V8 Ford GT? This Test Mule Could Pack a Twin-Turbo 7.3L Engine

People have been saying for years that the Ford GT should've had a V8. Well, it soon might.

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Ford hasn't shown us the full potential of its GT supercar, that much we know for sure. We might finally know what exactly that means, as a Ford GT prototype has apparently been spotted testing for the first time in several years. It has some funny stuff going on out back where its engine is, and makes a noise described by Ford Authority as "very different." All the evidence points to one thing: Ford's about to send the GT out with a big, possibly twin-turbo V8 bang.

The photos shown here were taken at a facility that performs EPA testing, where the now five-year-old GT has no place to be if nothing is changing for the end of its production run, which is anticipated to wrap up in 2022 following today's Heritage model debut. Per the above, however, something might be, and multiple details point to those changes taking place in the engine bay.

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Suspected 2022 Ford GT V8 twin-turbo testbed

A close-up of the prototype's rear shows what appears to be the oil cap moved further aft to where the trunk is on the current 3.5-liter EcoBoost-powered car. This could be explained by a repositioned, or altogether more likely lengthened engine, one with extra cylinders, such as a V8. The photographer who supplied these photos claims to have heard from a well-placed source that this car is powered by such, specifically the 7.3-liter Godzilla, one with a pair of turbochargers.

This notion is supported by a report of such an engine being tested behind the scenes at Ford in Super Duty mules, as well as what might be the snails themselves in the spy photos. Down below the rear bumper, plumbed into the exhaust on either side of the car, are round, wide objects wrapped in reflective foil heat shielding, located near where the exhaust manifold might exit. These could easily be mufflers or catalytic converters, though they seem pretty far upstream for either.

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Suspected 2022 Ford GT V8 twin-turbo testbed

Despite more than doubling the displacement of the original EcoBoost, the Godzilla apparently wouldn't be as tight a fit as it may sound. Being a cam-in-block engine, it's more tightly packaged than the overhead-cam EcoBoost, and the only apparent packaging problem is length. That, of course, is easily addressed by repurposing part of the trunk.

As the Ford GT was designed in part to go racing, it'd be easy to write this car off as a prototype for an updated race car, a GT Mk. III if you will—Mk. II is already taken. The GT, though, hasn't competed in IMSA or the WEC since 2019, and if Ford's reported absence from the LMH meetings is anything to go by, it won't be going back. Odds are fair that we're looking at a road car, one that could finally measure up to the world's lofty, V8-powered expectation of the GT.

Know for sure what Ford's up to? Tip me off here: james@thedrive.com