Tom Wilson
February 16, 2010
Photos By: Dale Amy, Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Name Game
Gary Liimatta explained how a Mustang engine was named after a canine.

"On the engine programs, we all have code names because we don't want to tip off our direction in case anything leaks from a supplier or something. On this program, we decided to hold a contest among our small group to see if we could come up with a name. So we just sent out an email and took all these submissions from everybody.

"A lot of people got their kids involved and we had all sorts of colorful proposals, but ultimately we decided to go with one that came from John Norcott, who was one of our V-8 engine planners.

"He proposed 'Coyote' and we really liked the idea because it originated with A. J. Foyt's race team. He had a Four-Valve V-8-I believe it was back in 1969-and it was, to the best of our knowledge, the first Ford Four-Valve V-8 ever made.

"There were a lot of good synergies because we were really after the performance," Gary said. "We liked the idea of it being linked to an Indy engine, and when we actually saw that engine in the early days, when we came into our old Triple E building, many of us drooled over that engine. So it was just a natural fit."

"Of course, we had a big debate about Road Runner, Coyote, and some of the negative connotations of 'Coyote' that I won't bother with ... but we decided there was enough there that we would go with it, and it really stuck, too," he added.

Coyote engines are debuting in front of the 6R80 automatic-new to Mustang-and the all-new MT82 manual transmission in the 2011 Mustang. Both are six-speeds.

The 6R80 is new to Mustangs but has been running in Expeditions and Navigators. Upgraded for 2011, it is a filled-for-life box with enhanced power capability. This is a pure clutch-to-clutch automatic with no bands, plus a one-way clutch (not a sprag) has been added to further smooth the shifts. The Coyote applications get their own torque converter and feature a PRNDL321 shift pattern, plus grade assist. The GA holds lower gears on big decels and between corners.

The 6R80, which is built in Ford's Livonia, Michigan plant, has its own oil-to-air cooler and weighs 20 pounds more than the out-going Mustang automatic at 215 pounds. The V-6 Mustang will also use this automatic, but with fewer clutches, a smaller torque converter, and a different front face.

The new MT82 manual is designed by Fords JFT joint venture with Getrag in Germany and built in a four-way joint venture plant in China. It features synchromesh on all gears, including Reverse, even in the six-cylinder version. The engineers tell us it is a slick-shifting unit thanks to ball bearings and pivoting shift forks on the shift rails, and there are positive shift stops inside the gearbox.

The box features a middle bulkhead for much better shaft support and a two-piece housing for reduced driveline bending. All gears are honed or ground, then hard-finished for quiet running. The synthetic lube is fill-for-life. Center distance is 82 mm, an insignificant millimeter closer than the out-going Tremec. Weight is 49 kg (108 pounds), and the torque capacity 375 lb-ft.

There's a bit of bad news: The MT82 Coyote applications feature skip shift. That's where the shifter will only go from First to Fourth if you shift within a certain speed range. Ask any Corvette driver: This is a curse-at-the-moon imposition in the name of fuel economy.

Lipstick On A Coyote
When it came time to integrate the Coyote into the '11 Mustang, the Coyote team worked closely with Ford's design studio.

Everyone involved understood Mustang enthusiasts are just as apt to gather around their cars with the hood up as down. So the Coyote team "took ownership of the engine cover and the ignition cover."

"We wanted to make sure you could see the original runners as well. We did some painting of the intake and discussed painting of the cam covers before we decided to go to composite, getting the natural color of black with composite."

Obviously our entire magazine staff is grinning like Cheshire cats about the "5.0" logo atop the engine cover. Having been there for the original Fox 5.0 phenomena, we're only too happy to relive our youth again in the new car.

Like designing the engine, the underhood styling is mainly done with computers. Every point in the engine compartment, from the inner fenders to the stuff hanging off the firewall and fenders, is digitized in Ford's database. The Coyote team could then add its engine to the database and visualize the entire package before it was rendered in final form.