LS ENGINES have a great reputation for making power, so it’s hard to get noticed amongst the crowd these days, but Matt Smoors’s 950hp supercharged LQ9 certainly makes an impression.
Back when Powerhouse Engines first put this combo together it made just over 900hp from 370 cubes, with a hydraulic-roller cam and stock rocker gear. That was good enough to power Matt deep into the nine-second zone with his FSTGMH VK Commodore.
After two years of solid use and abuse, Matt decided to take the engine back to Johnny at Powerhouse to give it a check-over and see if they could find some more grunt.
Other than some wear on the tips of the valves, the engine looked perfect. So the guys decided to switch the heads to a set of Johnny’s own Power Heads and use lash caps to spread rocker load over a larger area – it’s also cheaper and easier to replace a lash cap than it is to replace a valve. Using the same hydraulic-roller camshaft, same 12psi boost and same 2.4L Magnuson supercharger, the engine screamed its way to 951hp at 7500rpm with a massive 767lb-ft of torque.
Now 50hp extra might not seem like a whole lot when you’ve already got 900 horses on tap, but those additional ponies saw the VK go from a best of 9.30@150mph to 8.98@153mph within just a couple of meetings. As you can see from the video, the Commodore is a bit of a handful on the track, but more importantly, it’s a genuine eight-second street car. Are we taking notice now?