When Ford Motor Co.’s new Shelby GT350 and GT350R Mustangs hit showrooms this fall, they will feature the automaker’s most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever made.
The 5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft V-8 will get 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. It will be Ford’s highest-revving V-8 engine, topping out at 8,250 rpm, and gets 102 horsepower per liter. All this comes without Ford’s Ecoboost technology.
The engine is virtually all new, and weighs less than previous versions. It includes a redesigned engine block, oil pan, 87-millimeter throttle body, intake and exhaust manifolds and air cleaner.
“The high-revving, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane V8 delivers on every target we set — high horsepower, broad torque curve, aggressive throttle response and light weight,” Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer, said in a statement.
Ford engineers got more power out of the engine by maximizing airflow.
The engine has a unique firing order that alternates ignition events between the V-8’s two cylinder blocks, improving airflow and allowing it more power. It also features larger exhaust values and a higher lift — 14 millimeters — to get the exhaust gas out of the engine quicker.
“We wanted this to be the ultimate engine for a track-going Mustang,” Hameedi said.
The engine has been optimized for track racing. It features a wide torque curve, producing 90 percent of peak torque from about 3,450 rpm through 7,000 rpm.
“We didn’t just want high power at high speed, we wanted a broad torque curve designed for the track,” said project manager Eric Ladner.
When the GT350 and GT350R go on sale later this year, there will be a very limited number of 2015 model-year cars: 100 GT350s and 37 GT350Rs.