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Is this the next Shelby GT500 engine?

Instagram user mustangmannylv posted a picture of what could be the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s engine. Photo credit: mustangmannylv / Instagram

Wesley Wren is an associate editor at Autoweek, a sister publication of Automotive News.

Keeping potent performers under wraps is getting harder for automakers thanks to sneaky smartphone usage and social media.

Ford seems to be doing a good enough job keeping everyone guessing what it plans to do with the upcoming Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 — that is, until now. Instagrammer Mustangmannylv posted a picture of what looks like a supercharger sporting “5.2” and an image of a cobra in the blower casing.

The numbers are an obvious nod to the engine’s displacement and not the volume of the supercharger. It’s been speculated that Ford will stick with the GT350’s 5.2-liter V8 for the GT500, but will probably replace the engine’s rotating assembly.

The flat-plane crankshaft and high compression that makes the “VooDoo” V8 such a good naturally aspirated engine are not the best options for forced induction. Yes, there are people slapping superchargers onto stock GT350 engines but it’s not a formula for long engine life.

If this doesn’t turn out to be something from Ford, it could give us a good idea of what’s to come from the aftermarket. There is also the risk that this is nothing more than a Photoshop job.

We won’t know for certain until we can pop the GT500’s hood for ourselves, but with the Camaro ZL1 and Dodge Challenger Demon stealing horsepower headlines, Ford knows it needs to deliver impressive numbers.

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