I have to be honest and say I did not want to touch this subject. For a few personal reasons, but because the heart of the foxbody is just that, I needed to put it out there. I have to make this as honest and fact filled as possible. In 2011, Ford totally changed the game. The introduction of the coyote was groundbreaking, I still don't think the magnitude of its introduction has been truly realized. 302 cubic inches of fury, that destroy everything within 100 cubes of it, bone stock. A little perspective is the mighty Terminator with its blown 4V makes a tick less in stock form, than does a coyote (breathing naturally). The Terminator was a game changer, in a big way. So with the limelight so far removed from our friends of the 8.2 and 9.5 deck varieties; there is a discussion to be had.
The venerable 5.0L made a real come back in the 1982 Mustang GT. Through the 80's and 90's it reigned supreme on the streets. With a massive aftermarket backing, and an exploding following, the little pushrod mill still reaches insane power levels in many different forms. From an old ball drive Paxton supercharger, to a Dart based 363 with twins, the little motor that could still motivates foxbody Mustags to ridiculous power levels. So why the alarm? The different Ford mills can live in harmony right? Consider the lifespan of the 302. Dating back 40 years or more, the 5.0L has been seen in every configuration imaginable, and then some.
In mid '02 Ford changed the game with the Terminator. Going from the limp wristed '01 Cobra, to 390 horsepower Cobras that with a few simple mods laid down big power. The world took notice. The modular performance scene really began to take off, and fox purists knew that kind of power was much more fun when you subtract nearly 800lbs from the equation. As the engines became more available, the swaps began, and Terminator powered foxes sprung from everywhere. Their track numbers told the tale of power to weight ratio being king, swapped foxes are animals. All through the 2Ks, the Terminator engines were the hot ticket, with the 3V engine barely getting a nod from the aftermarket, and by the time '07 came around with the 5.4L GT500s, it had a lock on the performance market. Who really had the coin to buy a brand new GT500 power plant, and who really needed it when a Terminator could run neck and neck with them. Remember that power to weight thing?
Then, 2011. The dark days of Ford performance that reigned from 05-10 had come to an abrupt halt. For the first time since the muscle car days, you could buy a Mustang GT rated at over 400 horsepower. Not even the Mighty '00 Cobra R could stake that claim. To add insult to injury, the 6 cyl car of the year rocked the same rated power as a '96 Cobra. The game had changed. One could argue that the Muscle car wars of the 60's had nothing on today's power wars, I would tend to agree. Back to the coyote. Making in the 380-390 range to the tire, from the factory, it wasn't going to go unnoticed. Logical gear head thinking is: "what will it do with boost"? Ah yes, boost! Easily 600 to the tire without breaking a sweat, and 900-1K in capable hands, with some boost. That is just reality, and this engine is five years old. Let me say that again, FIVE YEARS OLD! Sealed from Ford these motors will propel a fox into the nines, with added weight to meet class specs. Need anymore perspective?
Let me be clear, I love my pushrod motors, and will always own one. They are extremely capable of winning races, and being ultra reliable. They have been proven for decades, and I can build one with my eyes closed. They still terrorize LS fanboys at a large displacement deficit, and win races every weekend. What about in another five years? The coyote prices are dropping like a hookers pants, and they are popping up everywhere. Time will tell, and I'm interested to see what the future holds. Either way, I am glad Ford finally stepped up with a mill that hands the GM boys their ass, and laughs at the Dodge boys like a jet ski racing a pontoon.