2016 SHELBY GT350 BACKGROUND
With the 6th-generation Mustang barely a year old, Ford applied the “Shelby-treatment” to the new car and here are the results: The 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 makes 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque; the flat-plane crank spins out that horsepower at a lofty 7500 rpm (yes, you read that right!); and it’ll hit 60 in a scant 4.3 seconds. And this isn’t even the fast version. The 2016 Shelby GT350R is even quicker, knockdown down 60mph in under 4 seconds flat!
2016 SHELBY GT350 AS A TRACK CAR
While the 2016 Shelby GT350 is a wicked quarter-mile acceleration monster, it’s also meant to handle. Lots of state-of-the-art electronic aids help to make it one helluva track day car. Advance Trac Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS and driveline traction control, MagnaRide magnetic fluid-filled shocks, speed-sensing electric power steering, brake assist and hill holding are just part of the story. Ford also loaded the GT350 up with all the age-old speed accessories, like larger front and rear anti-sway bars, bigger vented disk brakes all around, a sport-tuned suspension setup, a good ol’ mechanical limited-slip differential, an engine oil cooler and a transmission cooler. This is on serious performance car. These are wonderful times we live in, when you can get a car this fast, this capable, and still drive it to work everyday, reliably, and comfortably. And all at a price that most gearheads can afford. Congrats to Ford, or Shelby, as the case may be.
2016 SHELBY GT350 ENGINE – THE “VOODOO” V8
Based on the same architecture as the 5.0L Coyote V8, Ford really broke new ground with the Voodoo. Instead of the traditional 90-degree crank (with a crank throw every 90-degrees, like most V8s), the Voodoo has a 180-degree crank, also known as a “flat-plane” crank (with the throws 180-degrees apart). Flat plane cranks are uncommon in normal production V8s, but are most often seen in high-revving, small-displacement V8s from Italian exotics like Ferrari. In fact, it is the flat-plane crank, or rather the firing sequence that it causes, that produces that distinctive high-RPM “wail” that Ferraris are famous for. The problem with flat-plane cranks has always been one of balance. With all that reciprocating mass way out on the two extremes of rotation from each other, they tend to vibrate badly at high RPMs, especially in larger-displacement V8s where the rotating and reciprocating mass of all the larger parts becomes to great. This is what took the world by surprise when Ford pulled it off. No one had successfully employed a flat-plane crank in any production V8 nearly this large without horrific results, and yet the Blue Oval Boys managed to pull it off with aplomb. Where the standard 5.0 Coyote V8 produces 526-horsepower at 6500 rpm, the new 5.2 Voodoo V8 makes 526 horsepower at a screaming 7500 rpm. That places the specific output of this engine at better than 100 horsepower-per-liter of displacement, from a normally aspirated engine. That’s impressive. The bore and stroke are nearly square at 94mm X 93mm, the larger bore requiring the aluminum block to be reinforced, and a plasma-transfer wire-arc process was used to coat the aluminum cylinder bores instead of using the thicker cast iron liners, as in the standard Coyote. The crank and rods are forged steel, and very carefully balanced. The cylinder heads were reworked to breathe better, and use hollow intake and