One of the segments from a recent Mecum On the Move podcast featured a chat with Ed Krenz, Ford’s chief nameplate engineer for the S650 Mustang. Krenz shared some insight into the development of the fourth generation 5.0L Coyote V8 along with the introduction of the Dark Horse performance variant for the Ford Mustang.
Once the engineering team decided they wanted to keep the S650 Ford Mustang as an ICE vehicle, the next step was to dive into the 5.0L Coyote V8, which they knew they wanted to keep as it’s synonymous with the iconic pony car. When working on upgrading the engine, the team didn’t mess around with any of the components that were “tried and true and fit for purpose.” Krenz stated. The engine block is an excellent example of an element that hasn’t changed for the new engine. Instead, they focused their time and resources on the upper-end components of the engine, such as the breathing and twin 80mm throttle bodies, which are “ducting air symmetrically from both of the nostrils. Which is unique to the GT upper grille.” By making these improvements, Ford wasn’t only able to improve the engine’s performance but also improved its fuel efficiency.
You can listen to the podcast here.
S650 Ford Mustang Dark Horse: Something New
Krenz also discussed the Dark Horse and the decision to make a new performance variant of the S650 Ford Mustang rather than keeping with something that already existed. It was meant to be something unexpected for the arrival of the seventh generation. The name, Dark Horse, represented a car that you didn’t see coming, something that would not only compete, but something that would “compete to win.” as Krenz put it.
The additional power under the hood of the Ford Mustang Dark Horse is obtained with the help of parts from other performance Mustangs, such as the GT500. More specifically, the connecting rod which enabled the engineering team to “push the cylinder pressures that much more.” for the Dark Horse. The vehicle also features the GT350 and Mach 1 Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Lastly, Krenz also touched on how the legendary Vaughn Gittin Jr. helped develop the drift brake for the Ford Mustang GT Performance Package. Which, of course, is intended for off-road use only.