The 760 horsepower V8 in the upcoming 2020 Shelby GT500 is the most powerful engine used by Ford to power a road car. This monstrous engine is built by hand at Ford’s Romeo Engine Plant where an elite team works to build one engine at a time. Hot Rod Magazine was lucky enough to film the entire build process.
In the sprawling 2 million square foot Romeo Engine Plant there's a specific line where elite technicians build Ford’s most important engines. Known as the Niche line, only the best Ford V8s are built here. This tradition began with the 4.6-liter V8 used in the 1996 Mustang Cobra and continues today with the 2020 GT500’s 760 horsepower Predator V8.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Engine
The Niche line may have a massive legend surrounding its work, however, the actual line is a small subset of the Romeo facility. Here the 2020 GT500’s Predator V8 will start as a bare block and leave as a fully inspected engine ready to power Ford’s latest halo Mustang.
During production, the engine makes its way around the small 21 station production line. Each engine is built by one individual who shepherds the engine from station to station. This singular builder does receive help during certain steps of the process but ultimately this is their engine.
The whole process takes around 210 minutes to go from bare block to complete engine. A feat of both craftsmanship and efficiency. All of the tools are tightly monitored by computers to ensure all torque specifications are perfect and no aspects of assembly are missed. This blend of computerized assistance with competent craftspeople ensures the Predator V8 is ready to take on race tracks across the globe.
At the end of the line, the engine builder installs a plack on the completed engine bearing their signature. This special moment forever marries the engine builder to the engine and the 2020 GT500.