Over the summer we thought it might be interesting to put a pair budget-minded builds head to head using two of the most popular small block V8s in circulation today – the 6.2-liter GM LS3 and 5.0-liter Ford Coyote. Tethered by a set of ground rules that apply to both engines, we wanted to see if we could finally get some hard data to see which engine provides the most bang for your street-driven buck.
It took a little longer than we’d initially expected, but the pieces are finally starting to come together. Back in February we featured the builds of both the LS3 and the Coyote where we outlined the details of each build before we headed to Westech Performance to get each them on the dyno to see what kind of power they make. But before we get into the numbers for the GM motor, let’s do a quick recap of the shootout rules and the LS3 build itself.
- $9,999 or less parts budget
- Naturally aspirated
- Stock displacement
- Near 11:1 compression
- Production-style intake manifold
- Street car friendly – no wild cams
- Hydraulic roller camshafts
- Factory PCMs
- 91 octane and VP unleaded race gas
It’s worth noting that the budget covers the raw materials to put these engines together – additional costs for machining, assembly, external components and other incidentals are not included here. Both the LS3 and the Coyote are all-aluminum, and both were put together on the same day at local engine builder L&R Engines.
You can get the full details of every component that went into the LS3 build here, but in the meantime, let’s have a look at some of the highlights:
- Chevrolet Performance engine block
- GM LSA crankshaft
- Comp Cams LSR roller camshaft (Lift: .617″/.624″ Duration: 281°/297°)
- Chevrolet Performance Ported LS3 cylinder heads
- Stock LS3 intake manifold
- Nick Williams throttle body
- FAST. LSX high-flow billet fuel rails
Both motors were built with three key characteristics in mind: Street drivability, top end power, and reliability. On the dyno we can now see the results of those efforts with the GM motor, which generates a flat, meaty torque curve through the mid-range and horsepower that continues to ramp up all the way to 6500 rpm. That should equate to responsive street manners and great top end power at the track.
Peak output stands at 556.3 hp at 6,500 rpm and 497.2 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm, which translates to about 1.48 horsepower and 1.32 pound-feet of torque per cubic inch. Averages through the rev range are 311.82 horsepower and 430.66 pound-feet from 3000 to 4500 rpm, followed by 513.64 hp and 479.83 lb-ft from 4500 to 6800 rpm.
So, how’d the Coyote do by comparison? You’ll find out very soon!