Ford Chief Engineer on new 5.0L Mustang modifications
The news of the new 412hp 5.0L V8 found in the 2011 Mustang V8 has been all over the automotive world and in talking to Mustang enthusiasts I have heard a popular concern. The 5.0L V8 offers 412 horsepower and 390lb-ft of torque without the aid of any forced induction and there is a concern that the stock parts are so high quality that simple modifications won't have mustang impact on performance. This morning I spoke with Mike Harrison, the Chief Engineer of the new 5.0L and 6.2L V8 engines from Ford, and I asked him if this concern was valid.
Harrison told me that the amount of development put into the new 5.0 resulted in a motor with a better intake and exhaust flow than any of the Mustang's previous motors. He said that because the stock intake and exhaust system provides so much flow, typical aftermarket exhaust systems and cold air intakes will likely add less power than in previous models. However, he went on to point out that even though those items may have less impact than say, the outgoing 4.6L V8, there IS room for improvement. During product testing they found that the best flowing intake and exhaust systems did provide more power but they also provided more noise than Ford wanted to offer in a stock Mustang GT. Mr. Harrison also pointed out that the stock tubular exhaust manifolds do away with the need to buy aftermarket headers but again he pointed out the concerns about noise compared to power.
Simply put, the intake and exhaust system on the 2011 5.0L Mustang GT is higher performing than any stock setup offered previously from Ford. However, the absolute best flowing exhaust systems, headers, and intake setups are also the noisiest and testing found that those items were too noisy for a stock vehicle. The good news is that minor modifications like a cat-back system or cold air intake kit will still add some power - just not as much as in prior generations.
On another note, Mike Harrison also stated that a twin turbocharged 5.0L was not in the works for the GT500 in the next few years. A connection from Ford Motor Company previously indicated that by the year 2013 we would see a 5.0L TT GT500 but Mr. Harrison said that the size of the 5.0 in the engine bay wouldn't allow for turbo fitment. I still wouldn't be surprised to see that change in the coming years but for the time being, the answer is no.
Click here to view the original article with pictures of the new 5.0 and images of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show Mustang display as it is being set up.