• Spy photos capture SVT-tweaked 2016 Ford Mustang
  • Limited camouflage reveals muscular styling with aerodynamic add-ons
  • Engine could be evolved version of GT's 5.0-liter V8 with over 500 hp

We're usually skeptical about pre-launch hype, but the 2016 Ford Mustang SVT has us singing a different tune. Based on spy photos from a testing session at Germany's famed Nürburgring, the Mustang SVT looks like a legitimate successor to the already legendary Boss 302 -- and that's enough to get any enthusiast's attention. The Boss, of course, was the purist's Mustang, offered from 2012-13 with a manual transmission only, a ferocious naturally aspirated 444-horsepower V8 and a bunch of track-ready hardware. If our crystal ball is correct, the 2016 Mustang SVT (which may be named GT350) is going to be a chip off the old Boss, and we can't wait to get behind the wheel.

With the customary heavy camouflage absent in these photos, you can really see the tuned Mustang taking shape. First of all, it's clear that the car has a pretty serious aero package, from the aggressive front splitter to the prominent rocker panels and flared rear fenders. There's evidently a wheel-and-tire upgrade too, including rear rubber so fat that it protrudes beyond the body panels. Speaking of those tires, they're Michelin Pilot Super Sports, which are typically reserved for ultra-high-performance models. Cross-drilled brake rotors and massive calipers serve as further indicators of the Mustang SVT's sporting intentions, while quad exhaust tips framed by a full-width rear diffuser drive the message home.

Under the hood, some have wondered if the SVT Mustang might feature a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, but our sources indicate that Ford's 5.0-liter Voodoo V8 is a more likely candidate. Based on the excellent Coyote V8 found in the Mustang GT, the Voodoo promises upgrades, including a higher redline and a flat-plane crankshaft to facilitate both acceleration and aftermarket tuning. Rumor has it that the Voodoo has suffered some growing pains with a few engine failures among the prototypes, but that's not unusual at this stage of development. Once Ford works out the kinks, expect well over 500 hp if the Voodoo makes it into the SVT-tweaked Mustang. A manual transmission may not be the only offering this time around, but you can certainly bank on its availability.

What it means to you: Although we're still a year or more away from the 2016 Ford Mustang SVT's debut, it's already stealing a bit of the all-new 2015 Mustang's thunder. Stay tuned for further updates as the SVT gets closer to production form.

author photo

Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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