New details of the formidable powerplant have come to light.
Ford has not been shy about showing off its stunning 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, but we've been in the dark about some of the hand-built, supercharged 5.2-liter V8's key details. Fortunately, Automobile Magazine has received some answers. Speaking with Ford Performance powertrain manager Patrick Morgan, the publication learned this engine goes by the name "Predator” and that it utilizes the same core architecture as the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 found in the Mustang GT as well as the GT350’s 5.2-liter V8, also known as Voodoo.
Morgan says his team essentially beefed up that architecture in order to handle the 1,813 of firing pressure the enhanced supercharged V8 delivers. He says the blocks and heads were strengthened and the head now uses longer bolts and deeper columns.
It also uses a bar-plate cooler, which is a low-temp intercooler located above the supercharger rotors. According to Morgan, tons of effort went into ensuring the GT500 had the proper tooling capacity to keep the charge air temps down on the track. In the end, Morgan’s team went with a structural wet sump oil pan that ties directly to the dual-clutch gearbox, but a dry sump oil system was also possible.
The crank damper is an aluminum viscous unit designed to handle the supercharged loads on the nose of the crank and the torsional loads. Why go this route? Because it’s an effective solution to get weight off the nose of the engine and, therefore, the nose of the car. In terms of benchmarking, Morgan outright admitted other pony cars come first, but special attention was also given to the Corvette, Porsche, AMG, BMW, and Audi. Ford was particularly interested in how they do their boosting systems, bottom-end design, and their solutions to valvetrain.
As for that V8, Morgan added it runs on a 9.5:11 compression ratio with a 7,500 rpm redline and 12 psi of maximum boost. Another interesting piece of info Morgan offered was the big challenge with the DCT in order to achieve smooth shifts with an engine that flows so much air. Morgan claims shifts happen in under 100 milliseconds. Under light loads, however, it’ll shift just like any other slushbox.
Given the increasing fuel economy regulations in the US and other countries, does the Mustang Shelby GT500 represent the last hurrah for high-powered muscle cars? No way. Morgan specifically stated the automaker is currently examining ways to improve fuel economy with high-performance engines. Could a hybrid Mustang be one answer? It’s certainly possible.