How to make 700hp the cheap and easy way.
Making over 700hp naturally aspirated is really expensive. But even hot rodders on a budget like big power numbers, so we decided to see what we could do with a $900 stock LQ4 and some carefully chosen parts.
We left the longblock untouched as it came from GM almost 10 years and 200k miles ago, but upgraded the intake, fuel rails, injectors, and throttle body. Oh, and we plumbed in one mean port injection nitrous system from ZEX. Cheap is a relative term here; it takes good equipment to support this level of power, but it's waaaay cheaper than building an engine this powerful from scratch would be.
Using smart tuning from Brian Macy at Horsepower Connection and good fuel choice we kept stepping up the spray all the way to a 200hp shot at which point we began to hit the limit of the stock ignition system. That 200hp shot netted us a full 318hp for a final best number of 735hp. Not bad for a $900 engine.
But will it live? Assuming the nitrous is just occasionally used at the track, it'll probably last quite a while. If it were in our car, we'd probably dial back the nitrous to a 175hp shot to be conservative, then just cruise around with a solid 417hp and 449lb-ft of torque on just the engine. It would probably even get decent mileage.