Have you ever wondered how exotic cars are able to rev to 9,000 rpm? The screaming exhaust of Ferraris and Lamborghinis comes from the most fundamental parts of the engine: the crankshaft. Traditionally, V8 engines have used a cross-plane design, which balances left to right in an even order. Somewhere along the way, the idea of a flat plane V8 was devised from two inline four-cylinder engines. Americans had little experience with engines like these until Ford dropped a bombshell on the industry.
The Mustang GT350 and GT350R were unveiled in the summer of 2015 with a 5.2-liter flat plane V8. I didn’t believe its claims of 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque until I got behind the wheel. It makes every bit of that power, albeit above 6,000 rpm. It takes a day or two to become accustomed to shifting at such wild RPMs, at least for a muscle car fan. Once you learn how to access the power, your left foot will become very active with double-clutch downshifts. The GT350 and its R version are fast as heck if you keep them wound up. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, the perfect solution is forced induction. In order to have a 9,000 rpm redline, the GT350 has cylinder heads that flow a massive amount of air. At lower rpm, it feels sluggish because the slow air speed isn’t optimized for the huge intake and exhaust ports. So why not pressurize it?
John Hennessey and his team installed a supercharger that measures large by huge on top of the engine. On Shell 93 octane, the dyno showed gains of 311 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. A critical part in supercharging any car is choosing the right pulley for the blower. The smaller you go, the faster the rotors spin and more boost is the result. But if your engine is already at 8,000 rpm, a small pulley might spin the supercharger into meltdown. That’s why Hennessey Performance digs into the bypass valve and other critical components to make sure they are up to the task. The result is 787 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. Since the torque arrives at only 3,200 rpm, you won’t need to work overtime to downshift for power. I am a die-hard LS fan, but this Mustang is incredible. Click here for more information and stay with us for all your Hennessey Performance Engineering updates.