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More Details Emerge On Ford’s 5.2L Mustang V8 Engine – Photos Here!

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With the media frenzy surrounding the new Ford GT, GT350R, and upcoming Raptor at the North American International Auto Show yesterday, one item that went virtually unnoticed by the automotive media was this cutaway of the new Voodoo 5.2L Mustang V8 powerplant slated to appear in both versions of the Shelby GT350 Mustang.

The engine sat in the corner and didn’t garner much attention, but our cameras were out and a complete inspection was given. Unfortunately the Ford engineers were still tight-lipped about the complete details, but hopefully these pictures help to shed some light on the engine and its details and capabilities. Ford previously told us that the engine used very few components that crossed over to the Coyote engine, and now we have further proof of such.

Left - Front-and-center and in your face is the designation of Ford's hottest small-block engine ever produced. Left Middle - Pistons appear to be from MAHLE and use their GRAFAL skirt coating, and a thin ring pack for high-RPM capability. Right Middle - The dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch scream high-RPM capability as well. Right - Interestingly, there is a plastic oil pan covering the platform-specific oil pump.

According to our sources within the Ford engineering community, the engine will make over 500 horsepower and is at the bleeding edge of what FoMoCo can do with the platform – but remember, they said the same thing about the original Coyote, and look how well that performs a few years later with a ton of aftermarket development thrown behind it.

Pistons use a phosphate dry lubricant coating to reduce micro-welding and pin galling. Additionally, there are left and right part numbers.

Pistons use a phosphate dry lubricant coating to reduce micro-welding and pin galling. Additionally, there are left and right part numbers.

The engine features a forged flat-plane (180-degree) crankshaft, sintered/powdered metal connecting rods, and a set of super light pistons. In keeping with the high RPM design of the engine, the piston ring package appears to be lightweight, possibly using 1.2/1.2/2.0mm dimensions. Our sources tell us the engine has a 12.5:1 compression ratio.

We’ve spoken about the capabilities of these types of piston rings in a recent article, and how OE applications are driving aftermarket acceptance. Low-drag thin piston rings have been used for years in Pro Stock and other high-RPM engines and are now affordable enough to include in an OE application.

Also interesting to note is that the pistons have left and right part numbers, signifying that they are asymmetric and must be used in those banks of the engine. In the interest of high-rpm use, the valve springs appear to be very light, but one of the Ford engineers just nodded and said “they work just fine.”

Other views of the valvetrain.

From what we can see, the engine has a dual mass flywheel and a twin-disc clutch behind it to hold the power. With the expected use of this engine in road-racing configuration, light pedal effort and high-RPM holding capacity will be paramount to its performance, and it appears that Ford has set up the drivetrain with this capability from the outset.

Simply monster intake runners on this beast. 8,000-plus RPM requires plenty of airflow. Ford's engineers also carried over the Charge Motion Control plates to assist in building torque in the lower range of the RPM band.

There is a set of piston squirters to help keep the pistons cool, which Ford originally installed on the 2011 versions of the Coyote but subsequently removed. The piston skirts are coated with a low-friction coating, and the oil pump is unique to this engine and has 5.2L GT cast into the body.

Also differing from the Coyote engine are the valve covers and plastic oil pan. The visual appearance seems to be smaller than that of a Coyote, but without one to compare side-by-side this is hard to determine.

As we can see from the photos, the intake runners in the manifold and cylinder heads are huge for an engine of this size, lending to its high-RPM operation. Like the Coyote in the 2015 Mustang, the engine features Charge Motion Control plates to assist in low-RPM operation, and the hardware is located at the back of the intake in the Voodoo application. The throttle body appears to be larger than the Coyote’s piece, possibly 90mm in size.

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Visual inspection shows that the crankshaft does not have the same type of counterweighting that the typical 90-degree crankshaft in the Coyote has, and the engine appears to use the same TiVCT timing hardware as the Coyote, or something very similar.

Two views of the exhaust headers for the Voodoo engine.

And just take a look at those headers. Although they still use a short-tube design, the tubes have nice mandrel bends and appear to be built with an eye on performance, rather than NVH and emissions considerations as in the past.

5W50 oil is standard equipment in the Voodoo.

5W50 oil is standard equipment in the Voodoo.

Instead of using a design that brings all of the exhaust pulses into the collector together, these have the tubes entering the collector in different positions, again a nod to the flat-plane crankshaft and its unique design requirements.

Like Shelby GT500 engines of the past few years, the engine requires 5W50 oil, perhaps in a nod to its high-RPM capabilities and the need for superior oiling when the tachometer swings north of 7,500.

We can’t wait for the day these start to hit the streets and tracks of America, and more importantly, find their way into the hands of the performance aftermarket. It’s a great time to be a Ford fan!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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