Details Emerge on New Mustang GT Engine

The 2010 Ford Mustang will have a lighter and smaller engine than its segment competitors, but will give up nothing in horsepower…

By Igor Holas


For a while, rumors went back and forth on what engine will power the new 2010 Mustang. Finally, sources are agreeing and statements are converging on specifications of a single engine.

Throughout Ford, the V8 lineup is undergoing a significant makeover. With the debut of the 2009 F-150, Ford released a new version of the 5.4l Modular (also called MOD or Triton) V8. This new engine, while sharing many components with earlier models, will sport meaningful improvements in horsepower, torque, and fuel mileage. This update will position the engine’s torque in the neighborhood of much larger V8 engines, such as Toyota’s 5.7l iForce, or GM’s 6.0l Vortec Max. The new 5.4l will see only truck duty, however.

Later this year, Ford will also finally release the BOSS V8 engine, and once again this engine will be truck-only. The engine will be a 6.2l SOHC V8 with an expected 425hp and 450 ft.lbs of torque. The first vehicle with this new engine is to be the 2009 Navigator, the one vehicle in Ford’s lineup that desperately and unquestionably needs the engine. Around the end of 2008, this engine will finally make it to the F-150, and maybe even the Expedition.

The Mustang GT is currently powered by the 4.6l MOD engine, and while this engine received minor tweaks for service in the 2009 F-150, its production life is coming to an end. When the 2010 version of the F-150 debuts, the small V8 currently available in the F-150 will probably be replaced with a truck version of Ford’s ubiquitous Duratec V6 engine. Shortly thereafter, the engine will also disappear from the Explorer and will finally die along with the Panther platform cars in 2010 calendar year.

Given the truck-only designation of the 5.4l MOD and 6.2l BOSS engines, there has been wild speculation about the engine for the Mustang GT. About six months ago some sources have began talking about a new 5.0l V8. Now, finally, details on this engine are much more solidified. This new engine originates from the Modular family, but with many unique parts. The engine will include a new aluminum block and new four-valve-per-cylinder head. The engine will also include direct injection, and variable valve timing.

All in all, this new engine promises to make a respectable 400 – 425 horses, and similar torque. This would position Ford squarely among other similar high-tech V8 engines from Lexus, BMW, or Audi. More importantly, this new engine will allow Ford to compete with the upcoming Camaro and Challenger. However, unlike the large displacement, low-tech, pushrod LS and HEMI engines in the competition, Ford’s engine will rely on more sophisticated technology to squeeze greater power from a smaller engine, promising better fuel economy.

The new Mustang will probably debut in L.A. this fall or in Detroit next winter, and we should know then just how well Ford prepared for the suddenly competitive-again pony-car segment.

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Author: Igor Holas

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  1. I really wish writers would do research before making comments like : “unlike the large displacement, low-tech, pushrod LS and HEMI engines in the competition, Ford’s engine will rely on more sophisticated technology…”

    It shows a lack of knowledge on your part as to just what goes into any of these engines, particularly GM’s LS. It’s not just the fact that it boasts 436HP, naturally aspirated, but it also is the most efficent V8 on the market… actually able to run on REGULAR GAS. “CAM-IN-BLOCK” from GM makes almost every OHC engine I kno of, with exception to Benz’s, 6.2L seem like low tech

  2. I’m not sure I would label the GM LS engines “low tech.” The LS3 gets pretty impressive mileage in the (admittedly light) Corvette. Really the only thing low tech about it is the fundamental OHV design.

    Too bad GM can’t buy Ford DOHC V8s to install in future Cadillacs, with the demise of the Ultra V8.

    Do you think the 5.0 will be shared with other vehicles? If not, is it really worth it for Ford to develop a new engine just for less than 100k units (knowing that many Mustangs have V6s)? 5.0 certainly is a storied name from the Mustang’s more recent history (even though the old OHV 5.0s were really 4.9s). 🙂

  3. Ditto for me regarding the GM engines. You may not like the pushrod design, but there’s nothing low-tech about it.

  4. Let me clarify,

    I am not looking down at the LS (I would never dare), or the HEMI. However their approach is much more similar to the way Ford builds the MOD and is building the BOSS – well designed fundamentals and then limited technology and computer controls in the head. These engines eschew direct injection, most of them do not have variable valve timing, etc. The result is a very torque rich large displacement V8, but its hp-per-liter is not close to DOHC European and Japanese engines. But there is nothing wrong with that – its just a different approach.

    In contrast, with the 5.0l Ford is taking the EU/JP approach and squeezing as much HP out of a small displacement as it can with an array of advanced technology in the head.

    That is all I am saying – the 5.0l has a less common approach to V8 for Detroit – similar to the NorthStar and the Ultra, and the results might be interesting. I am sure a year from now, media will be very opinionated about which approach they like better.


  5. What Ford is doing with this engine is what GM and Chrysler will have to do with their engines as CAFE requirements kick in. Smaller, better gas mileage, direct injection, etc. is what you’ll see in the future.

  6. I think its funny that people consider OHC as high tech when its actually been around since the early 1900’s

  7. All internal combustion engines are low tech if you want to be pedantic about it. But some makers approach to them is not and Igor is right to point that out. The Euro and Asian V8’s are typically far more sophisticated with respect to their ancilliary systems these days than the US iron so they end up being generally just as powerful but smaller, lighter and more efficient to boot. And these are the future…….

  8. The Gen V GM LS motors will have DI, VVT, and cylinder deactivation.

    The 4.9L in the GMC Denali XT concept is and indication of the next generation on GM motors.

    I’d take a GM 6.2 over a 5.0 MOD motor any day. Peak horsepower is for ricers and magazine racers. Real power is power under the curve.

  9. I call BS for the base GT engine – I see 325-350 hp maximum. Still excellent for what it is, however.

    And, uh, there’s a reason why most the rest of the automotive world has either skipped or jettison the pushrod engine, and why even those few that haven’t make fewer and fewer with each passing model year…

  10. Nothing wrong with a pushrod engine, and in fact, what GM has done with their pushrod lineup is nothing short of magical. It’s astounding to tell you the truth.

    But there are better designs and I applaud Ford for moving forward with their new engine family.

  11. Actually, the he old OHV ford “5.0” is actually a 5.0 liter, not a 4.9. That is a common misconception. Ford made a 4.9 liter in-line six, this engine was originally the old 300 in-line 6 from way back in the 60s and sold up till 96. People who do not know must get these confused. Besides, the number of cubic inches to a liter is not a clearly defined number, it is a relative term. Approximately 60 cubic inches to a liter of displacement (cubic inches or cubic centimeters are much more accurate ways of measuring engine displacement). A 5.0 displaces 301.5936 cubic inches (“302”). 301.5936/60=5.02656 Liters.

    Anonymous is right about OHC engines being around for decades.

    Another point. Making the Ford engine with OHC engines is not just about power (through it is nice), it also helps within things such as LEV designations (or U-LEV, or SULEV) as many of the Cobra engines had. IT also helps with fuel economy as many stock 4.6 Quad cam cars would get +/- 20mpg city and +/- 26 Hwy (as long as you kept your foot out of them). That is without VVT or cylinder deactivation. Many newer high performance import 4-cylinder cars that are the top of the line sport versions get about the same MPG because they are geared up like bats-outta-hell (differentials in the 3.90 to 4.90 range) and are still slower.

    I agree with Sinner, power under the curve is what really counts, and the recent mod motors (+/- 99 up) do have impressive power under the curve, all without having to rev extremely high. However, GM has to keep increasing engine speed (rpm) and displacement just to keep up with other manufacturers, they have pushed what can be squeezed from a push-rod engine to it’s limit.

    To the other Anonymous, 325-350 max is not the maximum for this engine. Currently, Ford Racing actually has a crate motor that is a 5.0L MOD motor that makes 430 hp, right now.

    Hope this helps with any incorrect information presented by others.


  12. Anonymous, you are wrong about how cubic inches to a liter is not a defined term, and it is NOT a misconception that the “5.0” Mustang V8 was a 4.9 liter. It’s close but it does NOT round up to 5.0 liters.

    Several sources (including my old scientific calculator plus Google’s converter tool) all say that 1 liter = 61.0237440947 cubic inches. Google only takes it to 7 decimal places, but it gives 61.0237441 as the answer. Precision to 7 decimal places means that it IS in fact defined, and probably has been since the time of Michelangelo.

    The “302” Windsor V8 displaces 4942 ccs, which means it’s 4.942 liters, and also 0.008 liters away from being truly 5.0. By the way, 4,942 ccs converts to 301.57 cubic inches, thus proving the conversion numbers in the previous paragraph are accurate.

    Does the Ford Racing crate motor meet all currently applicable emission standards? If so, why don’t they install it in any number of vehicles today, starting with the F-150?

  13. The old 302 was in fact a 4.9 liters and it was writen in the same Ford user manuals that had the 302 in their vehicles because I remember that my 93 F150 said it in the manual 4.9 inline six or 4.9 v8

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