Ford Authority

Here’s Why The Ford Mustang GT3 Is Powered By A 5.4L V8

The all-new Ford Mustang GT3 was originally announced more than a year ago, and for months, we were treated to numerous teasers – even from Blue Oval CEO Jim Farley himself – prior to the new race car’s debut earlier this month. A road-going version of the new Ford Mustang GT3 – which is designated for IMSA competition – remains a possibility, but in the meantime, there’s a lot of information to digest when it comes to the track-focused version, including the fact that it utilizes a fortified and enlarged version of the naturally-aspirated Ford 5.0L V8 Coyote, in this guise displacing 5.4 liters, which is mated to a rear-mounted transaxle gearbox. However, there’s a very good reason for this deviance from the street-legal pony car.

“[W]e wanted to use a production engine, so we started with a 5.0L Coyote, and we wanted to maximize the displacement so we had more headroom for meeting the power requirements,” Mark Rushbrook, head of Ford Performance, told Road & Track in a recent interview. “Within what’s capable with a production block and heads is a 5.4.”

In other words, Ford wanted to increase the displacement of its Coyote powerplant for the Mustang GT3 in order to hit its desired power figures while putting less strain on the engine, which is particularly critical in the world of endurance racing, where vehicles run all-out for hours at a time. In GT3 racing, participants are also bound by Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations, which are intended to even the playing field by adjusting things like output, weight, and aerodynamics.

Increasing displacement is a popular strategy in GT3 racing already, one that several brands – including Porsche and Lexus – already employ. In addition to this little tweak over its road-going brethren, the Ford Mustang GT3 also utilizes the aforementioned rear-mounted gearbox as a way to even out weight distribution, which is another tweak designed to maximize on-track performance.

We’ll have more on the Mustang GT3 soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Joanna

    The saying is “There’s no substitute for cubic inches”…

  2. Jeff

    Size matters!

  3. Billy1

    Brett you should have used “deviation”, not “deviance” in the last sentence of the first paragraph.

  4. Bob

    Back in the early 60s, they used to say, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”. I’m not so sure that holds true anymore. I would like to know how much the total annual budget is for Motorsport racing at Ford Motor. They don’t seem to win much in NASCAR anymore. They spend a ton of money on research and development to go race at LeMans every decade. Instead of spending billions on a losing program, maybe they could use that money to hire engineers that know how to design vehicles that won’t be recalled.

  5. Shawnski

    Tall deck modular block from the defunct 5.4 and 5.8 (plasma cylinder liner)?

  6. M

    Fords purging their ICE inventory before the company goes full EV.


  7. mark

    The older Lincoln Navigator used a modular 5.4L DOHC engine which was basically a stroked 4.6L Mod motor. The heads/cams were interchangeable. The 2014 GT500 used a 5.4 DOHC engine of dubious origin. Likely this was a 5.4L Coyote variant(?). Given complete 5.4L DOHC Navigator and 5.0L Gen 1 Coyote engines, what mechanical parts interchange is possible using a mix of parts? Can a 5.4L Coyote engine result? Likely some specific machine work or adapters may be required. Anybody looked into this? A punched out 5.4 VVT Coyote would be Awesome!!


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