At last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford rolled out the Mustang Shelby GT350 which is powered by a 5.2-litre V8 engine that featured a flat-plane crankshaft, delivering more than 500hp and 542Nm of torque.
Following that, the Blue Oval unleashed a more track-focused model of the GT350 dubbed the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R that shares the same engine as well with the same vague engine output figures.
Now, Ford have come clean on the numbers related to its all-new 5.2-litre V8 engine starting with its exact power output – 526hp and 582Nm of torque! Ford say that this is its most power-dense (102hp per litre) and most powerful naturally aspirated road-going engine in its history while also being the highest-revving production V8 as well with an 8,250 rpm redline. Borrowing a pun from them, the V8 engine’s crankshaft may be flat, but its power output is anything but “plane.”
That’s a whole lot of numbers and the usage of the word ‘most’. To translates all this to audible understanding, watch and listen to this:
For those interested with the technical details, here’s a brief outline from Ford:
“Traditional cross-plane crankshaft V8 engines attach the piston-carrying connecting rods to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, creating a “cross” of counterweights when viewed down the axis of the crankshaft. In the all-new Ford 5.2-liter V8, the connecting rods attach to the flat-plane crankshaft at aligned 180-degree intervals – creating what looks like a flat line of counterweights when viewed down the axis of the crankshaft.
Beyond a change in the characteristic sound of an American V8, 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. This can vastly improve engine breathing, and subsequently allow the engine to make more power.”
Now that you have a better understanding of the engine in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and 350R, watch the two duke it out on the track: