It's no longer a pipe dream for true Ford enthusiasts--Ford has brought back the 5-liter. It will make its debut in what is most likely the greatest Mustang GT to date, the 2011. Yes it's real, and yes it's awesome. Rumor mill called for a 5.0L DOHC powerplant pumping out 405 hp. What we got was an all-new, all-aluminum 5.0L DOHC powerplant pumping out 412 hp at 6,500 rpm and 390 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm.
This new engine is just full of surprises. From an eight-quart oil pan with a built-in windage tray, to Ti VCT, which will no doubt become a part of our vocabulary very quickly, the new engine is nothing short of an engineering wonder. Ti VCT, or Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing is self-explanatory. The really great thing about it is its ability to change intake/exhaust overlap, and do it very quickly. Overlap is adjustable from 81 to 131 degrees, allowing for a Terminator-like torque curve. It's over 100 percent efficient from 3,750 rpm to 6,500 rpm, and max engine speed it limited to 7,000 rpm.
A forged steel crankshaft is held onto the strengthened aluminum block with cast iron four-bolt main bearing caps, similar to that of a Boss 302. Forged powder metal rods actuate the hypereutectic aluminum pistons, which are temperature-controlled by underside oil squirters. Compression ratio is a stout 11:1.
A newly designed four-valve head is much more compact and efficient than Modular Four-Valves. It features smaller springs, smaller roller fingers, and vertical intake ports. The cast exhaust manifolds are gone, and tubular headers take their place. The intake features an 80mm throttle body and an 83mm inlet.
Two new transmissions will be offered--both six-speeds. The MT82 is a six-speed manual with improved shifting, more durability, and improved fuel mileage. The 6R80 six-speed automatic has enhanced torque capability while improving fuel economy by three to five percent.
EPAS, or Electronic Power Assist Steering, eliminates the need for a power steering pump, and will also be standard on the 2011 Mustang GT. This all-new design improved steering feel, while not sacrificing power assist.
The best part about the new 5-liter is the "5.0" badges on the fender. Though not a copy of the original, the new badge borrows the red square for the decimal. At first glance, you think you're mind is playing tricks on you, but once you see it in person and get to touch it, you too will believe it.
The new powerplant weighs within a few pounds of the current Three-Valve, but makes 100 more hp. We smell a 12-second GT in stock trim.
It's been a long time coming, but Ford finally did it, and in first class form. Though no date has been set for release, there's no doubt the 2011 Mustang GT will make history. Check out the April 2010 issue of MM&FF for full specifications and more insider information.