The Ford Mustang almost got a V-10 based on a truck engine

The Ford Mustang has never had an engine with more than eight cylinders, but in the early 2000s, Ford considered upping the cylinder count. Engineers briefly worked on an aluminum V-10 for the Mustang, according to a recent DrivingLine report.

The Mustang V-10 would have been based on the 6.8-liter Triton V-10, used in the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and Excursion SUV at the time, as well as E-Series vans and buses.

The Triton engine was an outgrowth of Ford’s modular line of V-8 engines; it was effectively a 5.4-liter V-8 with two cylinders added on. To create the Mustang V-10, engineers at Ford’s Powertrain Research and Advanced Engine Development group took the same approach, but with the smaller 4.6-liter V-8. This resulted in a 5.8-liter V-10 that was easier to package under the hood of a Mustang.

In addition to its smaller displacement and aluminum construction, the experimental V-10 featured quad cams from the Mustang SVT Cobra R, a short-stroke design, and a pair of ECUs to run the fuel injection and ignition. Ford reportedly didn’t have a single unit available that could handle 10 cylinders and the odd-fire crankshaft used for this engine.

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

Executives were impressed by early test results, which is why you saw so many V-10-powered Ford concept cars in the early 2000s.

The top brass commissioned a 605-horsepower, 7.0-liter version for the Ford 427 sedan concept, while a 6.4-liter version powered the Shelby GR-1 concept, and a hydrogen-fueled version appeared in the Ford F-250 Super Chief concept.

The development team also pushed for the V-10 to be used in the 2005 Ford GT—reportedly with support from Carroll Shelby and then-Special Vehicle Team (SVT) boss John Coletti. However, the GT got a supercharged aluminum-block 5.4-liter V-8 due to cost considerations. Ford also scrapped the 427—the only one of the V-10-powered concepts with a chance of production—for the same reason.

Needless to say, the V-10 never found its way under the hood of a production Mustang either. However, the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 in today’s Shelby GT500 makes 760 hp—more than even the 7.0-liter version of the experimental V-10 engine.

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