1 Classic ‘Detroit’ V8 Engine is Actually Built in Canada
The V8 engine is an icon of Detroit. With tightening emissions regulations, its days may be numbered. But in 2023, every one of the Detroit Three is still happy to sell you a pickup truck or muscle car coupe powered by a traditional, naturally-aspirated V8. Here’s the catch: few of them are still built in the U.S.A. The 5.0-liter Ford Coyote V8 engine (and its “Godzilla” big brother), for instance, hails from Canada. Read on to find out where every American V8 is currently built.
Ford’s Canadian Engine Plants
You may already know that Detroit is just north of the Canadian city of Windsor. But you might not know that the Ford Motor Company operates two engine plants just outside of Detroit city limits, in Ontario, Canada.
Ford has operated its Windsor Engine Plant since 1923. The 149-acre facility employs 950 people who currently build the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” V8 engine. The Blue Oval expanded its Canadian production to the nearby Essex Engine Plant in 1981. This 260-acre facility employs 930 people. They build the 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 that Ford offers in both its Mustang coupe and F-150 pickup truck.
Anyone passionate about automotive workers’ rights will be happy to hear that Ford’s Canadian employees are members of the Unifor National labor union.
The 5.0-liter Coyote V8
Back in 2010, Ford was ready to go into production with a new technology called Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT), allowing an engine to adjust its intake and exhaust cam timing independently. Early tests showed it gave naturally-aspirated engines unprecedented versatility. So the automaker sought to consolidate its V8 engines (the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter) into a single efficient and powerful unit.
The 5.0-liter V8 was innovative in more ways than one. Ford engineered it to fit the same footprint as the 4.6-liter V8 by hollowing out the same block. It moved the alternator to the side of the engine and moved the intake plenum between the cylinder banks to reduce the height of the entire unit. Finally, it beefed up the new, thinner block with extensive webbing.
Ford has been building engines in Canada longer than it’s been building V8s. Ford’s Canada plants assembled both the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter. The engine family was called the “modular” series because Ford was pioneering ways to share production techniques across engines, so it didn’t have to do much tweaking to the factory to produce the 5.0 V8 in its Essex plant.
Where are V8 engines built?
While Ford builds its naturally-aspirated V8s in Canada, it still builds its supercharged V8 for SVT vehicles in Romeo, Michigan. Every V8 in a Dodge muscle car or Ram truck currently hails from Mexico. General Motors is the final of the Detroit Three, building most of its production V8s in the U.S.A., although some of this production has moved abroad.
See where all of the remaining V8s are built in the table below:
|5.7-liter Hemi V8
|6.4-liter Hemi V8
|6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8
|5.0-liter Coyote V8
|7.3-liter Godzilla V8
|5.2-liter supercharged Predator V8
|5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 (L83)
|Tonawanda, New York/Silao, Mexico
|6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 (L87)
|Tonawanda, New York /Silao, Mexico
|6.2-liter V8 (LT1)
|Tonawanda, New York
|5.5-liter Corvete V8 (LT6)
|Bowling Green, Kentucky
|6.2-liter supercharged V8 (LT4)
|Tonawanda, New York/Bowling Green, Kentucky/Silao, Mexico
|6.0-liter Vortec V8 (LC8/L96)
Next, read about the one full-size ‘American’ pickup truck still built in the U.S.A. or see how Ford’s V8 is built in the National Geographic video below: