Ford Mustang May Pack Pushrod Power from 2020 Super Duty

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2020 Ford Super Duty 7.3-Liter V8

New 7.3-liter Super Duty engine could bring about the return of the big block Ford Mustang—but it’s a long shot.

When Ford introduced the 2020 Super Duty, the biggest change compared to the current models is the availability of an all-new 7.3-liter gasoline V8. Unlike all of Ford’s other V8 engines over the past 20 years or so, this new mill has pushrods rather than an overhead camshaft design and with this old school engine technology, the Motor Company expects to have the most powerful gasoline engine in the heavy duty segment. However, this engine could have other applications in the future, including the F-150 and even the Mustang.

While speaking with Ford spokesman Mike Levine, Motor Authority learned that the new 7.3-liter V8 will fit in the engine bay of the current F-150 and the S550 Mustang. It was pointed out that this new engine has an iron block, so it is too heavy for the pony car, but with a lightweight engine block, this new Super Duty engine could lead to the biggest V8 that ever powered the mighty Mustang.

2020 Ford F-450

Biggest Mustang Engine Ever

The biggest engine ever offered from the factory in a Ford Mustang was the 429-cubic inch, 7.0-liter Cobra Jet V8 that was discontinued after the 1971 model year. There was also a 428-cubic inch Cobra Jet engine, but since 1971, the biggest Mustang engines have been a few different 5.8-liter mills, with the 2014 GT500 being the last model to come with an engine that big.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Front

Of course, the volume V8 engines in the Mustang dating back to the 1980s has been either a 4.6- or 5.0-liter V8, but if Ford adapts the new Super Duty 7.3-liter engine to make sense in the pony car, it will be the biggest engine to ever grace the model’s lineup.

7.3-Liter Power

Unfortunately, we don’t know how much power the 7.3-liter V8 will offer in the 2020 Super Duty, but we know that Ford has promised that it will be the most powerful gasoline engine in the segment, topping the 6.4-liter Hemi in the Ram lineup. That V8 delivers 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque and with the current Ford 6.2-liter Super Duty engine offering 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, the Motor Company should have no problems beating Ram’s numbers with all of that displacement.

2020 Ford F-250

Now, say that the Super Duty 7.3-liter V8 offers similar volumetric efficiency to the 6.2. That would lead to numbers of roughly 455 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Based on the 6.2-liter V8 that was used in the previous generation of the Raptor, an F-150 variant of the 7.3-liter mill would offer lots more horsepower and a touch more torque. Figures of 500 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque seem realistic for an F-150 version of the 7.3 and if you look at the comparison of the 5.-liter engine in the Mustang GT and the F-150, there is a similar jump to that seen between the two 6.2-liter truck engines.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The F-150 6.2-liter V8 is tuned to offer a bit more power on the top end compared to the Super Duty version, which offers more working ability with a flatter torque curve and earlier peak torque. The same is true of the 5.0-liter engines, with the Mustang GT engine being tuned to make big power on the top end while, by comparison, the  F-150 5.0 is tuned to make ideal power for pulling a heavy load. With this in mind, an F-150 7.3-liter engine with 500 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque that has been modified similarly to the 5.0-liter V8 could see horsepower climb up around 500 while torque would likely settle into the area of 500 lb-ft.

Need for Green Ford Mustang GT

The only downside to this idea is that a naturally aspirated, 7.3-liter Mustang engine would be horribly inefficient in terms of fuel economy, but if Ford made this engine part of some low-production package, it would give buyers the chance to score the closest thing to a modern big block Mustang that we will ever see.

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Longtime auto journalist Patrick Rall contributes to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Rennlist, Club Lexus, F-150 Online, and YotaTech.

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