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It’s one of the industry’s worst kept secrets. Ford Performance Vehicles and Prodrive revealed to a media congregation on Monday morning that it has spent the last three years and $40-million locally engineering a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine for the FPV range.

As CarAdvice exclusively revealed in June 2009, Prodrive has been working on a supercharged version of the 5.0-litre V8 engine fitted to the Ford Mustang. Codenamed Coyote, Prodrive has managed to extract some impressive power and torque figures.

The FPV GS, which will remain as Ford’s entry level model, features 315kW and 545Nm of torque. The FPV GT on the other hand gets the high-output version and produces 335kW and 570Nm of torque.

The most impressive part of the performance graphs is that both variants hit their respective peak torque figures at a staggering 2200rpm, with the torque holding on relentlessly right through to 5500rpm.

Prodrive Managing Director, Bryan Mears, told CarAdvice that making the outgoing BOSS 5.4-litre V8 Euro IV compliant would involve a considerable amount of work, including variable valve timing and exhaust work. It simply wasn’t worth the manpower and effort.

Mr Mears described the new FPV GT as the “finest vehicle we’ve ever produced, with the finest engine.” He was adamant that unlike their main competitor, FPV was “not sourcing a complete package from somewhere else.”

The considerable Australian content includes intake, exhaust, piston heads, conrods, exhaust valves, crank, front accessory drive, spark plugs and supercharger.

The key ingredient to the potent package is an Australian supercharger. The Harrop/Eaton designed HTV 1900 front drive, rear entry supercharger features an advanced Eaton TVS 6th generation rotor set, in addition to a torsional decoupler in the supercharger drive shaft for optimised NVH.

Prodrive’s Head of Powertrain and Chassis, Bernie Quinn, described the open conical air filter as an “engineer’s wet dream.” The passionate Mr Quinn explained that the production process involved during development, with Prodrive first trying a twin-turbo setup, with the decision ultimately coming down to a supercharged setup for a smoother and more progressive drive.

Prototypes started with a supercharged version of FPV’s current 5.4-litre V8 to predominantly test the supercharger and custom fabricated manifolds. From there it was on to ‘A-level’ prototypes that included the 5.0-litre Mustang Coyote with prototype manifolds, pistons and oil pan. It was then on to ‘B-level’ prototypes that featured fully representative manifolds, pistons and oil pan.

The ‘verification prototype’ finished off the testing regime with off-tool unique Miami pistons, air intake system, exhaust  manifolds and lubrication system. These cars were durability tested and attributed the sign off process.

Development testing equated to an equivalent of 10 years and 250,000km of driving. It was described by Mr Quinn as the “most comprehensive test program ever” by Prodrive.

In terms of the technical side of FPV’s new V8, an uprated ZF Sachs automatic gearbox (6HP26) replaces the outgoing unit. The new gearbox features a 7-plate clutch pack and 4-planet planetary gear set for higher torque capacity.

The manual gearbox is a Tremac TR6060 with new bell-housing to suit a new clutch system. Revised second gear synchros have been implemented to reduce shifting effort. A new ZF Sachs twin plate clutch has also been introduced to handle the extra torque. The clutch is identical to the one seen in the Corvette ZR-1 and Mustang GT500.

Mr Quinn claims the new FPV V8 range has the best engine cooling system on the market. A new high-efficiency radiator with twin variable speed fans, in addition to an automatic transmission oil cooler will ensure the new supercharged V8 remains at operating temperatures even during track days.

A new high-flow fuel pump and high-flow fuel injectors ensure Euro IV compatibility and pave the way to future emissions compliance.

Other new features include an active exhaust that brings the most out of the new V8’s sound track. Prodrive claims that the new setup sits right at – but within – government regulations, offering an excellent sound track. A significant sum of money was spent on perfecting the exhaust and intake noise and making the cabin acoustically sound.

Mr Quinn described the new 5 inch metal matrix catalyst as the best available on the market, with similar setups featured on Ferraris and Porsches.

Fuel economy has been improved across the range with up to 4.5% saved in the greatest instance.

FPV GS sedan –

  • Manual – 13.6L/100km
  • Auto – 13.7L/100km

FPV GS ute –

  • Manual – 14.0L/100km
  • Auto – 14.2L/100km

FPV GT/GTP/GTE sedan –

  • Manual – 13.6L/100km
  • Auto – 13.7L/100km

There will be no styling changes with the new engine (aside from some wheel design variations), tyres remain the same size and this suite of engines are non-intercooled.

When quizzed about future high-output versions, Mr Mears said that there were absolutely no plans in the long-term or short-term future to reinvigorate the GT-HO nameplate. But, when discussing ‘futurising’ for the supercharged V8, Mr Quinn smirked, suggesting that it was certainly open to future changes.

As CarAdvice speculated earlier, we are likely to see a high output version which carries the GT-H nameplate instead.

Neither Ford or Prodrive offered any comment on the XR8, so the details are yet to be known. Also off the cards was talk of performance figures. Mr Quinn claimed that their tests suggested very fast 0-100km/h and more importantly 80-120km/h times, suggesting acceleration would be inline with some Porsches and Aston Martins.

The current FPV GT and FPV F6 suffer from a lack of grip from takeoff. So it will be interesting to see how the new engine with more torque down low will cope with the 245mm wide tyres. HSV make do with 275mm tyres and less torque, so the jury will be out until we get a chance to test the car at its October launch.

Changes to the Dynamic Stability Control have helped reign in wheel spin off the line, but it’s unclear how well it will work with so much torque available from down low in the rev range.

With a 47kg weight saving, the car is expected to benefit from better handling as a result. Prodrive is so excited about the development that they claim “it’s a level that’s simply unmatched by anyone else.” They are considerable claims and we would be more than happy to evaluate them.

FPV will reveal the new engine at Bathurst on October 7th, 2010 with sales starting soon after. Pricing is yet to be announced, but FPV boss Rod Barrett says that the GT will come in at under $70,000.

It’s an exciting package and if executed correctly could spell the start of a new ‘GT-HO’ of the modern day. What are your thoughts on the new V8? Let us know!