The Boss is back—with nearly 450 hp!

just returned from the '10 SEMA show in Las Vegas, I can honestly say my head is spinning. Ford has unleashed a fury with the new Ti VCT 5.0, and both owners and the aftermarket have gone into full attack to improve the already-stellar performance. All the excitement truly makes me wonder where Ford's performance path will lead us. It would be redundant to list all the amazing engine combination released in just the last few years, so suffice it to say, Ford gets it.

We've sampled the '11 lineup, and we're impatiently awaiting a chance to experience the '12 Boss 302. With 444 hp, this max-effort (at least for the street from an OEM) package looks to be nothing short of amazing. Dave Pericak, lead engineer on Mustang, says the Boss has a mode where the cams will have a lopy race idle! Amazingly, 444 hp is oh-so-close to being double the horsepower of the Fox-body 5.0-liter with a sweet sound and a racecar-like rev range.

Ford had two Boss Stangs on display at SEMA, which gave us a wonderful look into the immediate future, but we're wondering what's in store for the next iteration of the GT500. Ford was tight-lipped about that pet project as the focus was on its current crop of Blue Oval products.

With many new 5.0s on display and loads of aftermarket parts to drool over, SEMA produced an overload for the senses. Some of my personal favorites were the chrome Candy Red GT in the Ford area, Ken Block's Fiesta, and some early-model Stangs that knocked my socks off (read all about SEMA on page 154). As for

parts, I can't wait to get my hands on the new cams from Comp Cams for the DOHC 5.0.

It's always great to see what's hot with the aftermarket and to hob-knob with friends in Vegas. I even got to share dinner twice with my cousins, Mike and Jordan (above), who I don't see often enough. But all the talk about the Boss and the new 5.0 got me thinking about what the next Shelby powerplant should/would consist of. Has Ford painted itself into a corner with supercharging? We know Chevrolet and Dodge are looking at blown versions of the Camaro and the Challenger, and if that is the case, will Ford need to maintain a supercharged model to keep its horse in the lead? Or can the Cobra, errr, I mean the Shelby, revert to a nasty large-displacement Ti-VCT Four-Valve using current technology that makes, say, 500-520hp in naturally aspirated trim?

I remember how awesome the '00 Cobra R was with a 5.4-liter and 385 hp, and I'm sure a 351- to 400-cube version of the new 5.0 could make ridiculous power. But would such an engine satisfy customers' craving boost? While it would not be as easy to extract 600, 700, or 800 hp like the current supercharged model, it would still be an amazing piece of equipment.

So what do you readers and potential customers think? If you want to chime in, send your opinion to evan. [email protected]. EJS


High performance starts with the right parts!

SHELBY*, the CS design, SUPERSNAKE*, GT-50CT, SHELBY AMERICAN'" are registered trademarks and/or the tradedress of Carroll Shelby and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. (Shelby) The Terllngua Racing Team logo® Is used by Shelby under exclusive License from Bill Neale. 2010


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