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2007 Z51 LS2 Corvette vs 2008 Z51 LS3 Corvette

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Old 09-21-2017, 11:37 AM   #1
Sic Liter
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Default 2007 Z51 LS2 Corvette vs 2008 Z51 LS3 Corvette

Starting a discussion of LS2 vs LS3. Everyone seems to bash the LS2 saying don't get it, get an LS3, LS3 or no corvette. There is always going to be something better. Why get an LS3 when you can get an LS7. At the point of time 2005 to 2007, the LS2 was the best engine that the chevy corvette had. I am the owner of a 2007 LS2 Z51 Corvette and am proud of the LS2 engine it has so this discussion is an encouragement to those that have the LS2 or are looking to get the LS2.

To begin, the LS2 is underrated for motor hp and torque. See this discussion: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-ls2-guys.html . The LS2 was not rated at the same SAE as the LS3. If it was it would be rated at 411 hp, 411 ft lb. The numbers more accurately reflect the drag time and mph differences in addition to wheel dynos between the LS2 and LS3 when tested at the factory. The LS2 was also underrated because GM did not want to decrease sales of the LS6 C5 Z06 (their best seller) by coming out with a motor that had more hp than the 405 hp LS6.

The LS2 is only 19 hp less and 13 ft lb of torque less than the LS3. The LS3 engine weighs about 35 lbs more than the LS2 with its bigger heads. The LS2 has a higher compression ratio than the LS3. With all this being said their is such a microscopic difference in performance of the two engines. The 2007 LS2 corvette weighs 3165 lbs, the 2008 LS3 corvette weighs 3200 lbs. Doing the math the numbers are so close 7.45 lbs/hp with the LS3 vs 7.7 lbs/hp for the LS2. A difference of only 3%.

So if you are in the market for a C6 corvette and a LS2 comes up that you like do not shy away from it. Lastly, if you have a LS2 be proud of it....it is a damn good engine.

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Old 09-21-2017, 11:41 AM   #2
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Thanks. I needed you yesterday. Good information.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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I think at this point the market is just so flooded with C6s for great prices that there isn't really a price difference from 2006-2009 cars for example. It comes down more often to that specific seller and what they want to get for their car. So why not get the newer one with more power if everything else is equal?

I think you're diving a bit deep with your analysis based on ONE data point. Maybe the LS3 is underrated? Maybe neither of them are? Who knows?

What I do know is that real world data consistently proves that the LS3 car traps 4-5mph higher than LS2 cars. Look at the tops 1/4 mile list for both from this very forum.

Showroom Stock LS2 (2005 -2007)
12.215 @ 115.45 - LS1LT1 - 06 A6 - (1278)
12.235 @ 115.58 - 06C6FVR - 06 M6 Z51 - (333)
12.290 @ 114.29 - Proney - 07 M6 - (4500)
12.314 @ 114.82 - CYA Vett - 05 M6 F55 - (675)
12.422 @ 113.90 - DrRichie - 05 M6 Z51
12.499 @ 114.90 - Jschindler - 05 M6 Z51
12.53x @ 113.00 - Wicked07C6 - 07 M6 Z51 - (914)
12.540 @ 113.59 - Tony 63 Vette - 06 A6 - (1510)
12.548 @ 113.74 - Tony96LT4 - 06 A6 Z51 - (1149)
12.56x @ 113.39 - Red Sleeper - 06 A6
12.56x @ 112.00 - Orange C6 - 05 A4 Z51 - (56)
12.650 @ 111.65 - Zippin Zee - 05 M6 Z51 - (48)
12.665 @ 113.03 - Mdrrandall - 07 M6 Z51 - (1675)
12.693 @ 114.88 - Prankster - 06 M6 - (1621)
12.69x @ 112.32 - Silverlx - 06 A6 - (872)
12.703 @ 112.43 - Jelsis - 06 A6 Z51 - (452)
12.70x @ 113.00 - Blackmajik - 07 A6 - (1627)
12.71x @ 111.30 - Flyin05 - 05 M6 Z51
12.71x @ 111.00 - Demented - 05 A4 Z51
12.74x @ 108.67 - Shooter 49 - 05 A4 3.15 - (39)
12.756 @ 112.57 - C5Pilot - 07 A6 Z51 - (903)
12.757 @ 109.25 - Ponchorello - 05 A4 3.15 - (990)
12.795 @ 112.17 - Jchazr - 05 M6 Z51 - (447)
12.80x @ 111.00 - SheDevilC6 - 07 A6 Z51 - (1668)
12.81x @ 112.83 - Vette-oholic - 05 M6 Z51 - (494)
12.817 @ 110.95 - SkyKing - 07 A6 F55 - (2480)
12.85x @ 114.53 - Mr Z51 - 06 M6 Z51
12.917 @ 111.67 - Brewcitygymratt - 06 A6 - (4578)
12.936 @ 111.40 - DiggyMoe - 07 M6 - (965)
12.97x @ 108.00 - Ginny C6 - 05 A4 F55 - (56)
12.98x @ 108.00 - Tampa Vet - 05 A4 3.15 - (119)
12.99x @ 111.70 - C64ME - 05 M6 Z51 - (329)
13.04x @ 109.15 - TMyers - 06 A6 - (528)
13.054 @ 113.31 - RDunn - 06 M6 - (982)
13.10x @ 108.70 - Rothchilds - 05 A4 F55 3.15
13.12x @ 110.40 - JDWK - 05 M6 Z51
13.25x @ 110.60 - C6 Matt - 05 M6 Z51 - (118)
13.267 @ 108.59 - Sfadchi - 06 A6 Z51 - (884)
13.26x @ 105.30 - Joeking - 05 A4 Z51 - (657)
13.30x @ 107.00 - Shurite44 - 06 A6 Z51 - (764)
13.35x @ 108.10 - Phatpharmd - 06 A6 - (591)
13.62x @ 106.18 - Rich28 - 05 A4 Z51

Showroom Stock LS3 (2008 - 2013)
11.718 @ 119.94 - AndrewZPSU - 08 M6 - (2586)
11.806 @ 118.82 - Gmrulz - 08 A6 Z51, NPP - (3478)
11.974 @ 116.98 - Proney - 08 M6 Z51, NPP - (4652)
12.058 @ 122.05 - AndrewZPSU - 10 A6 NPP - (5051)
12.100 @ 115.19 - Odin - 09 A6 2.73 npp - (4325)
12.102 @ 117.60 - Dingrao - 08 A6 - (3561)
12.127 @ 116.59 - Pettvette - 08 A6 - (4278)
12.159 @ 115.59 - Old Goat - 09 A6 2.73 - (3708)
12.167 @ 117.15 - DarkOctane - 08 A6 NPP - (6310)
12.167 @ 116.54 - Vinsane112 - 08 A6 2.73 - (2740)
12.173 @ 117.59 - Marcho Polo - 08 A6 Z51 2.73 npp - (7213)
12.186 @ 117.72 - Hardhattg - 08 M6 Z51 - (2686)
12.201 @ 114.07 - DerekSDickens - 08 A6 2.73 - (7061)
12.237 @ 112.86 - 940CACC - 08 A6 - (2871)
12.244 @ 117.83 - 74Vette - 08 M6 - (4617)
12.305 @ 116.51 - JBrunoJC6 - 08 A6 NPP - (6722)
12.400 @ 116.36 - RandyDank23 - 08 A6 - (6059)
12.262 @ 115.22 - Oklahoma - 08 A6 - (3765)
12.276 @ 118.66 - EZ28 - 08 M6 Z51 NPP - (3247)
12.355 @ 117.47 - Bain - 08 A6 NPP 2.73 - (2755)
12.357 @ 116.94 - TNorman - 08 A6 NPP - (4227)
12.408 @ 116.11 - XtremeChubbles - 08 A6 Z51 - (6589)
12.409 @ 114.70 - Jschindler - 08 M6 Z51 NPP - (2132)
12.419 @ 116.15 - JTorchz06 - 09 A6 Z51 NPP - (3185)
12.412 @ 115.38 - HOXXOH - 08 A6 F55 - (2478)
12.428 @ 116.67 - Pea-Jay - 08 A6 - (4448)
12.494 @ 115.54 - 1.8T - 08 M6 Z51 - (2310)
12.500 @ 115.53 - Shane Fap - 08 A6 - (6298)
12.514 @ 116.73 - SK360 - 08 A6 2.73 - (6283)
12.552 @ 114.70 - Larry R - 08 A6 2.73 - (4054)
12.600 @ 114.12 - Beefcake - 08 A6 - (2875)
12.658 @ 114.99 - PhillyLS1 - 09 M6 - (3151)
12.668 @ 113.61 - CFP40 - 08 A6 NPP 2.73 - (2828)
12.689 @ 112.07 - Bfppt1 - 10 A6 - (5300)
12.747 @ 114.31 - Detoxx03 - 08 M6 NPP- (4057)
12.828 @ 113.20 - C6David - 08 A6 NPP - (6854)
13.354 @ 110.78 - M453W - 09 A6 NPP- (5708)
13.428 @ 109.32 - Dan Wendling - 09 A6 NPP - (4032)

Last edited by mtarr07; 09-21-2017 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:03 PM   #4
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Air flow is better on the LS3 than the LS2. CAI does very little to a LS3 car, but makes a significant improvement on a LS2.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default LS2 vs LS3

There is such a minimal difference between the two damn good engines...it ultimately comes down to the driver. I have not encountered an LS3 vette in the couple of months I have had my LS2, but if I ever do I bet there will only be about a car length difference.

Yes, there is a huge amount of C6s out there for sale some with LS2s and others with LS3s. I'm just saying to not limit yourself to only the LS3s because the engine performance between the two is so similar. They are like gods above 90% of what is on the road. When looking for a C6 corvette it ultimately comes down to these 4 things: mileage, color, transmission type, clean title.

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Old 09-21-2017, 03:07 PM   #6
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2007 LS2 here. I did not buy my car to race or track it, just a fun cruiser. I would imagine that is true of most Vette owners. The way I drive, the extra HP of an LS3 is not missed. Like my brain, I do not use all of the horsepower I have.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sic Liter View Post
Both those instances reflect LS3 drag times no LS2 drag times. There is such a minimal difference between the two damn good engines...it ultimately comes down to the driver. I have not encountered an LS3 vette in the couple of months I have had my LS2, but if I ever do I bet there will only be about a car length difference.

Yes, there is a huge amount of C6s out there for sale some with LS2s and others with LS3s. I'm just saying to not limit yourself to only the LS3s because the engine performance between the two is so similar. They are like gods above 90% of what is on the road. When looking for a C6 corvette it ultimately comes down to these 4 things: mileage, color, transmission type, clean title.
Fixed it. I had copy/ pasted the LS3 times twice.

Data is data. I'm providing real world data. And that data says the LS3 cars are about 4-5MPH faster.

If you have some hard proof, real world data that says otherwise, then submit it. But saying you believe something based on no data holds no weight.

4-5mph in the 1/4 is a decent chunk. That's not coming down to the driver. That's mash the pedal to the floor and the LS3 car is walking away.

No one is saying to not be proud of your LS2 car like you stated in your OP. But Chevy put the LS3 in the Corvette, Camaro, etc and not the LS2 for a reason. If it was as negligible as you're implying, I highly doubt they would have dumped the R&D $ into it (which it isn't negligible because I provided real world data proving the LS3 is noticeably faster). Companies update their products to improve it, not to remain similar. This is the case for everything.

Last edited by mtarr07; 09-21-2017 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
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The differences are minimal. All things being equal, LS3. Z51 LS2 vs non-Z51 LS3, LS2 Z51. There are some colors I wouldn't get no matter the engine or config.

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Old 09-21-2017, 03:47 PM   #9
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I just did an average trap calculation between the LS2 and the LS3 data from the list you provided. The average trap for the LS2 was 112.05 mph, the average trap for the LS3 was 115.83 mph. Trap speed tells you what your HP to weight is. My math comes out to be 115.83/112.05 = 3.37%. The LS3 is 430 hp, so 430*(0.9663) = 415 hp for the LS2. 15 HP difference means it ultimately comes down to the driver.

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Old 09-21-2017, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I just did an average trap calculation between the LS2 and the LS3 data from the list you provided. The average trap for the LS2 was 112.05 mph, the average trap for the LS3 was 115.83 mph. Trap speed tells you what your HP to weight is. My math comes out to be 115.83/112.05 = 3.37%. The LS3 is 430 hp, so 430*(0.9663) = 415 hp for the LS2. 15 HP difference means it ultimately comes down to the driver.
My LS3 is 436 HP.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sic Liter View Post
I just did an average trap calculation between the LS2 and the LS3 data from the list you provided. The average trap for the LS2 was 112.05 mph, the average trap for the LS3 was 115.83 mph. Trap speed tells you what your HP to weight is. My math comes out to be 115.83/112.05 = 3.37%. The LS3 is 430 hp, so 430*(0.9663) = 415 hp for the LS2. 15 HP difference means it ultimately comes down to the driver.
Haha, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Trap speed tells you how fast your car is. Horsepower tells you what your HP to weight is. You literally just proved me correct.

The new mustang GT traps, on average, what LS2 cars trap. Pretty sure that means LS3 cars are faster. No?
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:29 PM   #12
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Your LS3 engine is 430 hp. Your butterfly valves in your exhaust add 6 hp. Your car is 436 hp. From the trap data list provided it does not state which LS3 cars had the NPP exhaust option and which did not.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Haha, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Trap speed tells you how fast your car is. Horsepower tells you what your HP to weight is. You literally just proved me correct.

The new mustang GT traps, on average, what LS2 cars trap. Pretty sure that means LS3 cars are faster. No?
I agree with you that the LS3 is faster than the LS2. What I am trying to explain to you is that the differences are minimal and it ultimately comes down to the driver.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Haha, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Trap speed tells you how fast your car is. Horsepower tells you what your HP to weight is. You literally just proved me correct.

The new mustang GT traps, on average, what LS2 cars trap. Pretty sure that means LS3 cars are faster. No?
Wrong. You statement makes no sense. Trap Speed tells you what your hp to weight is.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:56 PM   #15
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In rough numbers, a 1 mph difference in trap speed equals 10 horsepower. Therefore, a 3 mph difference equates to about 30 horsepower, the exact difference between the published specs of the LS2 to LS3 without NPP. This also equates to at least a couple car lengths in the quarter mile, so they're not that close but still within range between a good and bad driver.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:10 PM   #16
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Matches my calculations for the LS2.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:50 AM   #17
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I forgot to mention that the LS2 also has a flatter torque curve than the LS3. A flatter torque curve will give you better acceleration over a broader range of engine speeds.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:12 AM   #18
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Not this again....
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:29 AM   #19
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I owned an LS2 and I have to say the LS3 is probably the single greatest motor ever built. In fact, I had the chance to pick up a Bugatti Chiron for the same price as an LS3 equipped vette. You know I went LS3. I mean who wouldnít? Itís an LS3!! Itís at least 20 HP more than the LS2 and , hold on, that means a full car length on city streets when racing light to light while recklessly endangering innocent bystanders that donít want to be anywhere near us when we are driving like two year olds.

I rolled up next to a hellcat and a C7 z06 just last week. They looked scared as **** sitting next to me. I didnít want to make those dudes feel bad so avoided eye contact with both of them. They took off like maniacs while I just took a right, all the while knowing that there was no need for me to flex. I had them beat before I even rolled up next to them.

LS2, donít even think about it. Put that sucker right next to a busted up old Pinto guess which one wins.

Hell, when I bought my LS3 vette it had 250k miles. I had the chance to buy an equally equipped 06 with under 4k miles for less but no way Iím touching that LS2. Hell the thing barely had enough power to back out of the garage.

You guys that got suckered into the LS2 feel sorry for you. Iím talking an entire car length people. That means something. Thatís important. Iíll see you at the next light losers.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Matches my calculations for the LS2.
Ha, I used that same calculator for the LS3 and came up with 456 hp. I did use 3200 lbs though.
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