as ZL1 and not Z28. They are saving that next bigger version against what Ford will be coming out.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Z_Rocks View Post
I've recently heard a rumor that the Z28 will have the LS9 as the top dog model of the Camaro line.

Now I can see why they call the LSA model as ZL1 and not Z28. They are saving that next bigger version against what Ford will be coming out.
Please ask yourself, does this make sense? Historically, was the Z28 the big displacement car?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:02 PM   #7
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I've recently heard a rumor that the Z28 will have the LS9 as the top dog model of the Camaro line.

Now I can see why they call the LSA model as ZL1 and not Z28. They are saving that next bigger version against what Ford will be coming out.
You might want to recheck your source, I am pretty sure you will NOT see an LS9 powered Z28 or Camaro in any way, shape or form. Sorry! :(
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalefj View Post
As we all now know the new ZL1 will feature the LSA instead of the LS9
So my question is, why?!?

From what I have read both engines are essentially an LS3 with a supercharger, the only difference being the size of the supercharger.

Does the supercharger size account for all of the added horses? or is there something else that I dont know of. Also why not use the LS9, it seems to cost the same but has much more power.

Thanks!
GM provides all information about their engines (well, besides price) on their powertrain website
LSA
LD9

The LS9 is significantly more expensive than the LSA. Oldfriend mentioned the Jegs price, which sounds higher than what I remember, but they probably include the controller (which GM doesn't). Anyway, I recall that the LSA costs around $14,000 (similar to the LS7) while the LS9 came in at $20,000. Sure, it doesn't cost GM nearly that much to build each engine but they've decided that is their perceived value and you can be garuenteed that an LS9 Camaro would be sold for at least $6000 more than an LSA powered one.

Also, the power difference between those two engines in a Camaro is possibly less than what it appears. The CTS has somewhat more restrictive 'plumbing' than the Camaro, as seen by the V6 making 304 hp in the CTS vs 312 hp in the Camaro. But the Camaro is a tad more restrictive than the Corvette, with the LS3 rated at 426 in the Camaro vs 430 in the 'Vette. I know it doesn't exactly work like this but .... take that percentage difference and apply it to 556 hp & 638 hp engines rather than 304 and 430 hp ones. You'd expect them to make about 570 hp & 632 hp when each is transplanted into the Camaro. Suddenly, the gap has dropped from 82 hp to 62 hp.

Lastly, another supercharged Camaro badged as a Z28 is, in my opinion, a pipe dream. With the ZL1 they'll have their beastly GT500 competitor. No need for another car to do the exact same thing, just a little better. Besides, the Z28 was never about straight line speed anyway. If anything, it was about being agile. And forced induction is not conducive to agility. It also leads to heatsoak if you plan on running multiple hotlaps. Thats why I strongly believe the Z28 will feature a naturally aspirated V8, probably an up-tuned LS3 (or its gen V replacement), a track tuned suspension (maybe derived from the ZL1's suspension), grippier tires, bigger brakes, and possibly some weight cut out of it (though this may be very difficult for GM to pull off in a cost-effective manner). In effect, it would be the Camaro equivalent to a Corvette Z06 Carbon or Grand Sport.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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The LSA uses hypereutectic pistons while the LS9 uses forged pistons. Also the connecting rods in the LSA are powdered metal while in the LS9, they are forged titanium. The valve train in the LS9 is also a lot better. Basically, the LS9 is built to take a shit load of abuse with all its forged internals. Not to mention the LSA has a super tiny .480 lift cam while the LS9's cam is .561 I believe. There's many differences between the two. The LS9 is without a doubt, the better engine
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:54 AM   #10
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The LSA uses hypereutectic pistons while the LS9 uses forged pistons. Also the connecting rods in the LSA are powdered metal while in the LS9, they are forged titanium. The valve train in the LS9 is also a lot better. Basically, the LS9 is built to take a shit load of abuse with all its forged internals. Not to mention the LSA has a super tiny .480 lift cam while the LS9's cam is .561 I believe. There's many differences between the two. The LS9 is without a doubt, the better engine
I wouldn't go as far as saying the LS9 is BETTER than the LSA. More powerful yes, but better I don't think so. Each engine, for their power rating, is just as reliable and the LSA is even a tad more efficient. So it really depends what your definition of better is. If better to you is more powerful then yes LS9 is better than LSA, but the LSA is still a damn good engine.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #11
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I wouldn't go as far as saying the LS9 is BETTER than the LSA. More powerful yes, but better I don't think so. Each engine, for their power rating, is just as reliable and the LSA is even a tad more efficient. So it really depends what your definition of better is. If better to you is more powerful then yes LS9 is better than LSA, but the LSA is still a damn good engine.
No doubt that its a damn good engine. When I say better, I mean stronger parts, more power, and more room to add power. You can't as far over the LSA's stock power rating reliably as you can with the LS9. The pistons and rods can't take the same abuse the LS9 pistons and rods can.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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I wouldn't go as far as saying the LS9 is BETTER than the LSA. More powerful yes, but better I don't think so. Each engine, for their power rating, is just as reliable and the LSA is even a tad more efficient. So it really depends what your definition of better is. If better to you is more powerful then yes LS9 is better than LSA, but the LSA is still a damn good engine.
If anything, the LSA is more reliable at its power rating than the LS9 is. In the story that GM provides on each engine, they mention the wide open throttle durability testing that each engine did. For the LS9 they say it went over 100 consecutive hours at wide open throttle. The LSA? Over 270 hours.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #13
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I've recently heard a rumor that the Z28 will have the LS9 as the top dog model of the Camaro line.

Now I can see why they call the LSA model as ZL1 and not Z28. They are saving that next bigger version against what Ford will be coming out.
Big giant rumor. Not real....
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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If demand is strong for the ZL1, I would not be surprised if Chevy puts out a limited 'special edition' of some sort which could feature the the LS9 (similar to what Ford did with the GT500KR maybe?). They could build 5000 of them and charge an outrageous price and probably sell out in no time.

But if they build it, I doubt that it would be called Z28 - though I'm sure that moniker will be revived sometime in the future...
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #15
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As long as we're all still just guessing, I'll go out on a limb and say the Z28, if it ever does happen, will be track car with a 5.5 like is the Corvette.R used in the American LeMans Series.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:56 AM   #16
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If demand is strong for the ZL1, I would not be surprised if Chevy puts out a limited 'special edition' of some sort which could feature the the LS9 (similar to what Ford did with the GT500KR maybe?). They could build 5000 of them and charge an outrageous price and probably sell out in no time.

But if they build it, I doubt that it would be called Z28 - though I'm sure that moniker will be revived sometime in the future...
I doubt they'd be able to move 5000 of them at the price they'd need, given the fact that there would be a 550+ hp ZL1 available for around $50,000. Could they sell 500? Maybe, but then the price would have to go up again. They would have to go through all the testing and validation that they've done for the ZL1 again in order to bring it to market. And for what? If you want 600+ hp you can easily get that out of an LSA. If you're afraid of reaching the limits on the LSA, you could build up a motor of your choice and swap it in for less than the premium of the LS9 super Camaro + mods to get it to the power point you want.

The GT500KR is a GT500 thats been upgraded by Shelby, not a special production car off the Mustang assembly line. I put it in the same class as the cars you can get from Hennessey, Lingenfelter, SLP, and the others NOT what you can get from GM at a regular Chevy showroom.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #17
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I wonder if the heads from the ls9 will bolt up to the LSA? If so would this bring any kind of power increase or do you think that you would lose so reliability?

edit: and would you have to do anything to the cam or would the stock LSA cam hold up?
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #18
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I wonder if the heads from the ls9 will bolt up to the LSA? If so would this bring any kind of power increase or do you think that you would lose so reliability?

edit: and would you have to do anything to the cam or would the stock LSA cam hold up?
It will hold up but what a lot of the guys with the cts-v were doing is swapping the LSA cam for an LS9 cam, which show some pretty good gains with virtually no effect of driveability
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #19
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If anything, the LSA is more reliable at its power rating than the LS9 is. In the story that GM provides on each engine, they mention the wide open throttle durability testing that each engine did. For the LS9 they say it went over 100 consecutive hours at wide open throttle. The LSA? Over 270 hours.
I've heard that to. As for modding the engines, I highly doubt the LSA would be able to take what the LS9 can with its forged internals. I've heard of a few guys that have blown up their LSA's on the CTS-V boards, but have yet to hear of anybody blowing up an LS9
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:50 PM   #20
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Likely the majority of forum members won't be racing enough to really tell the difference. The ZL1 will be so high tech performance designed that the only real place you might tell the difference would be in a highly technical timing event. But, not on the street IMHO.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:20 PM   #21
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I wouldn't go as far as saying the LS9 is BETTER than the LSA. More powerful yes, but better I don't think so. Each engine, for their power rating, is just as reliable and the LSA is even a tad more efficient. So it really depends what your definition of better is. If better to you is more powerful then yes LS9 is better than LSA, but the LSA is still a damn good engine.
Oh without a doubt it's better!
First of all they are essentially the same engine. It's just. That they take the LS9 further up the ladder
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #22
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I've recently heard a rumor that the Z28 will have the LS9 as the top dog model of the Camaro line.

Now I can see why they call the LSA model as ZL1 and not Z28. They are saving that next bigger version against what Ford will be coming out.
....hmmmmm,....the plot thickens! I like the sound of that rumor....
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #23
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....hmmmmm,....the plot thickens! I like the sound of that rumor....
I like the sound of them selling the ZL1 for $1 ... doesn't make it any more likely to happen though
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #24
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I like the sound of them selling the ZL1 for $1 ... doesn't make it any more likely to happen though
Oh, man!!!!! A dollar?????? I'll take 2
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:18 AM   #25
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It will hold up but what a lot of the guys with the cts-v were doing is swapping the LSA cam for an LS9 cam, which show some pretty good gains with virtually no effect of driveability
What kind of gains are they seeing just doing the ls9 cam swap? I mean is it really worth the money spent to do it?
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