LS Swap? Been there, done that.
Street Machine’s MX-5 used to be named the MX5.7, after the twin GTW3684 turbocharged 5.7 litre LS1 exploding out of its engine bay. To be fair, it was pretty epic. Back in 2017 when Street Machine kicked off the project, a tubbed MX-5 with drag radials that does 9s down the quarter-mile was utterly insane.
But now, Scott Taylor — Street Machine’s Deputy Editor — says LS swaps are boring. No-one seemed to care about the MX5.7 anymore — and so being Australian, the logical thing to do was drop a great big Barra into it. LS V8s make for great engine swaps as the single cam is operated by pushrods, keeping the packaging compact. The Barra is an inline-6 with double overhead cams. It’s huge. And that made shoehorning it in a challenge.
Well, it was worth it. This time, the turbo is tucked deep into the engine bay. The Barra takes centre stage, being so tall that most of the valve cover is exposed through the bonnet. At Summernats, Lightning McBarra was sending everyone’s wheels into a spin with its divisive engine swap. In an effort to turn the crowds around, Scott took to the MPW dyno cell and put down a raucous 562 HP. Then it was off to Skid Row for some billowing burnouts, which had everyone cheering for Street Machine’s Barra powered MX-5.
Watch the full episode