Imagining a New Shelby GT500 Mustang with Ford GT Power
Ford has been somewhat candid with details on the 2017 Ford GT supercar, but we know that it will be powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that has been derived from the EcoBoost race motor used in the Rolex 24-winning EcoBoost Daytona Prototype race car. Ford has only told us that it will pack at least 600 horsepower, but with the ultra-lightweight carbon fiber chassis, the new Ford GT should be a real beast. Considering that the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has 650 horsepower and the Dodge Viper has 645 horsepower, I fully expect that the new Ford supercar will have at least 650 horsepower, but that is purely speculation.
Regardless of the official power output, we can expect that the newest version of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 is going to be one wicked mill. Based on a new rumor that came to me via social media, that new EcoBoost V6 could be wicked enough to power the next generation Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Why it Kind of Makes Sense
Before the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, I would have never considered the likelihood of a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 powering a new Shelby GT500 Mustang, but that was before Ford rolled out two new EcoBoost V6 performance engines in the Motor City. The first is the new SVT Raptor engine, with output expected to be around 450 horsepower and the second is the Ford GT engine, with output promised to be over 600 horsepower. With those two new EcoBoost V6 engines, Ford has made their commitment to twin turbo V6 engines very clear and because of that, I give this V6 EcoBoost GT500 rumor just a touch of credit. Maybe not even a touch – but enough that it should be discussed.
One important thing to consider is that the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the Ford GT supercar has to have come with some hefty engineering costs. Rumors indicate that the company will only build 250 examples of the GT supercar for each model year and while the rumored $400,000 price tag will surely help the Motor Company recoup some of that R&D expense, I have a hard time believing that Ford would develop a high performance engine like the GT EcoBoost without making an attempt to use that engine in other, high volume vehicles.
Also, if you look at the 2005-2006 Ford GT supercar, it was powered by a supercharged 5.4L Modular V8. When the first modern Shelby GT500 was introduced for the 2007 model year, it packed that same 5.4L supercharged V8. The motor was introduced in the limited edition GT before making its way into the then-new GT500 and based on this rumor, the same thing could happen with the new GT500.
Different Goals for the GT500
Since the new Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang was introduced with a new 5.2L flat plane V8, it has been expected that a new GT500 would feature a higher performance version of that same engine. However, based on the GT500 in the previous generations, the range-topping Mustang was all about straight line performance whereas the new GT350 is a road racer. There is still demand for a very high performance Mustang that would range above the GT350 and offer more drag racing potential, but would the market be accepting of a twin turbo V6 Shelby Mustang? That is where I get stuck with this, as no matter how much power the GT EcoBoost V6 makes, it is hard to imagine a premium performance Shelby Mustang with anything but a big, bad V8.