If you are a fan of high-performance Mustangs, you have been subjected to numerous click-bait stories teasing all manner of potential GT500 engine combinations — from an EcoBoost V6 to a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter. However, thanks to a new spy photo, we have a much better idea what will power the next top-of-the-line Shelby.
Thanks to a spy photo provided to Motor Trend, it is clear that there is a supercharger atop a modern Ford V-8 under the hood of what appears to be a Shelby GT350R. Many people will have fun teasing this as a possible supercharged version of the GT350’s vaunted Voodoo engine. However, we believe there is a new variant under the hood…
What you see in this grainy photo is the first look at the Predator 5.2-liter engine seen out of captivity. We believe this engine will eschew the high-revving flat-plane crankshaft for a far less resonant cross-plane crankshaft. Likewise, even though this test vehicle appears to be equipped with VMP Performance’s highly efficient 2.3-liter TVS, we have a strong feeling that the production supercharger may be an OE application of the new R2650 TVS that we saw at last year’s SEMA show.
In the same photo set with the engine shot, this Shelby test mule was seen out on public roads with a Camaro ZL1, so it’s safe to say that Ford Performance engineers were benchmarking the forthcoming GT500 against the 640-horsepower competition.
Having seen what the aftermarket can do with a Voodoo heads, a Voodoo block, a traditional crank, and supercharging, the possibilities are tantalizing. Combine this hardware with the bigger blower and the new dual-fuel (high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection) system, and it’s safe to say the Predator will easily hunt down the ZL1 and might just challenge some of those bold Hellcat numbers.
Of course, we are just making some educated guesses, so we can’t wait to see what kind of performance the production combination will unleash on the competition, as we have no doubt it will top the 662-horsepower output of the last GT500.