The LS1 packed 5.7-liters of displacement and the 4.400 bore centers of its small block predecessor. The lighter aluminum block featured a deep skirt and four-bolt mains to keep the crankshaft where it belongs. Aluminum cylinder heads were redesigned with identical ports for maximum and consistent flow. The ingeniously compact pushrod valvetrain was improved with a hollow camshaft, hydraulic roller lifters and rockers lined up on a common shaft. Four head bolts per cylinder pattern minimized bore distortion.
With its coil-per-plug ignition and multipoint sequential fuel injection, and improved pushrod valvetrain the 1997 Gen III LS1 marked the beginning of an American V-8 horsepower renaissance in the Chevrolet Corvette. Over the course of two decades the LS-series V-8 made its way into millions of cars and trucks. This abundance of LS-engines along with factory built turnkey crate engines in a vast array of horsepowers from Chevrolet served as the battle cry for the LS-engine swapping masses.
LS-engine popularity is largely a matter of overwhelming numbers in quantity and horsepower. Millions of engines churned out by the General Motors juggernaut in rear and front wheel drive configurations combined with parts interchangeability spawned the giant aftermarket performance industry to stoke the furnaces of performance innovation and create solutions for everything from running an LS-engine with a carburetor to swapping a 400-plus horsepower LS-engine and 5-speed manual transmission into nearly anything.