Warspeed 445ci LS Next engine – Mill of the Month

What do you do when your 8/71-blown, LS-powered VK Commodore street car gets too much unwanted attention?

Photographers: Ben Hosking

YOU ring up your engine builder and say you want something with the same grunt and noise, but without the blower hanging out of the bonnet. And when your engine builder is Troy Worsley from Warspeed, he builds you a naturally aspirated, 800hp, 445ci Dart LS Next motor.

This article was first published in Street Machine Commodores magazine, 2018

The LS Next SHP cast-iron block is a good starting point for a high-horsepower LS build, as it allows for six-bolt aftermarket cylinder heads, and has a better oiling system and bigger bores than a factory LS. Troy has filled this one with Oliver rods, CP Bullet pistons, a Callies crank and Comp Cams solid-roller camshaft.

Because the customer wanted that old-school whine like his old blown motor, and because LS chain drives have a tendency to break, Troy fitted a single-idler gear drive. Unfortunately it’s still too refined and barely makes any noise!

Troy works closely with Higgins Race Heads, who supplied him with a blank pair of the company’s LS7 heads, which Troy then filled with all his own valves and rocker gear. The whole deal is topped off with a CID intake manifold and four-barrel, 2000cfm FAST throttlebody. It’s still EFI, runs on pump E85 and is controlled by a Haltech Elite ECU.

The finished product is a motor that starts easy, idles smooth, has a crazy top end and a tsunami of low-end torque. The compression is 13.5:1, so it has no trouble revving up to 7600rpm; however, the stroke is a long 4.100, which is what gives it the massive 1600Nm of torque. On the dyno at Matt Sims Performance it actually maxed out the torque reading!

Rated at 2000cfm, this massive FAST throttlebody uses a 4500 base and drinks in plenty of air

Troy reckons had he gone a little smaller on the stroke it could have revved a bit harder, but this way the customer has the best of both worlds: shedloads of torque down low and a killer top end.

On the chassis dyno it made 550rwhp driving through a TH400 and 4500rpm converter. Troy admits the dyno reading is a little low, but thinks the converter is hurting it. On an engine dyno he’s confident it would go around 800hp.

The customer will probably take it down the quarter too, just to see what it runs. Troy is confident of a nine-second pass, without a blower or turbo in sight.