Ford is returning with one of their most prolific cars ever, the Shelby GT350. Ford wanted to return to the roots of the performance Mustangs with a track ready version of their new independent rear suspension thoroughbred. The late 60’s model Shelby Mustangs were offered in a GT350 and GT500 version with the later receiving a big block power plant. Shelby always stated the big block cars were heavy street cars where as the small block cars could be tuned to run the local tracks. Ford returned to the roots of the early 1965 and 1966 Shelby Mustangs with naturally aspirated small block V8 power and lighter weight. The new 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 is an all new flat plane V-8, naturally aspirated producing at least 500HP and 400ft-lbs torque.
The flat plane crankshaft engine is typically found on racecars and exotic sports cars offering lighter weight and high revving power and offering a distinctive sound. While the full specs have not been released, there are rumors of 8000 – 8200 rpm redline, that puts the Shelby in Ferrari’s range. Unlike a traditional V8, where the connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, this design evenly spaces all crank pins at 180-degree intervals.
Crossplane V8 (for a simple example is basically)
two pistons at top (opposite sides for balance)
two pistons halfway moving up (opposite sides for balance)
two pistons halfway moving down (opposite sides for balance)
two pistons at bottom (opposite sides for balance)
Four pistons at top (opposite sides for balance)
Four pistons at bottom (opposite sides for balance)