In a time period where politicians threaten the end of American car culture as we know it, rumors of a 6.8L V8 engine coming down the pipeline seem a bit… of a surprise, to be sure. But a welcome one! What’s going on, exactly? Ford and Canadian auto worker union Unifor just agreed to a new labor agreement. Following the deal, Jerry Dias (the president of Unifor) spoke directly of a new 6.8L V8 engine that will built in Windsor. And according to Dias, this engine will be used in variants of the Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang, per the Windsor Star. Is this the return of the Ford Windsor V8? Signs point to yes.
The new labor agreement between Ford Motor Company and Unifor consists of $1.8 billion CAD to retool and build new battery electric crossover utility vehicles in its Oakville, Ontario plant, where the the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus are currently built. Another $148 million for Windsor powertrain facilities, where Ford will build “new 6.X L engines” at the the Windsor Engine Plant. It also secures future 5.0L Coyote V8 engine assembly and current component machining to the Essex Engine plant, along with any of its derivatives.
However, Ford Motor Company is refraining from confirming/denying any of it. According to remarks sent to Motor1, it’s all “speculation.” But as we’ve seen time and again, these union labor agreements are rather accurate crystal balls into an automaker’s future product plans. For example, in regards to Ford specifically, it was a recent UAW labor agreement that confirmed the death of the Bullitt Mustang by 2021, making way for the Mach 1 coming springtime of next year.
Will this big new V8 be related to the Godzilla V8 engine in the Ford Super Duty? Considering the 7.3L Godzilla engine is currently built at the Windsor engine plant, this new V8 leaked by Unifor is likely to be a relative of the burly OHV pushrod V8 truck engine, which has a cast iron block. Ford engineers have told MC&T point blank that the Godzilla V8 will not find itself in the Mustang anytime soon. But that specific answer seemed to not pertain to variations of it.
That said, we have no reason to believe that the S550 generation will see a 415 cubic-inch engine before it rides off into the sunset by 2022. The S650 Ford Mustang, however, is a different story.
Details on the S650 Ford Mustang remain scarce at this time. Just that it’s expected by 2022. Additionally, electrification involved, and perhaps all-wheel-drive also. What’s more, it could also be around until 2030. Despite the electrification push from Ford in regards to its future product portfolio, this big V8 could represent the other side of the Mustang family.
As we’ve seen with the duality of the zero-emission Mustang Mach-E, and the fire-spitting 760 hp Mustang GT500, Ford could simply hedge and offset a high-displacement, Boss 429-esque Mustang muscle car with more compliance-oriented derivatives. The same goes for the new, fourteenth-generation Ford F-150, as it launches with a hybrid model, and an upcoming electric version.
All that being said, both the Mustang and the F-150 seem to have a rather complete engine lineup as it is. A 6.8L V8 engine is certainly an exciting proposition, though how Ford would make room for this high-displacement motor remains to be known. Some speculate the Coyote V8 could be bowing out, but with with the labor agreement securing the engine production at the Essex plant, that doesn’t seem to be the most immediate strategy.
Stay tuned to MC&T as follow this story closely.