LT vs LS engine: What are the differences and which is better?

Updated Sep 24, 2021 | Same topic: Tuning & Mods

Let’s find out which GM-made V8 engine is worth its salt in this LT vs LS engine comparing article.

The differences between the LT vs LS engine

We’ve talked about the LS engine before. If you read that article, then you’ll know that we practically gushed about it. It is, after all, one of the best GM products ever made, and is also probably one of the best V8 engines that money can buy today.

A picture of the LS3 on a Corvette C5

The 6.2-liter LS3 V8

But what about the LT engine?

Now the LT small-block V8 is currently in its fifth-generation, and like the LS, it is also made by General Motors. The LT as a product designation, however, came out much earlier in 1970, and the name was later reused for a newer V8 called the LT1 350 in 1991. The latest one, however, came out in 2014 and it is known fully as the LT1 Generation V.

Why the LT engine is even better than LS, and may be better for you.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll mainly be talking about the Gen V LT1 vs LS3.

If we compared LS vs LT engine in terms of construction, then the LS3 motor uses aluminum in its entirety. The same is the case for the newer LT1 Gen. V. While retaining the same 6.2-liter displacement and the same 4.40-inch bore.

The LT1 Gen V’s camshaft features a new cylinder head, a new tri-lobe camshaft, as well as a new piston design. Combined with the new high-pressure oil pump, the said engine can also introduce more fuel into its cylinders, thus having the potential for higher horsepower outputs.

A picture of the LT1 Gen. V V8

The 6.2-liter LT1 V8 Generation V engine

Also, of note on the LT1, is that it now comes standard with variable valve timing. Compare that to the LS3, which only had VVT on specific car models. One example of which was the 2010-2015 Camaro SS with an automatic tranny.

Specs
LS3
LT1
Displacement
6.2-liters
6.2-liters
Max. Horsepower
426-430
455-460
Max. Torque
576 Nm
623 Nm
Peak HP and Nm RPM
4,500 rpm
4,500 rpm
Bore Size
4.065-inches
4.065-inches
Price (Crate Engine)
Php 377,701*
Php 407,029*
Head Material
Aluminum
Aluminum
Block Material
Aluminum
Aluminum
Compression Ratio
10.7:1
11.5:1

Note: Before taxes/Price for LT1 is for the Wet Sump version

LS vs LT: So which is better?

If we’re talking about raw power per liter, then the newer LT1 offers more. At the same rpm range, the newer V8 can offer around 30 more horsepower. If what you’re after is more power without relying too much on forced induction, then this will matter a lot.

Apart from that, the LT1 comes standard with VVT. For those who don’t know what VVT is, it is a system that controls the intake of fuel and air. With this system, the engine can offer better fuel mileage and a slightly lesser carbon footprint depending on the use of the car. For a thirsty and relatively high displacement V8, this can be a godsend.

>>> Related: Engine configurations: A comprehensive guide to different engine layouts

A picture of a graph comparing the LS3 and the LT1's peak horsepower and torque

The LS3 and the LT1 both produce their max outputs at around the same rev-range

One huge disadvantage of the LT1 Gen. V is that it’s a newer engine. In terms of LT vs LS, it has lesser available aftermarket parts. That however is slowly changing, and manufacturers are catching up. Of note, crate versions of the LT1 Gen. V are already for sale.

Do note though that the LT1 has a higher compression ratio than the LS3. This means that the latter’s components are subject to more stress, and if things go wrong, engine knock is more likely to happen.

A picture of the Chevrolet Camaro SS ZL1 on a racetrack

One of the production models that use the LT1 is the Chevy Camaro SS ZL1

While that may be the case, higher compression ratios also have their own advantages. In the case of the LT1 Gen. V, this allows it to make more torque and horsepower. Also, it provides greater efficiency of combustion. Combined with the VVT, this might mean that the newer LT1 might be more fuel-efficient than the LS3.

If we’re talking about local availability for LS vs LT engine. Then it might be easier to find an LS1 engine. It's been around longer than the LS3, which in turn has only been available on the 2016-2021 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and on the 2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette C7.

A picture of a Corvette 427 Convertible

The Corvette C5 uses an LS3 engine. Later on, the Corvette C7 switched to the LT1

>>> Related: 10 most popular car engine parts that you should know

The bottom line, however, both of these engines can be expensive to import into the Philippines even in crate-engine form.

If you have deep pockets though, you can buy a used PH-spec Corvette C7 (equally hard to find) and then scavenge it for its LT1 engine. Just don’t let the local Corvette fans know of what you’re planning to do.

That is all you need to know regarding LT vs LS engine. For more informative articles like this, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.

Know more about Chevrolet Corvette 2022

Chevrolet Corvette

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette is a 2-seater sports car that is now in its eight-generation. It is available in the Philippines in one variant with a price of Php 9,915,888. Under the hood is a 6.2-liter LT2 V8 mid-engine capable of delivering 474 horsepower and 613 Nm of torque. As standard, the engine sends power exclusively to the rear wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.

In terms of dimensions, the Corvette spans 4,634 mm long, 1,934 mm wide, and 1,235 mm, with a wheelbase and ground clearance rated at 2,744 mm and 135 mm, respectively. Locally, this American coupe is comparable to the likes of the Jaguar F-Type, Ford Mustang (GT500), and Nissan GT-R. 

₱ 9,915,888

Explore
Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Author

Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goridus.goridus

View more