The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang

Ford has announced the output numbers for its new 5.2 litre Voodoo flat-plane crankshaft V8 that sits in the Mustang Shelby GT350 and Mustang Shelby GT350R – the unit will develop 526 hp at 7,500 rpm and 582 Nm at 4,750 rpm, making it the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going Ford engine ever.

With a redline of 8,250 rpm, the Voodoo – which is an evolution of the more familiar Coyote 5.0 litre seen in the standard sixth-gen S550 Mustang GT – is also the highest-revving production V8 in Ford history and also the Blue Oval’s most efficient in terms of specific output; without turbocharging or supercharging, the unit produces 102 hp per litre of displacement.

The automaker says that the Voodoo’s design was optimised using computer-aided engineering and fully digital performance simulations, with millions of intake, cam and exhaust configurations iterated before arriving at the optimal combination.

Traditional cross-plane crankshaft V8 engines attach the piston-carrying connecting rods to the crankshaft at 90° intervals, creating a “cross” of counterweights when viewed down the axis of the crankshaft. Here, the connecting rods attach to the flat-plane crankshaft at aligned 180° intervals to create what looks like a flat line of counterweights when viewed down the axis of the crankshaft.

Aside from changing the engine note, the flat-plane crankshaft helps improve cylinder exhaust-pulse separation by allowing a firing order that alternates ignition events between the V8’s two cylinder banks, vastly improving engine breathing.

The unit produces 90% of its peak torque from approximately 3,450 rpm through 7,000 rpm and is touted to have a racetrack-friendly spread of nearly 3,000 rpm between its torque and horsepower peaks.

In both cars, the Voodoo will be paired with a Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual transmission, the only gearbox choice. The Tremec features a lightweight, die-cast aluminuim case and clutch housing for increased overall powertrain stiffness, and gear cross-sections, the dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch have all been optimised for an overall reduction in inertia and weight.

Back in April, Ford announced that only 100 examples of the Mustang Shelby GT350 were to be built as a 2015 model year offering, and just 37 units of the more hardcore Mustang Shelby GT350R were to be made in the same vein. Production will of course continue as 2016 model year versions, but the queue for the duo will undoubtedly be a very long one.

2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R