Ford has announced the big one, the final power figure for the 2015 Shelby GT350 and GT350R at 526 horsepower.
The new 5.2 flat-plane crankshaft V8 boasts 102 horsepower per liter, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine in Ford history. And with an 8,250 rpm redline, it’s also the highest revving Ford V8 ever.
While the scuttle has been 520 horsepower since the Shelby GT350 was unveiled last fall, the official figures of 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque comes as production will start soon.
What makes the 5.2 liter V8 engine terminally unique, at least from an American OEM is it’s flat-plane crankshaft. While these have been around racing and exotic super-cars for some time, it’s new ground for Detroit Muscle.
This format places crankshaft journals at 180-degrees from each other instead of rotated around its axis like most engines. This results in improved intake and exhaust pulse timing, more balanced ignition firing between engine banks, and ultimately better breathing both for intake and exhaust.
And the other major effect is its sound, which is nothing like the American V8 muscle engines of yore. This 5.2 liter beast has a snarl and growl you’ll hear coming and going.
It’s much more free revving too, with its full power coming on at 7,500 rpm, the meat of its torque at 4,750 rpm, and having a redline well over 8,000. Ford says however its torque band is spread well linear from 3,450 and 7,000 rpm.
This free-revving nature is also afforded by its oversquare bore and stroke which comes in at 94 mm and 93 mm respectively. And you will feed it premium fuel with its 12.0:1 compression ratio.
The heads and valvetrain are also unique to the all-aluminum engine with a high lift cam profile of 14 mm on both intake and exhaust valves. Air comes into the engine through the largest throttle-body from Ford yet, a single blade 87 mm unit.
The block is all its own too, with plasma transferred wire coating of the cylinder walls in lieu of cast iron liners. Intake, valve covers and oil pan are all made of lightweight composites.
It should come as no surprise the Shelby GT350 comes only with a Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual transmission. Automatic drivers need not apply.
The first 100 Shelby GT-350s will be built as 2015 models, with and additional 37 GT350Rs. Production after which will be 2016 model year.