Ford's Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) system is one of the key technologies in the engine. Using camshaft torque energy, assisted by pressurized oil, the system physically ratchets the camshafts' position relative to the crank to advance or retard engine timing depending on a number of variables, including throttle position. The intake and exhaust adjustments work independently and, as an engineer explained to TheCarConnection.com, there's simply less to break in the long run in this oil-pressure-based mechanical system than in other systems relying on solenoids or electronic actuation in high-heat areas.
Ford plans to incorporate the Ti-VCT on 90 percent of its engines by 2013 and says that the technology provides benefits to torque in low- and mid-range revs while also improving fuel economy at partial throttle. The new Mustang GT will get a projected 25 mpg on the highway, with the six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual will also be offered.
The engine's deep-sump oil system was designed from the start for high lateral g-forces, with a banked wall along with baffles to avoid oil starvation. Oil capacity has been expanded to eight quarts, with a 10,000-mile service interval, and the factory fill will be 5W20 non-synthetic. The block has fully redesigned passages to help control crankcase pressures and manage oil return without frothing at sustained high revs.
Also included in the design are piston cooling jets, hypereutectic pistons, high-strength forged power-metal connecting rods, and a floating pin setup. All these features help assure that the new engine has the durability for track duty and its new 7,000-rpm redline. A fully counterweighted forged steel crank helps keep the engine vibration free as well.
Up on top, the engine has intake ports that are directly vertical, with a tuned composite intake manifold. The alternator has been relocated out of the valley to allow straight-down risers. The low-profile heads hold roller-finger valve actuators, while allowed both more compact packaging and improved precision and high-rev durability.
Following a "Back in Black" theme for the new GT, Ford opted for a simple, black plastic cover for the 5.0, along with black headers, and it completes the modern but somewhat retro feel of the whole setup.
Dressed with fluids and ancillaries, the engine weighs 430 pounds—just ten pounds more than the 4.6-liter—and that includes the higher oil capacity.
Finally, hooked up to the engine will be exhaust headers that owners won't want to scrap right away in favor of an aftermarket solution. Ford actually designed these headers to provide the look, sound, and performance that the aftermarket had been providing.
In a special preview, TheCarConnection.com heard the new 5.0 rev, and it sounds great—even better than the original. That to us helps seal the deal that the engine plus the badge will be the basis for an entire new generation of nostalgia.