If you’ve spent any amount of time around fans of American muscle, you’ve probably heard the term “there’s no replacement for displacement.” While you’ll certainly find no shortage of fans of traditional V-8 power, there’s more than one way to produce horsepower, some of which combine the best of both worlds.
In the world of drifting, the predominant platform for its ubiquity and relative affordability is the Nissan 240SX, sold in the rest of the world as the Silvia. The platform just as readily accepts good ol’ pushrod V-8 power in the form of the GM LS small-block V-8 as it does its native four-cylinder. Hot Rod’s Brandan Gillogly traveled to Englishtown, New Jersey, one of the East Coast meccas of drifting. Among the participants, he found the full gamut from blown-four loyalists, to those that swear by the reliability and reparability of domestic V-8 engines.
Even among the V-8 crowd, there were some that swore by the reliability of naturally-aspirated engines, and others that are running turbochargers on LS engines, making upward of 600 hp on approximately 12 psi of boost. In comparison, competitive turbocharged four-cylinders are pushing 20 psi or more. Regardless, there was universal agreement that parts were much easier to find for the domestic V-8s than the imported I-4 and I-6 engines, some of which were never officially offered for sale in the U.S., making finding replacement parts even more of a challenge.
At the end of the day, Gillogly says the best formula is “cubes plus boost.” Hard to argue with that. Watch the video below, and be sure to catch Hot Rod Unlimited every other Friday on the Motor Trend Channel!