The new GT350 and GT350R are currently roaming the streets, but big brother is still coming – and a debut is just around the corner. Ford Performance is hard at work on the new GT500, according to fresh reports from Detroit. The powerplant could produce “well over the 700HP mark”, all while “breathing through a straw”. Take it for what it’s worth, but we perceive that as a hint towards Forced Induction (low boost from the factory?). We are also hearing that Ford is working ‘very hard’ on Direct-Injection for this new powerplant. Could we see Ford’s first production 5.0 EcoBoost make it’s debut in the 2018 GT500? After all, that’s what the people want. And it’s no secret that Ford has been testing a 5.0 Twin Turbo development mule as recently as a few months ago.
Regardless, we expect this new beast to depart from the highly-discussed Flat Plane Crank 5.2L GT350 motor. Traditionally, the GT350 (and GT350R) has always been aimed towards track use, while the GT500 is more of an earth-rotating, straight line, freeway runner. As far as power delivery, as you all know, the Hellcat is producing just north of 700HP, so we would be shocked if Ford doesn’t take it one step further. If this new behemoth will be a forced induction car, than we can safely assume that Ford will stick with the traditional lobe crankshaft, or at least depart from the 5.2L GT350 platform. The new GT350 if a high compression car, so running boost through it would require quite significant changes.
Another topic worthy of discussion is weight savings. We all know Ford has recently invested heavily in Aluminum materials and tooling, primarily for the new F-150 line – but Ford Performance has also added a heavy dose of weight savings to the new GT350 and GT350R in terms of carbon forged plastic, carbon fiber wheels and aluminum fenders. Could we see a new GT500 with more extreme use of aluminum and carbon fiber? Could we see this car come in at 700+HP and weigh less than 3,600 lbs from the factory? When can we expect some hard info on this new Ford Performance Halo car? Time will tell, but our sources seem to believe that this car will be released 2018 model year, so we expect a preview in the Summer of 2016, if not sooner. It’s also interesting to note that Ford has already claimed that there will be “12 New, High Performance Vehicles announced”. You can mark the SVT Raptor, Focus RS, GT350 and GT350R off that list – so Ford still has a few more tricks up their sleeve. Stay tuned for more 2018 GT500 news.