When you hear someone yell “check this out” you typically turn and look, trying to figure out what has been called to your attention. With the new Shelby GT 350 and GT 350R engine there is really no figuring out, but simple amazement. Car guys and gals have check out the power plant inside these mean bests for decades popping hoods and examining just what makes the car tick. Many a compliment, piece of advice, friendship and laugh have been shared under the hood of a powerful car which is truly one way car lovers are brought together.
The muscle behind one of America’s favorite pony cars is a beautifully designed 5.2-liter flat plane crankshaft V8 engine. This beast of burden is designed to pull out 526 horses at 7500 rpm and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at 4750 rpm. This engine is not only the strength and guts of the new Mustang Shelby GT 350 but it is unto itself a work of art that we must stand back and admire. Just like with a work of art, it may speak to us all in a different way, but the overall message is still the same, strength and power in abundance under the hood of this awesome sports car.
Even though this new engine resembles the 5.0-Coyote V8 that is in place now in the 2015 Mustang GT, the new 5.2 is a completely new hunk of metal from start to finish. In order to help with production the deck height and bore spacing are the same as before, but the rest is brand new. This engine has been bored out to 94.0 millimeters and has some weight reducing technologies aboard. The stroke has also increased slightly to a full 93 millimeters to bring in a full 315 cubic inches of displacement.
This new 5.2 is similar to the 5.8 found in the GT 500 by using a plasma-transferred wire arc coating instead of the iron liners found in the 5.0. This new engine will also use lower tension piston rings for internal engine friction and reduce the mechanical drag even more. Another similarity is the 5.2 will be assembled in Romeo, Michigan, just like the 5.8 even though it is machined in the Windsor, Ontario, Canada plant the same as the 5.0 engine.
The most exciting part of this new 5.2-liter engine is the new lightweight flat-plane crankshaft. Most crankshafts use a 90-degree interval to allow the firing of the next bank of pistons during the exhaust of the first bank. With this new crankshaft which is set at 180-dgree intervals we see the complete separation of the exhaust and the next firing which can actual make for more power and allow the engine to run to much higher rpms. The new GT 350 engine won’t redline until 8250 rpm with is amazing even for an awesome sports car and will create a unique and obviously powerful exhaust sound from this wicked sports car.
Even though this new engine is larger than the 5.0 the engine is planned to be ten pounds lighter than the previous model. This is the result of some holes drilled in the crankshaft which helps to remove material and reduce the weight of the engine. Added weight reduction comes from the use of aluminum in the fabrication of this new engine. The use of this lighter material generates the additional loss of weight enjoyed when driving this new GT 350. What’s even more impressive is the loss of weight allows for a greater oil capacity to be enjoyed as well.
The cylinder heads presented their own challenge for the Ford engineers who took advantage of the larger and more widely spaced set to create a set up that is more capable than before. The variable valve timing used helps to solve the problem presented and with the elimination of excess material the valves are capable of raising up to as much as 14 millimeters.
Overall, the increased power and performance of this new engine makes for a higher percent of the power to be reaches at lower rpm levels. This gives Ford a new engine in the 350 GT the ability to take care of some of the higher power output players on the track and offers its own version of high power output to be experienced.
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