Home Cars 10 Most Powerful Chevy Crate Engines That GM Ever Approved to Sell to the Public

10 Most Powerful Chevy Crate Engines That GM Ever Approved to Sell to the Public

Vukasin Herbez August 20, 2017

Chevrolet crate engines are something special because there are 70 of them: 69 V8s and one turbocharged inline-four with 272 horsepower, or HP. Such a wide spectrum of engines goes hand in hand with a wide range of horsepower and a wide range of prices, as well. The most affordable Chevy crate engine is the turbo inline-four with a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $9,315, while the most expensive engine is the LS9, which starts at $26,402.

For price ranges in between, there is power ranging from 272 to 776 horses, and a Chevrolet-backed claim that they have designed, validated and built every single one of those engines with the same quality and performance standards that go into GM production engines. Then there are also the Connect & Cruise powertrain systems, which match a high-performance crate engine with a factory-match transmission, providing optimal performance for your Chevrolet.

Whether you’re building a race car or just want a classic with more power under the hood, one of these 70 Chevrolet Crate Engines will give you exactly what you need. With so many options, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. If you need help picking an engine for your special project, keep on reading, because here is a list of the 10 most powerful Chevrolet crate engines available today.

1. The LSX454R

This list starts with the strongest engine of them all – the LSX454R. Under this name hides a 454-cubic inch displacement or CID., and a 7.4-liter, 776 horsepower V8 monster aimed at drag racers. The LSX454R is the most powerful LS crate engine of all time. Chevy designed and constructed for the specific, high-RPM demands of drag racing. It is a high-compression, solid-roller combination that uses Chevrolet’s new LSX DR 11-degree, six-bolt aluminum heads, which have raised ports that provide tremendous airflow.

These high-tech heads come with an exclusive, high-rise open-plenum intake manifold and a Dominator-type carburetor to complete the furious package. The LSX454R’s bottom end includes Chevrolet’s trademark LSX Bowtie cylinder block with an all-forged rotating assembly.

Most importantly, Chevrolet rates the engine at 776 horsepower when it’s naturally aspirated, but there’s always room for even more power when the turbochargers get involved. Chevrolet recommends drag racing enthusiasts use the LSX454R paired with a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro stock body shell to create the ultimate dragster. However, with firepower like this, it’s completely irrelevant which body shell you choose, because when you have at least 776 horsepower under the hood, every look will be a winning one. MSRP of the engine is $21,347.

2. The ZZ 572/720R Deluxe

In the number two spot for dragster engines is potent enough to make your straight line race car cross a quarter mile in less than 10 seconds. The ZZ572/720R is ready to go straight from the delivery box, as it comes fully assembled. With the engine practically ready, all you need to do is to bolt on the included Dominator-style 1150-cubic feet per minute (CFM) carburetor, a starter and a fuel pump, and you’re ready to go.

Chevy built the ZZ572/720R using the best materials, including an all-forged rotating assembly, rectangular-port aluminum cylinder heads with 113-cc intake ports, and 2.25/1.88-inch valves.

There’s also a solid roller camshaft with 0.714/0.714-inch lift. If you want to build the ultimate dual-purpose car, Chevrolet recommends the ZZ572/720R as the perfect engine. It’s also suitable for limited forays on the street. The engine’s 12.0:1 compression ratio commands the use of 110-octane gasoline, but that’s the only thing you need to worry about when you grab hold of this engine and put it under the hood of your car. The MSRP of the ZZ572/720R is $19,157.

3. The LT4 Wet Sump

The supercharged LT4 6.2L V8 engine is the latest high-tech small-block crate engine from Chevrolet Performance. It balances performance and efficiency because it leverages the technologies Chevy introduced on the 2014 Corvette Stingray’s LT1 Gen-V small-block. Some of those innovations include direct injection and continuously variable valve timing.

The team at Chevrolet established these advancements in supercharging technologies with the previous-generation Corvette ZR1’s LS9 engine. The result of combining these technologies is a surprisingly efficient engine capable of producing 640 horsepower and 630 pounds per foot of torque. Imagine putting it in your classic Corvette and all the chaos it brings. The MSRP of this engine is $16,172.

4. The LS9

Chevrolet Performance offers the supercharged 6.2L LS9 V8 engine in a fully dressed crate engine package that includes exactly 638 horsepower, like in the stock Corvette ZR1. The LS9 is a technological marvel with many interesting features. It has several high-rpm-validated lightweight reciprocating parts, including titanium intake valves. High-flow cylinder heads draw the charge forced on them with a sixth-generation supercharger.

The LS9 has a high-helix design that helps the blower deliver greater power at the lower end and sustains it longer through the RPM band for broad, on-demand power, whether off-idle or at speed. Chevrolet Performance’s LS9 crate engine assembly includes a dry-sump oil pan and provisions for the charge cooler’s liquid cooling system. To complete your LS9 setup, you will need an external oil tank and an external coolant tank for the charge cooler.

Consider adding an ECU/wire harness to get the most glorious production LS engine of them all to power your beloved project vehicle. It also includes a nine-bolt crankshaft flange that may require an adapter for use with some transmissions. The MSRP of this engine is somewhat high at $26,402, but the LS9 is a great engine choice for any car you restore.

5. The LSX 454

One of the most legendary engines in muscle-car history is the Chevy 454 Big-Block. This engine has powered a wide array of Chevrolet’s most famous cars. With the LSX Bowtie block, Chevrolet Performance engineers built the 454 for the 21st century by using the latest technology. The best part is that the LSX 454 requires no more space under the hood than a production LS engine.

The LSX454 has an all-forged, super-tough rotating assembly and features a pair of Chevrolet’s newly developed, deep-breathing LSX six-bolt cylinder heads. It also comes with orange powder-coated valve covers, each with an LSX454 logo under the hood.

Chevrolet delivers the LSX454 engine without an intake manifold and other accessories. They recommend using the LSX-LS7 single-plane carbureted intake manifold for optimal results and durability. Also, the LSX454 valve covers do not include provisions for mounting ignition coil brackets, so you’ll need to get some aftermarket or custom relocation brackets. The package also includes an eight-bolt crankshaft flange that may require an adapter for use with some transmissions. The MSRP of this engine is $13,088.

6. The ZZ572/620 DELUXE

Chevrolet designed, engineered, tested and produced the ZZ572/620 as their ultimate expression of Chevrolet performance capability. Chevrolet built this monstrous 572 cubic-inch, 9.4-liter engine with huge 4.560-inch bores. They added a forged 4.375-inch-stroke crankshaft. To make sure they pack those gigantic cylinders with every cubic inch worth of atmosphere, the camshaft has an incredible 0.632/0.632-inch lift and 254/254-degree duration specifications.

Chevrolet Performance delivers the ZZ575/620 Deluxe with an 850-CFM carburetor, aluminum water pump, HEI distributor, and distinctive orange dual valve covers that proudly proclaim the 572 insignias. With all that in mind, the ZZ572/620 is a terrific engine, provided you are brave enough to power your car with a 572-cubic inch V8 monster. The MSRP of this engine is $18,396.

7. The LSA E-ROD

The Cadillac CTS-V’s 6.2L supercharged LSA engine delivers 556 horsepower with a refinement rare in the world of high-performance engines. Unlike the majority of 500+ horsepower V8 engines, the LSA E-ROD is quiet, smooth running and well-balanced, delivering formidable power. A unique aluminum cylinder block casting houses a forged-steel crankshaft, super-tough reciprocating parts and integrated piston cooling oil jets.

High-flow cylinder heads support the airflow enabled by a 1.9L, sixth-generation supercharger with four-lobe, high-twist rotors. The advanced rotor design broadens the supercharger’s effective range, enhancing low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower of the E-ROD.

Chevrolet Performance’s LSA 376 CID 6.2 liter is a supercharged crate engine package that comes fully dressed, from the top of the charge-cooled supercharger assembly all the way to the ignition system, water pump, balancer and more. It is a less costly alternative to the LS9 engine and it makes a great transplant for any off-road LS-powered vehicle or a pre-1976 car or truck.

It also comes with a conventional wet-sump lubrication system. So, for the ultimate off-road performance for your project, you should go with the LSA E-ROD and its unique features. The MSRP of this engine is $16,599.

8. The LT 376/535

Those Chevrolet Performance engineers wasted no time digging into the new LT engine family to produce more power, and the LT376/535 engine succeeded in this mission. This engine builds on the technologies and capability of the LT1 6.2L, the engine offered in the Corvette Stingray and Camaro SS. Architecturally speaking, the LT376/535 is similar to the LT1 and LS family of small-block engines. However, it has a unique block casting, cylinder head design, oiling system and more to make it as powerful as possible.

Architecturally speaking, the LT376/535 is similar to the LT1 and LS family of small-block engines. However, it has a unique block casting, cylinder head design, oiling system and more to make it as powerful as possible.

It retains the advanced technologies of the LT1, including direct injection to support an advanced combustion system to create a more than capable engine for your project. By adding CNC-ported heads and a high-lift LT1 Hot Cam, the LT376/535 delivers more naturally aspirated horsepower than its predecessors. The MSRP of the LT 376/535 is $13,750.

9. The LS 376/515

Using the LS3 engine as its foundation, the LS376/515 crate engine adds Chevrolet Performance’s racing-derived ASA cam and a carbureted intake system to deliver 533 horsepower at 6.600 RPM and 477 lb-ft of torque, at 5,200 RPM. It’s a high-performance option for classic project cars or classic race cars. It comes with a Corvette oil pan and LS3 cylinder heads, with high-flow, rectangular-port intake passages, as well as a spider-type carburetor intake manifold.

The heart of the engine is the ASA cam, which enables the LS3 performance to pair up with more duration. This means the cam holds the valves open longer, enabling greater airflow at the higher point of the RPM spectrum. To complete the setup, you need an LSX controller and Holley 770-CFM carburetor. By buying these two parts, you’ll be able to fire up this 6.2-liter powerhouse. The MSRP of this engine is $9,426, which makes the LS 376/515 the most affordable of the 10 most powerful Chevrolet crate engines.

10. The CT 525

Chevrolet Performance based their CT 525 6.2L crate engine on the latest-generation LS engines and with serious racing in mind. The engine is great for a variety of racing series, including Super Late Model and similar classes. This 6.2L engine is like the civilian LS3 V8 that comes standard in the Chevrolet Corvette. However, Chevrolet adapted it to Circle Track racing with a carburetor intake manifold, six-quart racing oil pan, and more modifications.

Using an aluminum block with cross-bolted six-bolt main caps and high-flow LS3 rectangular-port cylinder heads, the engine is lightweight and strong, which is the optimal combination for racing. The CT 525 6.2L has coil-on-plug ignition, a water pump, exhaust manifolds and an SFI-certified balancer. It also comes with a 14-inch/168-tooth automatic transmission flexplate. All you need to complete the assembly of this engine is a carburetor, starter and LSX ignition controller. The MSRP of this engine is $9,450, making it the second cheapest one on the list.

As with every other engine on this list, all the necessary parts for making your Chevy crate engine run are available online at chevroletperformance.com. These engines are top of the line and they can help you build a monster machine you’ll be proud to drive for many years to come.

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