The Shelby GT500 has become one of the most well known performance
cars in the US and a big part of that success is the powerful 5.4L
Supercharged V8. The 2011 Shelby GT500 uses that same 5.4L engine but
for 2011 Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) has designed a new all
aluminum block for their flagship performance car. This new engine
block material allows for a weight reduction of 102lbs compared to the
cast iron engine block used in the 2010 GT500. That weight reduction
helps to improve performance and fuel economy, with the 2011 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500 offering 550 horsepower and 510lb-ft of torque and
an estimated EPA rating of 15mpg around town and 23mpg on the highway.
Even with the 10 horsepower increase over the 2010 GT500, those estimate
economy numbers would allow the 2011 GT500 to be the first to avoid the
pricey government imposed gas guzzler tax.
Ford’s Special Vehicle Team wanted to make sure that this high
performance 5.4L engine could handle the abuse expected to be handed to
Ford’s most powerful car. To achieve this, the aluminum alloy block is
reinforced with structural webbing, a unique bulkhead chilled process
and six-bolt main bearing caps to handle the stress of making 550
horsepower and 510lb-ft of torque.
The 2011 Shelby GT500 comes equipped with a larger two-row
intercooler, allowing for 40% more heat rejection from the engine intake
air. When you compress air with a supercharger, the air heats up and
whenever you add heat to a combustion engine you lose power so cooling
the intake air is one of the key alterations helping to make the extra
weight for 2011.
Finally, the 2011 GT500 5.4L supercharged engine features a high tech
cylinder coating used in place of the typical iron sleeves found in
aluminum engine blocks. A Plasma Transferred Wire Arc (PTWA) cylinder
liners uses air and electricity to create a 35,000 degree plasma jet
which is used to melt a steel wire fed into the opening of the
cylinder. As the steel wires vaporizes and enters the cylinders, it
adheres to the specially prepared engine block walls, oxidizing and
leaving a composite coating of iron and iron oxide. This technique of
sleeving the cylinders offers improved performance and durability over a
cast iron liner while also reducing friction and internet heat. Also,
this “spray on” cylinder sleeve technique cuts about 8.5 pounds compared
to a similar engine using the cast iron cylinder sleeves.
Finally, the 5.4L supercharged engine found in the 2011 Shelby GT500
features a refined oiling system with larger oil drainback channels and
an integrated windage tray to help improve engine oiling under extreme