Will the Shelby GT350 Get a Flat-Plane Crankshaft V8?
We know that there is a 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 on the horizon (unless, of course, it’s called the SVT or GT500), but there’s very little known about it but for that it has been testing at the ‘Ring in recent months. MotorTrend reports that one of the rumors bounding around the GT350 that seems to have been gaining a lot of traction relates to a 5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft Coyote V8.
Slightly skeptical? So was MotorTrend’s technical director, who responded to the rumors by noting that engines above 4.5-liters likely can’t handle a flat-plane crank without the aid of balance shafts, which would be heavy enough to offset the displacement.
However, MT’s Jonny Lieberman says that he’s got sources that indicate Ford is trying to make it happen without balance shafts:
One source says they’re still working out the kinks. Another says that the kinks are in fact engine accessories. Ford’s solved the second-order vibration issue by attaching a big, honking vibration damper on the end of the crankshaft. That seems to do the trick. However, when testing the GT350 on the Nürburgring, those same secondary vibrations backed a bolt out of the car’s starter, shutting down the entire electrical system while the car was going pretty fast. That’s bad. However, the SVT boys and girls have taken the necessary steps and have essentially beefed up the Mustang’s accessories for GT350 duty. We hear they’ve had one spinning happily at 7500 rpm for quite some time for a durability test. As for power, we’re guessing close to 600 hp and around 430 lb-ft of torque. Whatever the final numbers, this is one hopped-up Mustang we’re dying to drive.
If Ford manages to pull off a flat-plane crankshaft V8 for the 2016 Shelby GT350/Shelby GT500/SVT/Super Magical Happy Time Mustang without any of the explodey stuff, then we’ll all be pretty happy campers.
It’s fair to assume that Ford will be doing its damnedest to compete with the ridiculously powerful Hellcat, and a 600+ horsepower engine combined with the name recognition that comes with the Shelby label could just be enough to keep it in the race for the affections of muscle car fans whenever it releases.