1 Classic ‘Detroit’ V8 Engine is Actually Built in Canada

The V8 engine is a symbol of Detroit. As emissions regulations tighten, its days may be numbered. But in 2023, each of the three Detroiters is still happy to sell you a pickup truck or muscle car coupe powered by a conventional, naturally aspirated V8. Here’s the catch: very few are still built in the USA. The Coyote’s 5.0-liter V8 (and its “Godzilla” big brother), for example, comes from Canada. Read on to find out where each is currently built.

Canadian Ford Motor Plants

Production Ford F-150 V8 | Ford Motor Company

You may already know that Detroit is located north of the Canadian city of Windsor. But you may not know that the Ford Motor Company operates two engine plants just outside the city limits of Detroit, in Ontario, Canada.

. Blue Oval expanded its Canadian production to the nearby Essex Engine plant in 1981. This 260-acre facility employs 930 people. They built the car that Ford offers in both the Mustang coupe and F-150 pickup truck.

Anyone passionate about auto workers’ rights will be pleased to hear that Canadian Ford employees are members of the national labor union Unifor.

5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine

Promotional photo of the new 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine available in the Ford Mustang Dark Horse.
Ford Coyota 5.0L V8 | Ford Motor Company

Back in 2010, it was ready to start production with a new technology called Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT), which allows the engine to independently adjust intake and exhaust cam timing. Early tests showed that they gave naturally aspirated engines unprecedented versatility. So the automaker sought to combine its V8 engines (both 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter) into one efficient and powerful unit.

The 5.0-liter V8 was innovative in more ways than one. Ford designed it to fit the same footprint as the 4.6-liter V8 by offloading the same mass. I moved the alternator to the side of the engine and moved the intake manifold between the cylinder banks to reduce the height of the entire unit. Finally, the new, thinner block was reinforced with a wide belt.

Ford has been building engines in Canada longer than they have been making V8s. Ford plants in Canada assembled both the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter. The engine family was called the “Modular” series because Ford pioneered ways of sharing production technologies across engines, so it didn’t have to do much factory tweaking to produce the 5.0 V8 at its Essex plant.

Where are V8 engines built?

A promotional photo of the 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 that Ford builds in Canada for sale as a crate engine.
Ford 7.3L Godzilla V8 | Ford Motor Company

While Ford builds its naturally aspirated V8 engines in Canada, it still builds its supercharged V8 for SVT vehicles in Romeo, Michigan. Every V8 in a Dodge muscle car or Ram truck currently hails from Mexico. General Motors is the last of the Detroit three, making most of its V8 production in the United States, although some of that production has moved overseas.

See where all of the remaining V8 engines are built in the table below:

the creator engine Factory location
Stellantis (Dodge/Ram) 5.7L HEMI V8 Saltillo, Mexico
Stellantis (Dodge/Ram) 6.4L HEMI V8 Saltillo, Mexico
Stellantis (Dodge/Ram) 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 Saltillo, Mexico
stronghold 5.0 liter Coyote V8 Windsor, Canada
stronghold 7.3L Godzilla V8 Windsor, Canada
stronghold 5.2L Predator Supercharged V8 Romeo, Michigan
general motors 5.3 liter Vortec V8 Romulus, Michigan / Silao, Mexico
general motors 6.2 liter Vortec V8 Romulus, Michigan
general motors 5.5-liter LT6 Corvette V8 Bowling Green, Kentucky
general motors 6.2L Supercharged LT4 V8 Tonawanda, New York / Bowling Green, Kentucky

Next, read about the person. Or watch how a Ford V8 is built in the National Geographic video below:

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