A detailed look at the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R’s Voodoo V8 engine

2020 was not the best year as governments, societies and businesses around the world were suddenly overwhelmed by a new pandemic for which they were unprepared. As if the saying “when it rains, it rains”, the same year marked the end of what is arguably the best thing since Carroll Shelby – the Mustang GT350 and its track-oriented GT350R muscle cars.

Either way, the world rebounded from the crippling coronavirus as Mustang fans found solace in the upcoming 760-hp limited-production Shelby GT500 voted as the most powerful on the road. Ford car ever. In fact, the rumor that the Blue Oval did away with pony cars to divert market attention to the GT500 couldn’t have been far-fetched.

But the Voodoo engine that powered the GT350 and 350R will never be forgotten. The 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 revs faster and higher despite the fact that the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 of the big brother GT500 (aptly called Predator) generates more power than even the track-oriented GT350R (526 horsepower ). Let’s examine voodoo.

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Detailed look at the 5.2-liter Voodoo engine

Terms like ‘Predator’, ‘Coyote’ and ‘Voodoo’ sound sinister, which is obviously an impression Blue Oval hoped to convey by naming its performance engines using intimidating terms that suggest sorcery and another’s power. world. But it certainly didn’t take magic for the Voodoo V8 to receive Ward’s 10 Best Engines of 2016 award.

Ford’s Voodoo engine is a 5.2 liter (315 cu in/5.163 cc) evolution of the Coyote engine and a member of the brand’s modular engines, which the automaker produced from 1990. Ford developed the Voodoo specifically for its latest iteration of the Shelby GT350. The mill is hand-built at the brand’s Romeo factory on the Niche line, just like the automaker’s performance engines. However, the Voodoo stands out with its flat-flap crankshaft design.

Developed on the 5.0-liter Coyote engine, the Voodoo V8 featured an increased bore and stroke of 3.63 inches and a cylinder stroke of 3.65 inches to 370 and 3.66; and a high compression ratio of 11.0:1 to 12.0:1. Redlining at 8,250 rpm, the Voodoo could generate 526 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 429 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm.

Remembering the Voodoo-Powered Shelby GT350R

It was instant love at first sight for the American muscle car community when Blue Oval launched the 6th generation Mustang GT350R in 2016. Of course, the Voodoo engine was ready the year before, specially prepared for the Shelby GT350 and later the GT350R. It’s almost impossible not to be charmed by the car; if the bold, aggressive styling and blood red color aren’t for you, the 5.2-liter flat-crank V8 certainly will.

You’ll never get used to watching the Mustang lift its chin under hard acceleration, thanks to the available 526 horsepower delivered to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. Cars receive official awards all the time, but Mustangs reputation on the street and on the track is the real source of its legendary reputation. If the GT350 has to go, it has to do it with a bang. We’d expect nothing less from Ford – and that’s exactly what the Blue Oval has done in 2020, encapsulating everything that can be improved about the GT350 over its four-year run into a final, race-focused GT350R. Track.

Ford would be crazy to mess with the wide wheel arches and chunky grille, so it left them alone and focused more on updating interior tech like FordPass Connect. The absence of a rear seat in the track-oriented GT350R is a given. But even the road-going Shelby GT350 Mustang isn’t a shy pony either.

Throw it on the track if you have the stomach to keep pushing past 4000rpm all the way to the 8250rpm redline produced by the Voodoo V8, and reward yourself and the watchers with a band- breathtaking sound unique to the Shelby. The Voodoo could propel the GT350R from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, the quarter mile in 12 seconds and 120 mph. With an MSRP tag of $74,630 around its neck, the final Shelby GT350R cost around $5,000 more than its previous iteration.

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The Ford Mustang Voodoo V8 engine in detail

Ford’s Voodoo engine is a naturally aspirated DOHC (double overhead camshaft) V8 mill that belongs to the automaker’s Modular engine family. Although Voodoo shares many components with its larger 5.2-liter Predator sibling, the Voodoo’s flat-plane crankshaft, as opposed to cross-plane cranks, is a primary differentiator between the two.

The flatbed design allows the Voodoo to weigh less and spin faster and higher than the Predator because it requires less counterweight. The Voodoo’s crankshaft setup is also responsible for sending that unique high-pitched whine we mentioned earlier through the exhaust pipes. It mirrors the crankshaft and soundtrack of high-end sports cars like a Ferrari.

Ford’s Voodoo was the largest production flat-crank V8 engine until GM came along this year with its 5.5-liter Chevy LT6-based small-block engine. It really stands out from the Voodoo among other American V8 engines. Apparently Ford bought a Ferrari California to use as a sounding board for the development of the Voodoo.


The Type F149 Ferrari California was a high-performance grand tourer originally powered by a front-mounted 4.3-litre V8 that delivered power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. Ford summoned the California because it was the only other front-engined flat-plane crank V8 car in production at the time.

Notably, the flat-plane crankshaft setup isn’t perfect as the rotation can get a little out of balance at some point, leading to noticeable jerking and vibration, but that shouldn’t be a problem as the need for speed the trumps creature comforts for gearheads.

While using California as a benchmark, the Voodoo featured a unique Up-Down-Up-Down crankpin configuration that deviated from the typical Up-Down-Down-Up configuration of inline-4s and other flat-plane V8 engines. . As a result, the Voodoo delivered a single fire order of 1-5-4-8-3-7-2-6. Voodoo valvetrain components such as lash adjusters, timing chains and VCT mechanisms have been further improved for the track-focused Shelby GT350R.


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