• Check Out How Ford Builds the 2020 Shelby GT500’s Engine in AMG Fashion

Ford is pulling off the “one man - one engine” creed for the Shelby GT500’s monster powerplant

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We all know and love Mercedes-AMG. It is home to some of the world’s most powerful and vocal engines, including those V-12s Mr. Horacio Pagani uses inside his boutique supercars. That sort of high-quality levels and confidence received from fellow carmakers and customers, however, is due to a sanctified concept we know as “one man - one engine.”

In other words, only one technician is tasked with the assembly of a particular engine within AMG. Not two, not three, not a team. Just one. In fact, Affalterbach is so strict about it, that if the engine is not completed during a shift, it will have to wait until the next day, for the same technician to come to work and resume the assembly process.

Ford, on the other hand, seems to have learned its lesson and as a result, decided it should do the same for the V-8 that goes inside the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. And for the first time ever, we can show you a video that documents that build process.

Ford assembles the Predator V-8 at its Romeo Engine Plant, on the so-called Niche Line

As you start watching the video above, please do your best to ignore the annoying soundtrack. We can’t think for a good reason why it should be there instead of all those ear-soothing sounds made by the machinery that makes the Niche Line, but it is what it is.

Now, coming back to the topic at hand, you’ll want to know that the so-called Niche Line was created in 1996. Back then, its purpose was to host the assembly processes of Ford’s four-valve 4.6-liter V-8 that powered the Mustang Cobra. Today, it’s where the Blue Oval builds its top-shelf V-8 engines, according to Hot Rod. More importantly, it’s where the 5.2-liter Predator V-8 found inside the 2020 Shelby GT500 comes to life. Here, a skilled builder can fully assemble the supercharged mill in less than 210 minutes.

Check Out How Ford Builds the 2020 Shelby GT500's Engine in AMG Fashion
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The same source tells us that Ford now uses just one builder who takes care of just one engine.

Pretty much like Mercedes-AMG’s creed we mentioned earlier. However, it’s also important to mention that the builder gets all sorts of assistance and support from other colleagues, who will rotate throughout the week. This new change in how things are done has also prompted Ford to upgrade the Niche Line in terms of technology - the newcomers were a revamped human-machine interface, new barcode scanners, and “state-of-the-art rundown tools.”

Ford’s 5.2-liter Predator engine is the mother and father of all supercharged V-8s

Check Out How Ford Builds the 2020 Shelby GT500's Engine in AMG Fashion
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The hand-built double-overhead-cam engine makes 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque with the aid of a 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger and an air-to-liquid intercooler mounted in the valley created by the V-8’s cylinder banks. It packs the same aluminum block, bore, and stroke as the Shelby GT350, but its cooling capacity has been drastically improved with no less than six heat exchangers hidden behind the front grille. A cross-plane crank was also added to handle the higher horsepower count, while the hood features a carved-in vent that measures 31 by 28 inches.

Check Out How Ford Builds the 2020 Shelby GT500's Engine in AMG Fashion
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Inside the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, the powerplant is twinned to a Tremec TR-9070 seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Ford says it is capable of shifting gears smoothly in less than 100 milliseconds. The gearbox is also designed to support five pre-set driving modes that alter the V-8’s response accordingly: Normal, Slippery, Sport, Drag, and Track. Line-lock is also present together with the rpm-selectable launch control feature. Ford is backing these claims up with some figures, as it specifies that the 2020 Shelby GT500 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds while it delivers sub-11-second quarter-mile runs.

Ford Predator V-8 Engine Specs

Displacement 5.2 liters
Output 760 horsepower
Torque 625 pound-feet
Supercharger Eaton, 2.65 liters
Gearbox Tremec TR-9070, seven-speed, dual clutch
0-60 mph 3.5 seconds (est.)
1/4 mile under 11 seconds
Top speed 186 mph (est.)

Further reading

First 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Sold For $1.1 Million
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First 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 sells for $1.1 million

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 vs 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Redeye
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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

2020 Ford Mustang Shleby GT500 vs 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 vs. 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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