In the muscle-car horsepower wars, the next Ford Mustang won’t win on the magic number, but it could win where it really counts: on the track.
Ford says the new 5.2-liter V-8 in the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and Shelby GT350R Mustang is the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine in its history. The flat-plane crankshaft V-8 is also the automaker’s highest-revving V-8, making 526- horsepower at 7,500 rpm, 429 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm and redlining at a whopping 8,250 rpm. A six-speed manual is the sole transmission.
“The high-revving, naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane V-8 delivers on every target we set — high horsepower, broad torque curve, aggressive throttle response and lightweight,” Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer, said in a statement.
In comparison, competitor Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is powered by a 580-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine and the reigning horsepower leader, Dodge Challenger Hellcat, puts out 707 horsepower from its big V-8.
Of course, it takes a lot more than horsepower to win the race. The less weight that a car has, for instance, the less horsepower it needs to push it around.
Just who wins this three-way shootout is yet to be seen.