The answer is always "throw an LS1 in it!"
One of the coolest modifications to do on a car is an engine swap. Swapping a powerful engine into a small car can have some incredible results like the V8-powered Miata or Viper-powered BMW Z4. GM engines, like the LS1 are the most commonly used for engine swaps because of how easy they are to work on and how simply they fit into even the tiniest of engine bays (with enough work). This made us think: what if GM itself decided to do some unique engine swaps with its new model? What kind of amazing cars could we end up with?
The Cadillac ATS-V instantly came to mind as a prime engine swap candidate. Powered by a potent 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 with 464 hp, this engine can get the car to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, on to a top speed of 189 mph. So why would we ever want to swap it out? In a word, sound. The V6 engine in the ATS-V just doesn't sound that great, especially when compared to the LT4 engine in the bigger CTS-V. There were rumors of an ATS-V+ with a V8, but Cadillac killed that rumor off. Instead of the V6, we would have preferred the Corvette's LT1 V8 or even a detuned version of the CTS-V's supercharged LT4. This would make it much more unique than competitors like the BMW M3 and Alfa Romeo Giulia QV.
Even though we just finished saying how we didn't love the ATV's engine, it doesn't mean we couldn't find a use for it. We have begged Buick to build a model that is interesting, and what would be better than borrowing the ATS-V's engine for a new Regal Grand National? We already know what the new Regal will look like thanks to the reveal of Opel's Insignia sedan and sports tourer. The new car will have a 247-hp 2.0-liter turbo with AWD, but could turn into a badass Grand National model with the transplanted ATS-V engine rated at a healthy 464 hp.
The Cadillac CTS-V and ATS-V are not the only GM performance sedans on the market. People often forget about the Chevy SS, because it's not as well marketed. The SS may soon be killed off all together, but we would love to have a fitting send off by giving it the Z06's LT4 engine. The SS currently produces 415 hp from an LS3 V8, although there is a version of the car in Australia that packs a supercharged LS9 from the old ZR1. GM may not be willing to give the SS more power because it could steal from CTS-V sales, but we can still dream.
A V8 swap is not the only way that GM could make some of its models cooler. The Chevy Cruze hatchback seems like a great car for enthusiasts with an available hatchback bodystyle, diesel engine and manual transmission. The only thing missing is a true performance SS version. We would love to see GM drop the Camaro's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine into the Cruze with AWD. This engine produces 275 hp in the Camaro, and would turn the Cruze into an awesome competitor for the Focus ST. The current Cruze has a 1.4-liter turbo with 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, which could easily be improved upon.
What engine swaps would you like to see from GM? Also, let us know of any amazing LS engine swaps you might have come across.