Skip to main content

When Carroll Shelby first got his hands on the Ford Mustang, he turned it into a performance-oriented take on an everyday car. The result of his team’s efforts was the legendary GT350, which used a modified version of the Ford 289 cubic inch V8. Since then, Shelby American has had an impressive tenure turning Ford Mustangs into some of the baddest muscle cars in the world. The latest Shelby Mustangs are the most powerful yet, but how did they get there? Ford and Shelby built the Predator engine to put the newest GT500s over the top. 

What is the Ford Predator engine?

Shelby Mustang: What Is a Predator engine?
Ford Predator engine | Ford

The Predator is a range-topping supercharged 5.2L V8 engine featured in the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s. With names like the Coyote and Voodoo, the Mustang was already packing some sinister engine names. However, engineers needed a seriously cool moniker for the rebirth of the top-of-the-line Shelby. Enter the Predator.

The engine is a 5.2L V8 with a mad 2.65-liter supercharger forcing mass quantities of air into the combustion process. You read that right; the supercharger on the Predator engine is larger than the engines in most sensible European hatchbacks. Unlike the Coyote and Voodoo engines, the Predator uses forced induction to generate more horsepower. The result of that incredible formula is 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, making the Predator one of the most powerful V8 engines ever produced. 

Which Shelby cars come with the supercharged 5.2L Ford V8?

Shelby Mustang: What Is a Predator to the GT500?
The Shelby GT500 requires a lot of cooling power | Ford

The only cars in the Ford lineup to tame the savage power of the Predator are the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and its variations like the GT500KR. The vehicles are track-focused variations of the Mustang, much like the first GT350 and 1967 GT500. However, in the case of the latest GT500, the Predator and its track tuning will propel the car to 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds. 

Can you buy a crate Predator engine? 

Streetcar builders rejoice; you can buy a crate Predator engine. According to MotorTrend, builders can buy the package deal directly from Ford Performance. Interestingly enough, the crate is a replacement engine, although it is a terrific prospect to think of a first-generation fastback Mustang or a fox body packing the brutish heart. Reality rears its head, though, to the tune of $25,995. Comically enough, the replacement engine is nearly as expensive as a new sports coupe like a Subaru BRZ.  


How Can We Expect the Toyota Tundra Go From Worst to Best Pickup Truck?

What is next for Ford and Shelby?

The marriage between Ford and Shelby has produced some of the most memorable muscle cars in the world. From the classic GT350 to the S197 GT500 to the modern supercar-fighting GT500KR. Shelby and Ford will likely make a variation of the upcoming S650 and perhaps even dabble in electrification. Scroll down to the following article if you want to read about the latest generation of Ford Mustang, the S550. 
RELATED: V8-Powered Coupes You Can Still Buy