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Check this out.

Ford Developing a New 4.8L V8 Based on the Coyote?

Ford’s recent agreement with the Canadian labor union, Unifor, brought to light an interesting development regarding future product.

According to Reuters, Ford’s Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario, will produce a new 4.8-liter V8 engine expected for use in the F-150. Essex is also responsible for production of the Coyote 5.0 V8 used in both the Mustang and the F-150.

Not much is known about the new engine, besides a preliminary statement by Unifor head Jerry Dias. “This new engine will be the highest technology, will be the most fuel efficient, will have incredible torque, horsepower and will be put into Ford’s No. 1 selling vehicles throughout the North American chain.” Read More ...
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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My bet? I wouldn't be surprised to see this replace the 5.0 as a NA engine, direct injection should easily compensate for the displacement drop and the 5.0's required stroke increase always seemed like it was on the ragged edge. In fact this may have the same stroke as the 4.6, crank may even interchange in the future.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Flat plane crank seems extremely unlikely, consider this statement carefully...

“This new engine will be the highest technology, will be the most fuel efficient, will have incredible torque, horsepower and will be put into Ford’s No. 1 selling vehicles throughout the North American chain.”

No. 1 selling vehicle in North America = F-150. A rev happy engine on the ragged edge of reliability couldn't possibly be less suited to a truck application, and just by the nature of the crank layout "incredible torque" would be a stretch.
 

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Flat plane crank seems extremely unlikely, consider this statement carefully...




No. 1 selling vehicle in North America = F-150. A rev happy engine on the ragged edge of reliability couldn't possibly be less suited to a truck application, and just by the nature of the crank layout "incredible torque" would be a stretch.
Agreed. While the flat plane is great for a high performance, rev happy motor, they have some drawbacks. Balancing is critical, maintenance is too. Reliability for an "occasional use" car may be acceptable, but for something that's going to be used to go mudding/towing/other hard uses? I think not.

Now I've seen people opine that the flat plane won't make a crate motor because they think the chassis is a critical function of balancing the motor, and I can understand that theory, I disagree. Cost may prevent it from being a crate motor, but I don't think there's much structural difference between the Mustang GT and the GT-350. It's just not cost effective to do it that way. Suspension tuning (sway bars, magna ride settings, etc) make up the changes to handling, along with strut tower bracing that could easily be installed on any stock GT.

In my opinion, the 4.8 is being developed for easier adaptation to Ecoboost options. With four cams, 32valves, and variable valve timing, optimizing torque isn't a difficult concept, and then revising cams or cam timing for more horsepower isn't a difficult concept.
Right now, MPG maximization is king, and sells the most vehicles. That's why the aluminum bodies on the F150 came about, and engine/transmission development are so heavily funded. There's a new 10 speed auto coming from a joint Ford/GM development, all to keep engines in their "sweet spot" and optimize ratios, spread, etc. The old school wide ratios are dead and gone, closely matched, optimized ratios are the way to go, and can make up for the losses developed by the automatic transmissions.

I'd love to see it as it develops, but I see it as a "truck motor" for the F150 for mileage concerns more than a Mustang motor for right now.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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I disagree with the car platform having anything to do with engine balance too. NVH would be more likely, the 5.2 is likely substantially better isolated than a 5.0, and anyone retrofitting that motor into something else using stock mounts, or worst yet, poly or solid mounts will have their teeth shaken out.

MPG considerations bolster my theory that this may very well replace the 5.0 in Mustangs in the future too though. The gains Direct injection allow will easily overcome the reduction in displacement, and in the long term I doubt the current power levels at 4xx horsepower will inflating from this point, so the goal then is simply matching it and perusing MPG. That's exactly what they did replacing the old 5.0 with the 4.6 in 1996, so it's not without precedent.
 
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