What is the Difference Between an LS1 and LS2 Engine?

The LS series is a family of engines that are similar to each other. The LS1 and LS2 engines share a lot and have the same architect. LS is a small-block V8 engine used in general motors line of performance vehicles. Engines are measured by displacement, which is expressed in liters or cubic inches. The total volume of all cylinders in an engine is known as displacement. It is what makes the main difference between the LS1 and LS2 engines, although they are similar. However, that is not the only difference. Other differences distinguish LS1 and LS2 engines. This article looks at exactly that.

• Cylinder Heads

One of the best parts of the LS engine family is the cylinder heads. It is because they can be swapped around to your desired combination. The swap is possible because the engines are similar.

Yellow 1969 Chevrolet corvette convertible

However, just because they are the same does not mean there is no difference. The LS2 head flows more air than the LS1 head. In addition, the LS2 engine has a smaller combustion chamber, which leads to an increased compression ratio. With all these mentioned, the LS2 head is better than LS1. The latest model of LS1 is made up of an LS2 and LS6 to increase its torque and horsepower. Moreover, there are cylinder heads in the aftermarket for both. By porting and polishing these cylinder heads, it will result in large horsepower gains.

• Cost

LS1 is the first engine to be heard about of the LS engines. The rest came later and overtook the popularity of the LS1. However, the LS1 is still the most popular known LS family series by most people. The reason for this is that when Chevy launched the LS engines, it changed the whole game of the automotive world. The LS2 was released later, in the year 2005. It was the new corvette engine, and it had an optional engine for the 05-06 Pontiac. Due to this, the engine was produced in small numbers. This makes it hard to find in the industry, making it more expensive.

• Intake

A major way to distinguish the two engines is their intake. The LS2 intake is better than that of the LS1. This is because the LS2 intake has large openings and intake runners. LS2 is designed with a 6.0L motor. Through this, it is able to flow enough air to be able to maintain 400 horsepower.

For LS1, the intake is designed for a 5.7L and flows enough to keep a 350 horsepower. The latest model of the LS1 engine came with an LS2 intake, which has better horsepower. With testing, the LS2 engine intake will make about 10 horsepower better than LS1. Both flow well, but LS2 is slightly better. For the exhaust manifold, one of the amendments made is a lighter exhaust manifold. It is one-third lighter than the LS1’s . It provides improved flow due to the reduction of the thickness in the wall.

• Pistons

The difference here is the true power flattop design and the revised tension ring, which has improved horsepower. The LS1 engine sometimes has an issue with the piston slap sound but has been modified in the LS2 engine by having full-floating wrist pins. When it comes to oil pan, the LS2 has a revised oil plan that was redesigned with baffles to ensure adequate oil supply in situations with high load. The issue was the lack of oil found on LS1 corvettes when used under heavy circumstances.

Another big difference between LS1 and LS2 engines, although not commonly mentioned is the history of the two. LS1 is also known as Gen III and was introduced in 1997. It was famous for its performance, reliability, and affordability. It was launched in 1997 and took the world by a storm for its small power plant that produces an insane amount of power. By the year 2005, it was time for GM to make another engine. It was in this year that LS2 was launched. LS2 was a combination of LS1 and LS6. It was better than LS1 in many ways, and it was the bomb in the automotive world.

As you have probably realized, the difference between LS1 and LS2 engines is minimal because they are almost alike. However, they still have some distinctions but the LS2 seems to be an upgrade of the LS1 engine. Therefore, if you are looking for a better engine between the two, the LS2 might be the best one to go for.