Next Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Might Not Need a New Engine
While Ford Motor Company hasn’t made any official mention of a new high performance Shelby GT500 Mustang, there has long been a rumor that there is a monster-power Mustang coming sometime in the next few years. Of course, those rumors center around what might be tucked under the hood and the popular idea is that the next Mustang GT500 will have somewhere in the area of 750 to 800 horsepower.
Those rumors often discuss the need for a new engine, something like the previous SVT 5.8L supercharged V8 from the previous generation which would be unique to a GT500 model, but based on the success of the current 5.0L in the aftermarket world and the promising new 5.2L flat plane V8, I believe very strongly that Ford could roll out a monster Mustang using a worked version of one of those two engines.
A 5.0L-Powered GT500?
First up, the 5.0L V8 from the current Ford Mustang GT offers “only” 435 horsepower, but we have seen a long list of aftermarket supercharger packages for that engine which lay down well over 700 horsepower. The “Lebanon Mustang GT” with 727 horsepower costs under $40,000 out the door, but many people have criticized the fact that the downstream drivetrain components aren’t beefed up with the engine.
Imagine if Ford took a similar supercharger package from the Mustang GT with around 725 horsepower, but they fitted it up to a heavy duty transmission – including the new 10-speed automatic from the Camaro ZL1. The automaker could then add a heavier duty rear end, bigger brakes all around, some variation of the MagneRide suspension setup from the new Shelby GT350 and a unique body upgrade that would make it more aggressive and more aerodynamic, while also offering better cooling for the boosted V8.
Along the same lines, there have been rumors that the GT500 would feature a twin turbo setup rather than a supercharger setup, but regardless of the style of the forced induction setup – the 5.0L V8 with a beefier rotating assembly and stronger drivetrain would easily make the expected power levels.
A Boosted Flat Plane?
The next possibility is that the next generation Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 could use a boosted version of the 5.2L flat plane V8 from the new Shelby GT350. The most recognizable application of a flat plane road car before the GT350 was the Ferrari California T, which uses a turbocharged 3.8L mill to make 551 horsepower. Were Ford to add a pair of turbochargers to their 5.2L flat plane V8 and achieve a similar volumetric efficiency (145hp/liter), the GT500 could make around 754 horsepower – right in the rumored power range.
In addition to packing plenty of power, the turbocharged flat plane Shelby engine would offer more “wow factor” along with a better marketing angle. In much the same way that Ford has used the flat plane technology to talk up the GT350, they could do so even more with a 750-800 horsepower version.
The Ford GT Engine
Finally, the rumor that I consider to be the least likely is that the next gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will pack the same high performance 3.5L EcoBoost as the new Ford GT supercar. We still don’t know much about the Ford GT engine, but we know that it will have a EcoBoost V6 based on the endurance racing engine that won LeMans this year.
While this engine could offer plenty of power to make the GT500 Mustang soar, it would take away some of the uniqueness of the Ford GT, which is expected to cost more than $400,000. Perhaps we will see the highest performance EcoBoost engine from the supercar in the Mustang someday – but they’re not going to have a $60k car sharing an engine with a $400k car.