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Consumers who bought the New Edge Mustang GT were short-changed in the long run. It’s surprisingly difficult to squeeze a significant amount of power from the 4.6-liter 2v modular V8. This leaves owners with few modification options. Basic bolt ons can maybe get 300 brake horsepower. Aside from that (and a supercharger), the next best option is an engine swap. Here are some (mostly) street legal options that scratch that itch.

2003 Mustang Mach 1 on display in New York
2003 Mustang Mach 1 on display in New York | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

As long as the car is from 2003 or younger, it’s legal to swap in the 4.6-liter Mach 1 engine (in California). It’s a great option, because not only can it make 300 horsepower stock, it has dual overhead camshafts. It has a lot more potential for power than the 4.6 2v. It will require all of the Mach 1 electronics and new headers, but the GT’s transmission should hold up as it’s rated for 360 lb-ft. However, owners have proven it can withstand more than 500 lb-ft of torque.

Lincoln Mark VIII: track only cost-effective power

A much cheaper option than the Mach 1 engine, is to scrounge a V8 from the Lincoln Mark VIII. Ford built this Lincoln from 1993-1998 with a 4.6-liter V8, also using dual overhead camshafts. It’s rated for 290 horsepower, which is about 30 up from the GT, and because it has more valves per cylinder, it has more upgrade potential. Again, it will require the engine harness and any other electronics. As this engine is older than a new edge Mustang, legally this would have to go into a track-only car.

SVT Cobra R: the most powerful and most expensive option

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra perched atop a hill
Ford Mustang SVT Cobra | Ford

An engine from an SVT Cobra is another great option, and since it’s newer than ‘99 it’s street legal. The Cobra engine from 2000-2002 came with a 385 horsepower 5.4-liter V8, and was still naturally aspirated. The Cobra didn’t get a supercharger until the Terminator came out in 2003, which made 390 horsepower but used the 4.6-liter DOHC modular V8. Forced induction comes with its own set of challenges, like cooling and tuning. At the Terminator’s level of power it might be time to consider strengthening the transmission.

Ford F-150 Lightning: cheap, powerful, sometimes illegal engine swap

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning doing a burnout
Ford F-150 SVT Lightning | Ford

A completely illegal (depending on where you are) engine swap is the engine from a Ford F-150 Lightning. It is however significantly cheaper than going the SVT Cobra route, for the same engine. It used a 5.4-liter V8, which had only two valves per cylinder, but was supercharged and intercooled, making 390 horsepower. These engines go for significantly less money than a Cobra or Terminator engine, and although they are only 2v, they have forced induction which opens the door for many power upgrades down the line.

Which option is the best for a New Edge Mustang?

For a street legal option, considering price and the engine design, the Mach 1 engine might be the best swap. It has dual overhead camshafts and makes more power, and is much cheaper than the SVT Cobra engine. It’s also legal to swap into a New Edge Mustang from any year. Also, it might be worth the money and headaches to pay a shop, as an engine swap is anything but “plug and play” in simplicity.


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