The right deal came up at the right time, so I went ahead and purchased an engine! It is an LS3 crate motor. The LS3 is a Gen IV Chev small block, with it's roots in the legendary LS1. The LS3 is 6.2L (376 ci) and rated at 430 bhp (321 kw) and 424 lb-ft (575 Nm) of torque. This is standard equipment on the current model Corvette, and the local HSV VE Commodore derivatives.
The engine needs a couple of tweaks before being installed. Firstly the oil pan needs changing. The oil pan that you see in the picture is as delivered from the GM factory, and suits the Corvette and local HSV (VE Commodore). My CR chassis has a cross-member in the way, so this oil pan will come off and an afermarket unit will go in which has the "hump" more towards the rear of the engine.
The crate motor comes with everything you see on it, including inlet manifold, throttle body, water pump, exhaust manifolds, coil packs, knock sensors, cam and crank sensors, etc. The only other things it needs are an accessory drive setup - meaning alternator, power steering pump, idler pulley and belt tensioner pulley. This is all available from GM as a single part number. LS engines have three different harmonic balancer setups available. Which one is used depends on the vehicle that the engine is being installed into. There is one for Corvette, another for F-Body/Camaro, and another for trucks. The difference being the distance that the belt-line sticks out from the block. This crate motor came delivered with the Corvette line (the closest to the block) which suits perfectly the aftermarket drive kit that I intend to use, more on that in another post.
Further reading about LS engines here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_LS_engine