When is Ford Coming Out to Play?
by Mark C. Bach
Last month the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon debuted for the quarter milers, putting out an eye-popping 840 horsepower from a factory issued V8. That topped the fellow Dodge Hellcat pumping out the fabled 707 horses. Chevy now offers the ZL1 Camaro with an impressive 650 ponies. So that begs the question, where is Ford in this horsepower race?
Ford already announced that they were continuing their pony Mustang GT350 for the 2018 model year with no substantial changes. That comes with the 5.2-liter “Voodoo” engine pumping out a now paltry 526 horsepower. That leaves Ford fanatics begging for a Mustang GT500 to come out and play again. The GT500 was last produced in 2013-2014 and came with the 5.8L Trinity motor and a competitive 662 horses.
Recent spy shots of a camouflaged Mustang suggest that a Mustang GT500 could be in the works for 2019 and this started a new round of rumors. If all goes well, here are some guesses on what will be on this model. Of course, the official word from Ford is “no comment”.
Ford has a great power plant in the flat plane crankshaft 5.2 aluminum engine plant. In these horsepower wars, expect maybe twin turbos (like the GT’s) and we might reach 800 horses. And since the GT350 tops out at around 175 mph, shouldn’t the GT500 at least peg the speedometer at 200 mph?
Lots of makers are using magnetic suspension to allow for some slick and quick corner cutters. Ford’s MagneRide adaptive dampers is already stock on the GT350, so expect the same on the big brother. This will allow for a great track and road course handler.
The spy photos show Ford is going to great lengths to hide the wheels. Since the GT350R comes with weight shaving carbon fiber wheels, losing almost 60 pounds of unsprung weight, expect the same offering on the GT500.
So now the question is when will Ford give us a taste of a step up from the GT350? Perhaps in 2018 Detroit at the 2018 North American International Auto Show?