The Most Badass Engine You Probably Don’t Know About

It is hard to imagine the world without the Chevy V8. It is unquestionably one of the greatest engines ever built. They put the engine in everything, it is the go-to engine for hot rods, and Hennesey puts one in the insanely fast Venom GT. Hell, people even put LS’s into MX-5 Miatas. The formula is simple, Chevy V8’s are strong, simple, parts are cheap and you can cram a ton of power into them. So trying to re-engineer one is a brave undertaking, to say the least. That didn’t stop the good folks over at Mercury Marine from trying. In 2014, they launched their concept, a dual overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, LS. You read that correctly. Dual overhead cams, in an LS. This is insanity. There are 3 constants in the universe, death, taxes and that all LS based motors are pushrod V8’s with 2 valves per cylinder. So why bother? The Quad Cam setup allows the engine to breathe significantly better, resulting in more horsepower. Eventually That Engine Evolved into the QC4V.

SB4 Heads.

So who is Mercury Marine? Only one of the most well-known boat engine builders in the industry. So how in the world did they make their way into an automotive enthusiast’s website? When you build a Quad Cam LS, you get my undivided attention. They started with an LS7. They increased displacement to a massive 9 liters. To put it into perspective, roughly 500 cc more than the COMBINED displacement of all of Shifting Lanes’ cars. They then added their special sauce, the new heads pictured above. Oh, they also added 2 turbos. Why? Because why the fuck not? Because Powwwwwerrrrrr! Because America, that’s why. This beast makes 1650 Horsepower. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Bugatti. That’s a little over 206 horsepower per cylinder. That’s 1000 MORE horsepower than a brand new Corvette Z06. This monster can go in anything you want: a boat, a car, an incredibly over powered but totally awesome Cuisinart. Anything. In all seriousness, is anyone else thinking Mr. Hennesy should give these guys a phone call?


Do you want the specs? Of course you do, straight from Mercury Marine themselves for your nerdfest viewing pleasure.
BORE (MM/IN): 116/4.567
STROKE (MM/IN): 107/4.213
FUEL SYSTEM: Sequential Fuel Injection
LENGTH (MM/IN): 785/30.90 (From Back of Block to Front of Engine – Crank Pulley)
WIDTH (MM/IN): 822/32.35 (Across Timing Drive Cover)
WEIGHT (LBS/KG): 699/317

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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  1. I’d Just like to tell you that your completely wrong about this article. Mercury Marine does make a Quad cam LS based engine. But the 1650 HP engine is not it. Rather it’s a Big Block Chevy Based Quad Cam engine.

  2. Youve confused two completely different engines in this article. The 1650 is big block chevy based not LS based. You cant take an LS engine to 557 cubic inches.

  3. I’ve worked on boats for the past 23 years. The only thing that will go in is a boat. Not a car, or anything on land. What the author of the article fails to mention is the other constant – a heat exchanger cooling system that allows you to keep engine temps down because it can displace the heat better and faster than an air to air cooling system.

    It’s grateful to get hyped on horsepower, but don’t lead people on.

  4. Oh what about those mountain motors, 810 c.i. And 1800 HP on 2 1200 cfm carburetors? Pick your poison, Dodge, Chevy or Ford blocks.

  5. A gen1 big block has 16 head bolts. Those heads clearly do not. Those heads are LSX bolt pattern with the extra holes a dart or world block would have.

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