Techtonics: Mustang Spooked by Coyote
Rumors of the V-8's demise were exaggerated. To add kick to the 2011 Mustang GT's gallop, Ford has revived the 5.0-liter badge for a new 412-hp V-8 called Coyote.
The first 5.0-liter V-8s earned Ford the 1966 manufacturer's championship in the SCCA's over-2.0-liter Trans-Am class. Since America was still struggling with the metric system, the street edition was called Boss 302 (as in 302 cubic inches) when it was added to the 1969 Mustang lineup.
The new 5.0-liter engine, which descends from Ford's twenty-year-old modular V-8, keeps long-standing bore-spacing and deck-height dimensions to shorten the development process and to permit use of existing manufacturing tools. Like the 4.6-liter V-8 it succeeds, this engine has a nearly equal bore (92.2 mm) and stroke (92.7 mm).
The new aluminum block has six-bolt main-bearing caps securing a forged-steel crankshaft. Cast-aluminum pistons cooled by oil jets squeeze the fuel/air mixture with an 11.0:1 compression ratio. The aluminum heads have high-flow ports and four valves per cylinder opened by dual overhead camshafts via finger followers. Both the intake and the exhaust cams provide variable valve timing as reflected in this engine's Ti-VCT (twin independent variable cam timing) official designation. A single 80-mm-diameter throttle meters air into the molded-plastic intake manifold.
Direct fuel injection did not make the cut, but according to program manager Mike Harrison, space is reserved for both that upgrade and a supercharger. Premium fuel is required to achieve the full 412 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque; skinflints who fill their tanks with regular will suffer losses of 10 hp and 13 lb-ft.
To throw a bone to Mustang V-6 customers, the previous 4.0-liter base powerplant has been ditched in favor of Ford's more modern DOHC 3.7-liter engine. Weight-saving features include a die-cast aluminum block and oil pan and a molded-plastic intake manifold and cylinder-head cover. The DOHC heads feature four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust tracts. Regular fuel is permissible with the 10.5:1 compression ratio. The 305 hp at 6500 rpm that the new V-6 produces is a satisfying 95-hp jump over the outgoing engine. Ford proudly notes that the 2011 Mustang is the first 300-plus-hp car to top 30 mpg in EPA highway mileage tests.