The 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 Engine: Guide to The “Holy” Trinity

The 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 Engine: Guide to The "Holy" Trinity

It's entirely possible that Mustang fans weren't ready for the 2013 Shelby GT500 engine, which at the time had the highest horsepower of any production engine ever made. They might not have known what to expect, but they definitely welcomed the 5.8L "Trinity" engine (as it's known) with open arms. Why? The thing is powerful. It's loud. It commands your attention and dares you to look away. Developed by the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and based on the Ford Modular V8 platform, the Trinity was also used as the 2014 Shelby GT500 engine. However, that's essentially where its reign of holy terror ended, never to be employed in another production Mustang. So, the question is, did it make its mark, or is it bound to be forgotten in the annals of the Mustang's past? We're taking a closer look at the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 engine so we can make the final call.

By Lethal Performance

Why the Shelby GT500?

If you know your Mustang history, then you probably don't need an answer to this question. After all, the GT500 has been vital to Ford's performance lineup since it was the apple of Carroll Shelby's eye in 1967. But, for the uninitiated, the GT500 is a monstrous street racing and drag racing car, focused on unbridled power for straight-line performance. This makes it a counterpoint (or perfect companion) to the corner-carving, track-ready GT350. Essentially, Shelby always intended the GT500 to be a horsepower machine — the 2013 Shelby GT500 engine held true to that vision, and it did so with style.

"I love horsepower."

- Carroll Shelby

What Kind of Power Is the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 Engine Packing?

As we said, upon release, the dual overhead cam (DOHC) 2013 Shelby GT500 engine with variable camshaft timing (VCT) made this the most powerful production vehicle around. While it's since been surpassed by the likes of the 2020 GT500, that doesn't make this any less of an accomplishment for SVT. So, what exactly did this engine have to offer? Just take a look at the kind of power it brought to the table.

The Power of Design

We'll get to the exact horsepower specs next, but first, we need to touch on how the 2013 Shelby GT500 engine and the car itself were designed — because almost every choice was made to facilitate the horsepower. It was top-notch work from SVT, allowing the car to hit an insane top speed of 200 miles per hour.

Looking at the 32-valve 5.8L Trinity in comparison to the 5.0 Coyote used in the GT (an engine we love, by the way) gives a clear idea of the kinds of improvements we're talking about: better coolant flow on the cylinder heads, camshafts brought over from the Ford GT Supercar, an awesome over-rev function, higher compression ratio and more. Other horsepower-centric upgrades included the incredible Eaton supercharger, new camshaft profiles, new head gaskets and a carbon fiber driveshaft.

Plenty was done to give the 2013 Shelby GT500 engine the cooling system it needed, like a bigger fan and three-row intercooler. Hell, they even left off the grille. There were plenty of other incredible choices too, such as a deliciously beefed-up transmission. Absolutely everything on this car was made to increase its performance — and it worked.

2013 Shelby GT500 Engine Specs

The specs on the 2013 Shelby GT500 engine are exactly as impressive as you would expect from a car built for one thing: power.

  • Horsepower: 662 hp
  • Redline: 7000 RPM
  • Torque: 631 lb-ft
  • Speed: 0-60 MPH in 3.5 Seconds

2014 Shelby GT500 Engine Specs

Ford and SVT knew they'd struck gold. As such, the 2014 Shelby GT500 engine didn't change at all. In fact, neither did the car itself, besides swapping out a few color options. But you know what? We're gonna show you those specs again while you're still picking your jaw up off the floor.

  • Horsepower: 662 hp
  • Redline: 7000 RPM
  • Torque: 631 lb-ft
  • Speed: 0-60 MPH in 3.5 Seconds

What Makes the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 Engine Special?

Yes, it's been surpassed by later Mustang engines. But honestly, not by that much. The 5.8L Trinity still ranks pretty high on the list in terms of horsepower. What else makes it special? Well, along with the aforementioned incredible design, we'll break down what we think are some of the biggest advantages of the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 engine.

The Trinity is a marvel in terms of horsepower and design, but it also offers notably high torque. On top of that, it sounds absolutely vicious, the kind of engine snarl that we all dream of. The 2013 and 2014 Shelby GT500 engine is also quite durable, able to take a lot of wear and tear. It evolved from the Ford Modular V8 after all, and that platform has a proven track record of reliability.

Probably the greatest advantage of the 5.8L Trinity engine, and the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 in general, is its value. Obviously it still had a pretty big price tag when it came out, but a car below $60,000 with this kind of power? It was completely unheard of, and it's still pretty shocking. You can buy a used one today (with stock parts) and have a killer machine that's ready for the strip. We'd recommend doing a few mods first, of course, but you wouldn't have to.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Nothing is perfect, not even the Trinity. While the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks, there have been a few complaints about the 2013 and 2014 Shelby GT500 engine. Some people feel that its 5.8-liter construction pushes the block a little too hard, despite the incredible torque gains.

Similarly, there have been some reports of people experiencing engine failure when trying to increase the Trinity engine's power output with aftermarket parts. While it may be true that some of the factory hardware can't handle power beyond the stock specs, this is mostly a case of folks simply not knowing what they're doing. With proper upgrades to account for increased power, like pistons and connecting rods, you shouldn't have a problem.

The Best 5.8L Trinity Mods

The 2013 Shelby GT500 engine is awesome, even if you don't touch it. But Mustang fans always have to put their fingerprints on something by adding performance parts. It's just how we are. Frankly though, it doesn't take much to make the Trinity engine a bat out of hell.

The following are some of our favorite modifications for the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 to either improve the engine or increase performance in general:

We Praise the 5.8L Trinity at Lethal Performance

The 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 engine is far more than a footnote as far as we're concerned. This thing is still worthy of your attention no matter what has followed in its wake. While its time in Ford's lineup was limited, the Trinity brought some great innovations, especially in terms of horsepower and design. It came, it crushed the competition and it said goodbye. With our help, you can make your mark, too. Find all of the 2013 and 2014 Shelby GT500 engine parts you need at Lethal Performance!

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