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"Twelve hundred, 1300 horsepower is where we start," Alex Esnaola, the business manager and de-facto PR guy at Steve Morris Engines, tells me as we walk into the shop.
But what Devel asked Morris to build was anything but simple.
The modified muscle car ran a six-second quarter-mile every day, five days in a row, with 1000 trailer-towing highway miles in between, to win Hot Rod's Fastest Street Car in America title in 2013.
Bailey has a second, even wilder SME-powered Camaro that traps at 220-plus MPH that just nabbed the 2015 title. But it's one thing to build big-turbo LS engines with power output measured in tons.
Because there is one—[Update: This post was originally published on December 11, 2015.
On November 3, 2017, a newly-released video showed the V16 engine, on an upgraded, higher-horsepower dyno, making an indicated 5007 horsepower.] * * *Steve Morris Engines occupies an utterly anonymous commercial building on the outskirts of Muskegon, Michigan, 200 miles west of Detroit on the banks of Lake Michigan.
So there are some things that we have taken from the LS variation, some things that we've taken off the big-block Chevy platform, and some things that we have designed ourselves."So, yes: This is a single-cam, pushrod, 90-degree engine, with two-valve heads.
And individual items, like the valve rockers, are in fact, GM LS-style parts.
"I'm not gonna go make all these little one-off proprietary things, when that thing works," Morris says, picking a familiar-looking roller rocker out from a row of 32 lined up in an overturned Devel valve cover.
"I use them all the time, and that works great." But Morris and Esnaola chafe at the claim that this is just two LS motors smashed together.
"This is not as simple as getting in Solid Works and copy-pasting," Morris says. You can draw it on CAD, that doesn't mean it works.
I've actually seen some of those guys that have cut and welded those motors together. But it's nothing that would work here, it would just twist itself apart like crazy." Things got very un-LS-like right from the start, when Morris had to figure out the design of the V16 crankshaft.
Again, as a pushrod V8 with a 90-degree cylinder angle, this block shares some dimensions with familiar GM engines, but it's not a carbon copy.