In what is likely to have been the best promoted secret in recent Ford history, a thoroughly modern V8 engine debuted recently at the North American International Auto Show. Through the past 2 years, politicians, Ford and union executives alike have been talking about the return of the 5.0-liter engine as though it was the resurrection itself. Yes, the memories are fond, but the details - cast in a modern light - are remarkably different.

Nestled between the strut towers of a 2011 Mustang GT in Detroit's Cobo Hall, the new V8 appears at first glance to be little more than a few pieces of snap together plastic bearing a traditional 5.0 emblem at the front. Truly, the beauty here is more than skin deep. Beneath the composite plastic intake manifold and cam covers, the engine - code named Coyote - is a clean sheet design, sharing its heritage but little else with Ford's past modular motors. In fact, this aluminum block, double overhead cam design shares nothing with the Mustang's previous 4.6-liter, V8 engine, save a few common fasteners.

In production form, the modern 5.0-liter will deliver 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque. At the same time, fuel economy is expected to be better than the previous model. Though we may get a little used to hearing such numbers these days, the last 4.6-liter modular motor to come close was the supercharged, Terminator engine in the 2003-04 SVT Cobra. So, where's the blower?

Photos courtesy of Ford Media

Remember that clean sheet we mentioned earlier? That's where the development team started and took the time to focus on a number of engine fundamentals. Among these were volumetric efficiency, thermal efficiency and parasitic loss. When you are dealing with a new design, it should be clear that the best way to make power is to stop losing it. One of the fastest ways to do this is by increasing volumetric efficiency - that's the amount of fresh air that is drawn into the cylinder during the intake stroke. An average number here – about 73% - means that your 5.0-liter engine is putting power out like a 3650 cc mill.

Particular attention was paid to the cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds. The valve train design was optimized to allow maximum flow into the cylinders, while cooling and strength could not be compromised. Part of the power this engine puts out comes from running an 11:1 compression ratio, which places additional demands on the motor’s structural components. Larger bolts keep the cylinder heads in place and several measures are used in the aluminum block to keep reliability at world class level. Among these are a 4-bolt main bearing setup, wider bearing lands and additional ribbing, both internal and external, for extra strength.

Beyond these rather conventional technologies, the 5.0-liter V8 debuts its share of starship magic, in the form of Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing. Separate control of the intake and exhaust cams provides maximum fuel economy at part-throttle, while delivering optimized power in full-throttle situations. An added benefit is improved drivability and responsiveness across the torque curve. Variable cam timing first saw the light of day in the 3-valve version of the 4.6 Mustang engine for the 2005 model year.

These engines used the output from a high pressure oil pump as the means to move cam timing around. The current motor uses a combination of lower oil pressure and camshaft torque to actuate the needed pieces. Camshaft torque energy provides faster throttle response and maximizes use of existing energy, to improve fuel economy through reduction of parasitic losses. With similar objectives, the new engine’s oil pan gasket incorporates an integral windage tray. That gasket seals a baffled, deep sump oil pan that can help make track days significantly less worrisome to the sportsman, or improve the normal use oil change interval to 10,000 miles.

Todd Brewer worked as cylinder head technical expert for the Coyote program. “We are all very proud of the 5.0-liter V-8,” he said. “It’s the opportunity for the team to deliver a world-class engine in terms of specific output – more than 80 horsepower per liter – and improved fuel economy, while employing implementation-ready approaches and technologies. It’s a high-volume, affordable engine that can compete with much more expensive and exotic engines.”

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	50-2.jpg
Views:	N/A
Size:	19.3 KB
ID:	3025  Click image for larger version

Name:	5LITERTECH.jpg
Views:	N/A
Size:	74.3 KB
ID:	3024  

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: