At the recent Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford had a 2017 Mustang sporting a new prototype engine making over 500 naturally aspirated HP in the Mustang Alley. Question is, what Mustang will we see it in? Using a 5.2L displacement with a cross plane crankshaft and a cobra jet intake, this Ford Performance Parts 5.2L XS prototype engine put down about 580 HP and 450 TQ– pretty impressive from an NA coyote platform on 93 octane. While it is being labeled as a crate engine, there is reason to believe this may be the next big production engine for the S550 Mustang.
The 5.2L Cross-Plane Crank Mustang Engine
According to a post on Ford Performance’s social media, this is a prototype crate engine that will be available for order in the near future. This non-Voodoo version of the 5.2L was also shown at the PRI show back in December of 2015.
To break it down, the engine uses:
- a 5.2L displacement like the GT350
- Shelby GT350 Heads
- Revised GT camshafts
- cross-plane crankshaft
- Cobra Jet Intake Manifold
From the sounds of it, there may be two different engine offerings, both making north of 500 HP, but using different head designs. This new 5.2L XS Prototype engine shares a good bit of tech with the Shelby GT350’s voodoo engine, with the key difference really coming down to the crankshaft.
Apparently it was pretty easy to make power with this setup. According to Mike Delahanty of Ford Performance, “We took a 5.0-liter Coyote short-block, put the GT350 heads, cams, and intake on it and picked up 100 horsepower.”
A Crate and Production Engine?
While Ford has said that this will be a crate engine offering they haven’t said much else, which may be saying a lot. This 5.2L XS engine will be a crate engine offering, but Ford has been oddly ambiguous about whether a 5.2L will make its way into an upcoming vehicle revision.
- Ford has a habit of updating engines during a vehicles life cycle (2011 & 2012 coyote vs 2013 & 2014 coyote)
- There are prototype Mustangs that may be using this engine (more on that further down)
- Just because it is a crate engine doesn’t mean it can’t be offered as a production engine (the coyote and aluminator are both offered as crate engines and can be found in production Mustangs)
It is doubtful that an engine this powerful will make its way into the normal base Mustang GT as it would be stepping on the toes of the S550 Shelby GT350 and GT350R, however it is likely that an engine like this could makes its way into one of two new prototype Mustangs.
A 2018 Shelby GT500 or 2018 Mach1 Mustang?
Two of the biggest rumors flying around the Mustang community have been the return of the Shelby GT500 as well as the legendary Mach1 Mustang. Since the S550 came out, we have reported on spy photos and insider info on a S550 Shelby GT500, with recently captured spy video reigniting that.
If Ford were to bring back the Shelby GT500 (like we think they are) then this engine would be the perfect fit for it, pending it gets some help from a forced induction setup in typical GT500 fashion. With this engine already making over 500 HP naturally aspirated, the addition of a supercharger or turbocharger would jump those power numbers up to be direct competition for the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Considering Ford’s recent and blatant love for turbocharging everything (looking at you 2017 Raptor, Ford GT, EcoBoost Mustang and Ford Focus RS) it wouldn’t be a shock to see a turbo on a V8 Shelby GT500 for 2018, especially with a Cobra Jet Intake setup seeing as how that intake manifold can handle two bars of pressure (29 PSI of boost).
However, the engine as is would be a worthy option for a contemporary Mach1, like the one we saw testing not that long ago- all it is missing is the iconic shaker hood scoop intake. With the power this setup can put down without the help of boost, this setup would a worthy successor to the 2003-2004 Mach1 that packed a 4-valve 4.6L.
Thinking a little more abstractly, it would be interesting and awesome if Ford used this engine in a Mach1 reboot. The 2003 and 2004 Mach1 used the same motor as the ’03 and ’04 Cobra, with small tweaks to give them different outputs/driving experiences. If a 2018 S550 Mach 1 used this 5.2L XS engine, an engine that uses the same displacement and tech as the S550 Shelby GT350 (what is often commonly referred to as a Cobra), then it would be paying subtle homage to its immediate predecessor.
What are your thoughts on the 5.2L XS Engine and possible 2018 Shelby GT500 and Mach1? It his all just wishful thinking or are we on the eve of the next big wave of Mustang Tech? Comment below and let us know!