Ford's New 5.0 V-8: Back In Black, And Ready For The Track

March 10, 2010
New 5.0-liter V-8 - 2011 Ford Mustang GT

New 5.0-liter V-8 - 2011 Ford Mustang GT

Enlarge Photo

New 5.0-liter V-8 - 2011 Ford Mustang GT

New 5.0-liter V-8 - 2011 Ford Mustang GT

Enlarge Photo

2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Enlarge Photo

The 5.0 is back, and Ford didn't take the opportunity lightly. The 2011 Ford Mustang GT will pack a 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 that for all practical purposes is an all-new engine. A very stoutly built, race-ready one at that.

Along with the 3.7-liter V-6 that will also be introduced in the 2011 Ford Mustang, Ford suddenly has a completely refreshed powertrain lineup for the pony car and nothing to be ashamed of. Considering weight, in fact, the 'Stang now has a leg up on its rivals.

It's an about-face from the past several years, when Ford has seemed a step behind other automakers with respect to V-8 engines—especially if you take a look at power output. Even with the Mustang's lighter weight than the Camaro and Challenger, Ford's current 315-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 in the 2010 Mustang GT is no match for the larger Chevy and Chrysler V-8s.

With the '5.0' badge, the 2011 Mustang GT approaches the power output of those big-displacement engines while promising both stout construction and race-ready performance plus better fuel economy in everyday driving.

Bore is 92.2 mm (3.63 inches), with a 92.7-mm (3.65-inch) stroke, calculating out to just over 302 cubic inches and—this time—properly rounding up to 5.0 liters. And the new engine in the 2011 GT makes 412 horsepower, which should be enough for the lighter Mustang to beat both the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS and the 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T. In the Camaro SS, GM installs a huge 6.2-liter V-8, making 426 horsepower, while Chrysler puts its 372-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 in the Challenger R/T, among other vehicles, and the 425-hp, 6.1-liter V-8 in the Challenger SRT8.

At the same time, Ford projects an estimated 17 mpg city, 25 highway for the new engine (with the automatic) in the Mustang. The Camaro SS gets 16/25, while the Challenger SRT8 is rated at just 13/19.

The new engine will require just 87-octane gasoline, though 91-octane will be recommended for peak performance.

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