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Great American Engines - 5.4L Supercharged Ford GT

Ford's entry to the super-car market was a stunning one. The GT40 concept was so highly lauded that Ford had no choice but to put it into production as the Ford GT. It may look like the GT40's of LeMans fame, but make no mistake: the heart of this beast

Photography by Randy Lorentzen, Ford Motor Company, Planet R

Make no mistake, Ford wanted to create a little buzz when it introduced the GT40 concept car three years ago at the Detroit auto show. That buzz has turned into a roaring boom with its 21st century version of the legendary four-time Le Mans-winning GT40 race cars from the '60s. Aesthetically speaking, the new GT virtually mimics the contours of the original GT40s, however unlike the original, you can expect a plush interior that's ergonomically designed for comfort rather than the flat aluminum panels of a purpose-built race car.

At the heart of the GT is an all-aluminum 32-valve dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) engine that's topped with a twin-screw supercharger. Because of the short deadline to production, Ford had to adopt a current engine from the existing Ford powerplant lineup known as the Modular Gasoline Engine Family. These modular V-8 engines were first introduced as the 4.6L and 5.4L that saw earliest duty in Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Cars, and Mustangs, as well as light-duty F-150 series trucks, Expeditions, Explorers, and Lincoln Navigators.

Out of the entire modular engine family, the 5.4L GT mainly resembles the 5.4L Navigator engine with the same bore, stroke, forged crankshaft, and four-cam layout. However, that's where the family resemblance ends. Unlike the cast-iron Navigator engine, the GT features an all-aluminum block that utilizes forged H-beam connecting rods, which are specifically built for Ford by Manley with a set of ARP bolts, and even comes equipped with boost-friendly forged 8.4:1 compression Mahle pistons. Up top, the heads feature four valves per cylinder with two cams per bank and are a derivative of the famed '00 Cobra R Mustang heads that have been massaged for better airflow. To truly appreciate that this isn't just a Navigator engine with a blower, you must pay close attention to the factory dry-sump oiling system, twin injectors per cylinder, the ability to meet all current emissions and durability standards, as well as the reliable 550hp--all with a factory warranty. If you do that, then you can begin to see how amazing this powerplant really is. Ford was the first to jump heavily into the technology bin with its production engines. This is one giant leap of a performance package that all gearheads can appreciate.

The Details
Ford 5.4L 550hp Aluminum V-8
Engine: Double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves/cylinder V-8
Bore x stroke: 3.55 x 4.165 inches (90.2x105.8 mm)
Displacement: 5.4 L (330ci)
Compression: 8.4:1
Horsepower/torque: 550 hp at 6,500 rpm/500 lb-ft at 3,750 rpm
Block: Aluminum, cast out of 356-T6 alloy
Pistons: Forged aluminum, low-friction skirt coatings, hard-anodized top ring lands
Induction: Twin 70mm throttle-body, Lysholm screw supercharger
Heads: Aluminum, 1.46/1.26-inch valve diameters (two intake/exhaust valves per cylinder)
Ignition: Electronic distributorless, coil-on-plug
Redline: 6,500 rpm

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