Times are strange right now if you are a fan of traditional performance cars. While we’ve never had so many capable and exciting offerings to choose from, it’s hard to ignore the dark cloud that is looming. By that of course we mean the proliferation of electric vehicles, which automakers are embracing almost unanimously at this point. Vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach-E have left some muscle car fans concerned that their V8-powered vehicles are not long for this world. This has only been bolstered by the fact that automakers like Ford and GM have set timelines for when they plan to sell exclusively EVs at home and abroad. Thankfully for all of us, Autoweek took an opportunity to sit down with Ford Performance chief program engineer Carl Widmann to discuss his expectations for the Coyote V8 engine moving forward. Spoiler alert: the 5.0L isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Ford Mustang: The Coyote V8 Will Keep Howling
Prior to taking on his current role at Ford Performance, Widmann served as the chief engineer for the Mustang. As a result, it is fair to say that he knows a thing or two about the iconic pony car. In the interview with Autoweek, Widmann discussed a variety of Ford Mustang products, ranging from the base-level EcoBoost on up to the range-topping GT500 model. Crucially however, Widmann shared his views on the internal combustion engine as it relates to the future of the sports car:
“There’s still a tremendous amount of bandwidth,” said Widmann. “The 2.3-liter EcoBoost we have makes as much power as we used to have in the V8s. On the other end we still sell a tremendous amount of V8 Mustangs on summer tires. I don’t think the gas engine has met its day in the near term, there are still a lot of fans of it.”
A Mustang For All Buyers
To that end, Windmann would talk about how proud Ford is of the current Mach 1 offering, and the performance the company has eked out of the 5.0L Coyote V8. With 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque on tape, the naturally-aspirated V8 isn’t far off of the output of previous iterations of the supercharged Shelby GT500. He also noted that fans shouldn’t be super concerned about the presence of the Mustang Mach-E, as it serves to allow more people to go home with the Ford Mustang that works for them.
Now we know that Ford has plans to sell only electric vehicles in Europe by 2030. As the industry continues to be based around global products, this could have a tangible impact on the market in the United States. Regardless, we still will have some time with these V8-powered Ford Mustang models before that really becomes a concern. What that really means however is that we have to actually put our money where our mouths are and continuing buying these vehicles if we want them to stick around.