Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						Superformance 7 3 L
SEMA 2020: Superformance debuts 7.3-Liter “Godzilla” Cobra

Superformance installs 7.3-L Godzilla engine in a Cobra

By Dean Larson

Photos courtesy of Superformance

Forced to retire early from racing, Carroll Shelby sought to continue his racing career as a manufacturer, and found a righteous combination in AC Cars’ Ace roadster and Ford’s new 260 ci Windsor V8 engine. After turning the sports car racing community on its roof in 1963 and ’64, Shelby found another showstopper in 1965 with the 427 FE big-block in the Mk III Cobra roadster. Clearly, sourcing the biggest, baddest powerplants available has always been a cornerstone in the Cobra’s development, and Lance Stander of Superformance now believes they could have another winning combination on their hands with Ford’s new 7.3-liter “Godzilla” engine.

Announced in early 2019, the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” engine is Ford’s largest production gasoline V8 design, intended to be a workhorse pushrod mill for Ford’s truck line. The massive 445 ci displacement churns out 385 to 411 hp depending on application, and 405 to 434 lb-ft of torque, and is designed to do it for hundreds of thousands of miles. But of course, it didn’t take the automotive community long to start fiddling with the 7.3, quickly finding that outputs over 600 hp are achievable with fairly basic modifications — and that’s without forced induction.

Similarly, it didn’t take long for the first 7.3 to be installed in a Cobra roadster, with Superformance and V’s Performance leading the charge. And with a running and driving proof of concept, it won’t be long before you can have one as well. But with well-established Windsor, Coyote and FE options out there, is the 7.3-liter behemoth worth considering? To get the pros, cons and technical details of the install, we turned to Vlado Jancev of V’s Performance, who handled the build.

Honestly, it was fairly simple to install,” says Vlado. “We had to modify the intake manifold, since it was a truck-style manifold, and we had to lift the engine higher since there are no aftermarket oil pan options yet. This would be a really easy engine to dry sump.”

Other than the custom work needed to accommodate the stock intake and oil pan, Vlado stated that wiring the engine was tricky, since no aftermarket controllers are available yet, as was making the stock variable-displacement oil pump, as it’s controlled by the PCM. But now that the crate engine package has been available and in customer hands for several months, we'd expect easier options in the coming months.

In terms of packaging though, Vlado told us that the engine was really easy to install. “The width is similar to an LS, but it’s much taller. The hood clearance is good though, and there’s plenty of room for a supercharger.” The engine is also much narrower than the four-valve, DOHC Coyote 5.0-liter, making the install easier, and the Godzilla retains the Coyote’s bellhousing bolt pattern, making the transmission a breeze — a TREMEC TKO 600 in this instance. While 7.3-liter Cobra isn't quite available just yet, Vlado says that the engine feels like it makes phenomenal torque, and provides a good old-school soundtrack from the side pipes. To prove the car was more than just a mock up, the V's Performance crew fired the car up for us on camera and even laid a massive burnout in the parking lot!

With a huge displacement, simple pushrod-style design and eventual junkyard availability, everyone on board hopes that the Godzilla will one day be Ford’s big LS equivalent, and a new popular choice for Cobra builders — a sort of Windsor successor if you will. Even brand new, the 430 hp, 7.3-liter Godzilla crate engine is a really attractive option, priced around $7,500. So get used to seeing these things around, and making big power too, with 500 hp easily achievable, and an easy 700 to 800 hp possible with power adders.

So with all that in mind, we’re left wondering if the new 7.3-liter will be the new go-to big-block. All we have to go off for now is one seriously unique 7.3-liter MKIII Cobra, but its old-school lopey idle and effortless burnouts ability certainly make a case.

Comments for: SEMA 2020: Superformance debuts 7.3-Liter “Godzilla” Cobra

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like