With much of our attention focused on the new Cobra Jet Mustangs, this new engine completely snuck by us. It's billed as the most powerful V8 in the world, and we're rather embarrassed for not having known about it until we read the press release. Packing 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, this thing is insane. Ford SVT hasn't revealed any performance figures, but wild rumors on reputable car-magazine websites are speculating 0 to 60 times dipping into the 3-second range, quarter-mile times in the 11s, and a top speed of more than 200 mph--all that performance in a 3,800-pound car with a full factory warranty. The car itself is the '13 Shelby GT 500 Mustang, which debuted in November at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
To support 650 reliable horsepower (with a warranty), you can bet SVT didn't sign a contract with the cheapest bidder for cranks, rods, and pistons. Nope, these are all forged parts built to handle 6,500-rpm power shifts under 15 pounds of boost. The compression ratio is a boost-friendly 9.0:1, and oil squirters keep the bottoms of each of the pistons cool to help stave off detonation.
It's hard to believe an engine making this much power can exhale through cast-iron exhaust manifolds that look like this. We've heard from many engine builders specializing in mod motors, and they agree there is power to be gained by installing long-tube headers, but the gains aren't huge, and they're often cost prohibitive when comparing dollars spent with horsepower gained. In short, Ford's exhaust manifolds are actually pretty good.
Ford introduced an aluminum version of the 5.4L engine block for the '10 GT 500. Previous versions were cast iron--the same as what you'd find under the hood of a pickup truck. That's not meant as a derogatory statement; there's nothing wrong with the iron 5.4, it's just heavy. SVT was able to shed 102 pounds off the front of the car by switching to an aluminum block last year. The bump in displacement for '12 comes courtesy of a larger bore size: 3.66 inches versus the 5.4's 3.552-inch bore. The stroke remains the same at 4.165 inches.
This is Eaton's TVS2300 supercharger. It's not new, but it's new to the GT 500. Previous GT 500s came equipped with Eaton's M122H. TVS stands for twin vortices series, a term that accurately describes the lobe design of these blowers, which feature a 160-degree twist rather than the non-TVS, 60-degree lobe design. The greater twist generates more airflow delivered more efficiently. It's estimated that a TVS supercharger has a thermal efficiency nearly 75 percent greater than a non-TVS unit. On this engine, it will generate between 9 and 15 psi of boost.
4. Cylinder Heads
These were tweaked for better coolant flow to manage the extra heat generated by the supercharger. As you'd expect, SVT is tight-lipped about the cam specs, but they're probably not too radical. Ford's literature states the GT 500 will post fuel economy numbers good enough to exempt the car from the gas-guzzler tax.
You're gonna need a stout drivetrain to back up a 650hp engine. SVT delivers with a twin-disc clutch, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, transmission upgrades, and even a launch control system to help keep some rubber on the rear tires. To that, we say, good luck.