Ford fans have had a bittersweet reception to the Mustang Shelby GT500. While the car is supremely fast, capable and great to drive, the tradeoffs for its incredible performance are two things: no manual transmission, and a wicked high price tag for a muscle car. But, if you really, really wanted a killer combo of 760 supercharged horsepower with a DIY gearbox, there is a solution. Albeit, an unorthodox solution.
VMP Performance is an aftermarket tuning company that specializes in Ford vehicles, specifically Mustangs. While the wide array of performance parts is impressive, we are more intrigued by a project car on their YouTube channel.The Shelby GT500 Predator engine is related to the Coyote engine found in Mustang GT models, which of course have manual transmissions. This means, theoretically, the GT500 engine can be paired with a stick, and that’s just what the team at VMP Performance did.
Here, they have documented the process of dropping a GT500 Predator engine into a manual 2017 Mustang GT. According to VMP, this feat marks the first time a 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 engine has been hooked up to a six-speed manual. Check out the swap process in the video below:
While this isn’t the same as getting a manual Mustang GT500 from the factory, it’s as close as you’re going to get. It’s unclear if they the stock transmission from the Mustang GT has been fortified to handle the Predator engine’s output (the car was already heavily modified). To that end, the engine swap video didn’t include any major transmission modifications. In fact, only a few components had to be changed to get the swap to work, like the cam shafts, and hood design.
Since the swap, there have been many videos on VMP’s channel showing the car running and driving smoothly. They also claim that they didn’t even have to fettle with the ECU much, as the Predator engine is a supercharged and modified Coyote engine. With the right knowledge and skills, it looks like the hardest part of the swap is getting ahold of a Predator V8. So if you have been longing for a manual Mustang GT500, your best bet is to build one yourself, or reach out the VMP to have them do the hard work for you.