The 5.0 liter Ford engine has been around for over 40 years now, first introduced back in 1968. Back then though, it was called the 302, and the 5.0 moniker didn’t stick until the 1980’s. Then, much to many Ford enthusiasts dismay, the pushrod 5.0 engine was canned as Ford moved to an overhead camshaft engine design. Now the 5.0 is back, still has an overhead cam engine, but much improved over earlier iterations.
This YouTube video shows a classic Fox body 5.0 going up against its modern contemporary. Assuming both cars are stock, the results are rather shocking.
A few numbers to put this race in perspective. The run was done at Bandimere Drag Strip in Colorado, at an elevation over 5800 feet. There is less air that high up, which means reduced performance. That is why the 2011 Mustang 5.0 runs a 13.6. Adjusted for elevation, that comes out to about 12.5. That also explains why the Fox body Mustang ran a 15.29. Adjusted for elevation, it would run somewhere in the mid to low 14’s.
New, the ’89 to ’93 Mustang GT had just 205 horsepower and 275 ft-lbs of torque. Today’s 5.0 engine makes more than twice as much horsepower (412) and over a 100 ft-lbs of torque more (390 ft-lbs). Then add in the six-speed transmission, improved suspension, and even the classic Fox body’s lighter weight can’t make up that two second deficit. Still, the 2011 Mustang owes a lot to the “original 5.0”, so here’s to you, Mr. Fox body.