It’s all about better breathing, and it results here, says Ford, in the most powerful naturally aspirated engine the company has ever produced. The carmaker hasn’t yet released final output ratings, but it does tell us to expect more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Hell. Yes. For comparison, the Boss 302 made 444 horses and 380 lb-ft from a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8, and the new Mustang GT gets 435 and 400 from its updated five-oh.
If there’s anything flat-crank engines are known for beyond big revs and a bunch of power, it’s their unique sound. On this point, Ford promises we won’t be disappointed: “Make no mistake, this is an American interpretation of a flat-plane crankshaft V-8, and the 5.2-liter produces a distinctive, throaty howl.” Happily—very, very happily—the engine can be paired only with a six-speed manual. Output is then routed to a standard-equipment Torsen limited-slip differential; a diff cooler can be ordered, and it feeds on airflow directed from the rear diffuser.