GM Experience: Better than Epcot?

  While the GM Test Track attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park may be a lot of fun—and it should be noted that the ride will shut down in April as GM and Walt Disney Imagineers set to work at reimagining the pavilion, with plans to reopen the “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” this fall—there is actually an attraction of sorts that is even more exciting for bona-fide gearheads: the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan.

 

While the GM Test Track attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park may be a lot of fun—and it should be noted that the ride will shut down in April as GM and Walt Disney Imagineers set to work at reimagining the pavilion, with plans to reopen the “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” this fall—there is actually an attraction of sorts that is even more exciting for bona-fide gearheads: the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan.

The 100,000-square-foot GM Performance Build Center is the facility where LS7 and LS9 engines are hand built.

And you, too, can go to the facility and build one too, as Jeff Kasper, a sales and business manager for a semiconductor manufacturer in California, recently did.

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Jeff Kasper and his LS7—which he built at the GM Performance Build Center. And, no, he doesn’t work for GM.

Kasper took advantage of Chevrolet Performance’s Crate Engine Build Experience. He is building a project car and was interested in getting an engine. “I considered the LS9,” he said, referring to the 6.2-liter, 638-hp mill, “but for my project the LS7 really hits a sweet spot.” That’s a 7.0-liter, 505-hp engine. He added, “And the benefit of a warranty with the crate engine only made the decision easier.”

Kasper actually built the engine, with the assistance of a specially trained engine builder. “I don’t have a garage full of tools or the resources to build an engine myself,” he said. They do at the GM Performance Build Center.

The LS7 purchased with the Crate Engine Build Program has an MSRP of $22,756.10. The LS7 purchased through the GM Performance Parts catalog has an MSRP of $16,956.20.

Think of it: as vehicle manufacturers look for the ways and means to boost their bottom lines, perhaps they could actually have customers build their own cars and trucks. . . .