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This is a Ford Mustang prototype… and it packs a V10 under the hood

Jeff Glucker July 10, 2018 Cars You Should Know 8 Comments

Back in 2003, Ford wanted to get funky with its Mustang. Some bored engineers didn’t feel like fiddling with the 4.6-liter V8 though, and instead decided to add a few cylinders to this pony car party. What started life as one of Ford’s Modular engines was transformed into a 351 cubic inch V10. Yes… Ford once made a V10 Mustang prototype.

It’s funny today to see the power listed at 430 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque and consider that serious business. But that was the output at the rear wheels, and the car weighed 500 pounds less than its modern sibling.

Road & Track found video of the car, which was featured on an episode of the Jason Priestly narrated Rides. I did some quick e-digging and found that Motor Trend actually got a little bit of seat time with the Franken ‘Stang. To say the car was traction limited is a bit of an understatement. 

Eventually, after lowering the tire pressure and fighting physics, a 0-60 mph run was done in just 4.4 seconds. The MT pieces says that sub four-second runs with proper drag slicks seems highly likely.

This was clearly a monster machine built out of pure love by the engineering team. A tire-frying, V10-powered, Mustang monster that was a true hooligan hot rod.

[Source: Road & Track, Motor Trend, YouTube]

  • neight428

    The whole idea of the 4.6L “modular” engine was that it was scalable up or down in cylinders, right? Is this effectively a four cam version of the truck V10? Damned shame stuff like this can’t get a green light into production.

    • Andrew

      I thought the “modular” referred to the build process. To my knowledge the factories were built modularly so they could be easily switched around to manufacture multiple engines in the modular line in the same factory. Admittedly, I don’t remember where I read that…

      • Jeff Glucker

        Insert WHY NOT BOTH.gif

        “The Modular engine got its name from its design and sharing of certain parts among the engine family, starting with the 4.6L in 1990 for the 1991 model year. The name was also derived from a manufacturing plant protocol, “Modular”, where the plant and its tooling could be changed in a few hours to manufacture different versions of the engine family”

  • JayP

    Kevin Byrd was on Two Guys Garage…. which started me down a hole with Shadetree Mechanic.
    I used to watch all those shows religiously. Lost track when Speed went away. Velocity carried some, NBCSN carried a few. Maybe CBS Sports?

    With shows like B is for Build and Hoovies Garage posting new content every few days, if not daily I don’t bother to try to find those cable shows.

  • outback_ute

    About the same time there was a V10 Mustang convertible show car built in Australia, it seems to have disappeared from a quick google search though.

  • Zentropy

    As cool as the V10 sounds, its additional weight would have locked the Mustang into the “straight line” category of performance. I’m glad the ‘Stang has evolved into something you can actually toss around, even if others do it better. I would even embrace the current Ecoboost Mustang if it didn’t sound so lame.

    • crank_case

      Not just the weight, but where the weight is. Longer engine block = more weight closer to the front axle. OK the V10 BMW M5 did just fine, but that’s a pricier car so you can throw money and Bavarians at the problem.

      Apart from coolness/uniqueness/bragging rights factor, I’d struggle to see how a V10 would add to the Mustang experience. It seems to be a car synonymous with the V8, it’s not a euro exotic, it’s a coupe for the people. A V8 just seems “right”, special but still blue collar(ish).

  • dukeisduke

    It’s actually small for a Triton V10 – the truck V10 was 6.8l, or 415 ci.