We all know the 7.0 liter naturally aspirated LS7 V8 is a special engine. It has only been used in a few select General Motors vehicles, the C6 Corvette Z06 and the Camaro Z/28, but comes as a crate engine too. That makes it a prime candidate for engine swaps, for unconventional vehicles like the Cadillac Catera currently on Bring a Trailer, or more expected like this Holden Monaro in Australia. The build was recently featured in a video by the Australian YouTube channel Full Boost, and just listen to that naturally aspirated LS7 V8 scream on the dyno.
Before the most recent round of upgrades, this Monaro was running over 600 hp at the wheels and 820 at the crank thanks to Higgins LS7 cylinder heads and solid roller cam. That allowed it to cross the quarter mile in 9.7 seconds at 144 mph. That’s Dodge Demon fast.
But the video focuses on the most recent round of upgrades, which boosted power considerably. The owner fitted Higgins newly updated inlet manifold, solid roller camshaft, cylinder heads and port design (larger intake and exhaust headers). According to the dyno, the LS7 now makes a whopping 958 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm, and sounds fantastic on the in the process.
This upgrades are especially impressive because they’re an off the shelf upgrade anyone can buy, and it runs with the factory GM ECU. Try doing that with a new GM engine. So while this Monaro isn’t street legal as you see it on the drag strip, someone with an LS7 in their car could very well fit these upgrades and achieve similar power. Nearly 1000 hp is insane for a naturally aspirated engine.
But more than anything else, this video is a great reminder of why we love naturally aspirated engines. Their sound is incredible and the smooth power delivery is unmatched with any forced induction. Any LS7 V8 is one of the better naturally aspirated motors out there, but with these upgrades it’s almost unbeatable.