by Patrick Rall
Rumors have been plentiful over the past few months about what we will see under the hood of the 2013 Shelby GT500 when it hits the streets next year, ranging from a new 5.8L V8 to a twin turbocharger setup replacing the supercharger on the current GT500.
However, thanks to the details of the tentative 4-year labor deal between Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers union, we know now that the 2013 GT500 will indeed derive its power from a supercharged 5.8L V8.
While it seems odd that there would be information on the 2013 Shelby GT500 in the fine print of a union labor contract, one of the popular inclusions for the new 4-year deal is investments in US plants to help secure American manufacturing jobs. Those plans to invest in the various Ford facilities include a $50 million dollar cash injection to the Romeo Engine Assembly plant to prepare it to build the new 5.8L supercharged engine that will be used to power the 2013 GT500.
Unfortunately, the only thing that we know about the new 5.8L V8 for the 2013 GT500 is that it will be built at the Romeo Engine plant and from there all that we can do is speculate. Rumors have suggested that the 2013 Shelby GT500 will produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower, allowing it to easily out-muscle the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that rocks the dyno with 580 horsepower.
The current blown 5.4L engine in the GT500 makes 550 horsepower, accounting for a volumetric efficiency of 101 horsepower per liter so the Special Vehicle Team only needs to raise that number to roughly 103hp per liter to break the 600 horsepower barrier. The added engine volume alone should allow Ford to easily make at least best the 580 ponies put out by the GM muscle car but the bragging rights of offering the first ever 600+ horsepower supercar is definitely something that will get the attention of gearheads around the world.
The inclusion of a 600+ horsepower, supercharged 5.8L V8 might be the biggest news surrounding the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 but with the news that the Camaro ZL1 set a scorching muscle car record of 7:41 on Germany’s Nürburgring, it will be interesting to see what Ford and the SVT group does with the handling capacities of the 2013 GT500 to help keep the Mustang on par with the Camaro.
In other Mustang and UAW contract news, Ford has announced that overflow production of the popular Ford Fusion will be held at the Flat Rock Michigan plant currently shared by the Ford Mustang and the Mazda6 sedan. Mazda has plans to pull out of the Flat Rock facility in the coming year which left concerns that the Mustang alone could not keep the plant up and running but with 75,000-125,000 Fusion models being built in Flat Rock – it looks as though the Mustang’s home stable is safe and sound.
Is the world ready for a 600HP Mustang? Head over to the Forum and sound off!