What a short, strange trip it's been with Ford's 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 gas engine. The automaker debuted the new heart of the Super Duty range at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, admitting the engine would fit into the F-150 pickup and the Mustang but saying there was all but no chance it would put them in either product. Ford did do tuners the giant solid of offering Godzilla as a crate engine that works with a 10-speed automatic. Not even a year later, YouTuber Evan Smith, known as REVan Evan, followed a drag racer and tuner collaborating on a Mustang dragster build using the 7.3-liter. The Drive realized that same YouTuber has just showed up to solve a mystery from earlier this year. In March, spy photographers caught a Mustang prototype fitted with a bizarre hood bulge. Scrutineers posited every theory about what it could be, including the supposition of a Godzilla-powered Mustang. Revan Evan reveals those guesses were correct.
There is a 540-pound iron lump in the engine bay, but there's no factory Mustang planned to come from it. As Ford engineers explain in the video, they're working on a crate engine and transmission package that would pair Godzilla with a manual gearbox. The Mustang GT350 mule selected for testing duties is one of the prototype fleet available to use that was "just lying around," so engineers used it. The polygonal hood protrusion is to clear the intake because the throttle body at front of the engine, as designed for the Super Duty trucks, is angled up. This necessitates throttle neck piping that rises further before being angled 90 degrees and descending to a cold-air intake. The final crate package will feature changes such as a horizontal throttle body that can slide under a Mustang's natural lines, as well as slightly shorter runners that bump up the redline and a larger throttle flange that works with the Mustang GT500.
At the moment, the 7.3-liter and 10-speed auto combo costs $19,995. Ford Performance plans to put the new drivetrain on sale before the end of the year, "very competitively priced."