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Levi
08-24-2006, 12:45 PM
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Source: New "Niche" Engine Coming For 2008/2009 Mach1 or Bullitt Mustang; GT350 Precursor
By Lane, Robert
Published: August 23, 2006
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(Dearborn, Michigan) StangsUnleashed.com – Sources familiar with Ford’s future engine product development program told StangsUnleashed that Ford is working on a 4.6L “niche” engine that could possibly appear in a special high-performance version of the 2008 or 2009 Ford Mustang. A niche engine is often referred to as a limited production high performance engine, such as those found in SVT Cobra Mustangs or Mustang feature cars like the Mach1.

The current Mustang’s 4.6L engine can be found in the GT and packs 300 horsepower. It also powers two Shelby models: the GT-H “Rent-A-Racer” and the upcoming 2007 Shelby GT. Both Shelby models are modified and produce 325 horsepower.

According to sources, the upcoming 4.6L niche engine has bigger aspirations for the Mustang though.

After the discontinuation of the “Terminator” SVT Cobra Mustang’s 4.6L DOHC engine, Team Mustang was largely left without a niche engine base. Up until now, they have not felt the absence of one for two reasons. First, the GT500’s 5.4L 500 horsepower engine has filled the Terminator’s shoes exceptionally well. Second, there hasn’t been a need for a 4.6L niche engine since Team Mustang has not introduced a feature performance car like the Mach1 or Bullitt Mustang. The 2007 California GT/CS Mustang uses the Mustang GT engine.

But Ford has big plans for the future of the Mustang and they are developing rapidly under their vigorous “Bold Moves” program. The Mustang’s future plans call for more Mustang feature cars to be developed to keep enthusiasts happy - and happy Mustang customers keep cash registers ringing. Ford spokesman, Alan Hall, told StangsUnleashed that the current Mustang “simply lends itself to unique packages, such as the Pony and CS models. . .I would expect more in the future.”

Pistol Packin Stallion
Both Dodge and Chevy announced that they will bring their Challenger and Camaro muscle cars back to market – close to the same time that we think Ford will release a feature car. Speculation has focused on either a Mach1 or a Bullitt, and while we can’t say for certain which one Ford will bring back, either one is a welcomed addition to the stable.

A feature high-performance Mustang will help Ford bridge the performance and price gap between the Mustang GT and the 2007 Shelby GT500 - something that both Ford and Shelby would like to accomplish. Moreover, a 4.6L niche engine could even possibly be the basis for a future Shelby GT350 model. StangsUnleashed asked Shelby Autos President, Amy Boylan about the possibility of a future GT350. She said that they have studied reviving the GT350 nameplate, however, it is still very much a concept idea. Interestingly, she recently posted on TheMustangSource that the Shelby GT can be ordered with an optional factory installed (by Shelby) supercharger. A 2007 factory supercharged Shelby GT? Spin your Pet Sounds CD – If Shelby can do that, wouldn’t it be nice if they dropped a hot 4.6L DOHC niche engine into a road ready S197 GT350? That might just happen, and it's another reason why a 4.6L niche engine is needed. The current lack of a suitable 4.6L DOHC engine might also help explain why there has not been talk about a GT350 yet either.

So, what does this 4.6L niche engine entail? We cannot get into specifics, however, prototypes have an aluminum block paired with GT “40” varient cylinder heads topped with special valve covers and a unique intake manifold. We first reported on 08 December 2005 that Ford was testing such an engine in GT500s.

Ford bold moves? You bet!

John Chingasos
08-24-2006, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the update STAN

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