Flat plane crank seems extremely unlikely, consider this statement carefully...
No. 1 selling vehicle in North America = F-150. A rev happy engine on the ragged edge of reliability couldn't possibly be less suited to a truck application, and just by the nature of the crank layout "incredible torque" would be a stretch.
Agreed. While the flat plane is great for a high performance, rev happy motor, they have some drawbacks. Balancing is critical, maintenance is too. Reliability for an "occasional use" car may be acceptable, but for something that's going to be used to go mudding/towing/other hard uses? I think not.
Now I've seen people opine that the flat plane won't make a crate motor because they think the chassis is a critical function of balancing the motor, and I can understand that theory, I disagree. Cost may prevent it from being a crate motor, but I don't think there's much structural difference between the Mustang GT and the GT-350. It's just not cost effective to do it that way. Suspension tuning (sway bars, magna ride settings, etc) make up the changes to handling, along with strut tower bracing that could easily be installed on any stock GT.
In my opinion, the 4.8 is being developed for easier adaptation to Ecoboost options. With four cams, 32valves, and variable valve timing, optimizing torque isn't a difficult concept, and then revising cams or cam timing for more horsepower isn't a difficult concept.
Right now, MPG maximization is king, and sells the most vehicles. That's why the aluminum bodies on the F150 came about, and engine/transmission development are so heavily funded. There's a new 10 speed auto coming from a joint Ford/GM development, all to keep engines in their "sweet spot" and optimize ratios, spread, etc. The old school wide ratios are dead and gone, closely matched, optimized ratios are the way to go, and can make up for the losses developed by the automatic transmissions.
I'd love to see it as it develops, but I see it as a "truck motor" for the F150 for mileage concerns more than a Mustang motor for right now.
97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com
, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.