Since the biggest enthusiast news in January was the new Ford engine, and since there isn’t any real news to be had about suspensions ;-) we’ll mention a 19-page article in the March 5.0 Mustang magazine. This article presents the new Ford “Coyote” engine in great detail, with numerous sidebars and photographs. You won’t find anywhere near this level of technical detail anywhere else.
Anyone considering this engine in the 2011 Mustang or F-150, or upcoming refreshed Ford Falcon, should buy a copy of this magazine. You’ll read it several times, and save it for posterity. Australian readers, find somebody to buy you a copy or get it scanned it in high resolution.
The article was of course written a couple of months ago, and given the mindset of the author the claim was made that this engine was developed solely for the Mustang. That of course is not at all true (nor economically feasible): it’s well known (and spy photographers have shown it under the hood of the F-150) that this engine will also be found in the F-150 and Falcon. The F-150 placement wasn’t announced when the article was written, so as a nod to this fact you’ll notice that the picture of the engine on the Ford dyno stand is actually the F-150 version (notice the very high angle on the throttle body).
The article is full of promising news and facts. If there is a downside, it’s that the rods are obviously too small and that the engine oil temperatures are a problem. Anybody with a supercharger installation who hasn’t gone inside the engine (such as the absurd rip-off Shelby GT-350), will have problems if the car is used for anything other than driving to car shows or squirting across intersections. Which is exactly what the majority wil lbe used for.
The good news is that the block is far stronger than presently needed, and that the engine was designed for EcoBoosting in the future – although it may be a supercharger and not twin-turbos in this case. There is the usual excuse for lack of Direct Injection, but it’s also said that it’s just a matter of time. That is a very good thing.
And overall this engine is a very good thing, and certainly long overdue. Ford has been experimenting with upgrades to the modular engine family almost since it came out. First with experimental 9000-RPM screamer (detailed in a very interesting SAE paper) with a valvetrain and valve placement designed to get around the narrow bores. Then with a 5-valve 380HP variant with cylinder heads courtesy of Yamaha and variable intake cam timing. Two of those engines were built: one was installed in the SVT Tremor prototype where it met an early death on Ford’s Dearborn test track due to oil starvation. This engine was never seen or detailed, with the exception of one lone photo from the top showing a Mark-VIII type intake manifold and nothing else indicative of function. Since then Ford has been focused on breathing with the Cobra-R cylinder heads and then the new heads for late lamented S197 Cobra (watered down to the “GT500”) as well as the 3-valve heads for the Mustang GT and Explorer. So now, 18 years after the delivery of the first 4-valve Modular, the evolution of the Mod Motor has finally taken the next step.