The '10 turned out to be the...
The '10 turned out to be the car in the middle, the choice a street-performance aficionado would consider "just right" of the three Car FX modifieds.
Looking at these three Grabber Blue Mustangs modified by Car FX in Tulsa, Oklahoma, makes it hard to choose just one. Which one is the best fit? The beauty is you can decide and build one as mild or wild as you like. Car FX's own Grabber Blue Man, Will Williams, says he has a steed for every need. He could have talked the old-school lingo of Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. However, Car FX isn't out to build a specific series of Mustangs to sell to the public. Instead, it wants to show "the versatility of what you can do with the these cars."
The motto spelled out on these cars and the company's logo is "Look Better, Go Faster." To do so, customers can order a Mustang with one or more of the mods such as seen on these three builds. Will even adds further flexibility when he tells Mustang owners to make their changes a step at a time as their budget permits. They may start with a suspension upgrade, for example. After lowering, they might want to add the supercharger, and even go for internal engine mods.
Under the Car FX Rear Black...
Under the Car FX Rear Black Out Panel, Will's crew chose an SLP Loud Mouth System to deliver an aggressive, but streetable persona. As Will said, the exhaust pipes are a bit longer on the '10. "That particular kit has enough adjustment in it that we made it work on the 2010," Russell explained. "Luckily they had enough length it actually worked." The Car FX motto is written across the rear deck of each modified Mustang.
To demonstrate that theory, Car FX created these three 'Stangs. Two of the three cars are S197s-an '08 and an '09. The Mustang in the middle, performance-wise, is the latest of the breed. This Mustang began life painted Grabber Blue at Ford's Flat Rock assembly plant. Car FX repainted the two earlier Mustangs this color as the factory did not offer Grabber Blue like it did in 1970. The stock '10 color is actually a little lighter than the shade Ford offered over-the-counter a couple years back.
Of course, the cars share more than just a color. Mostly, the modifications interchange between the '05-'08 and the '10. Will said, "Underneath, these cars are almost identical. You need a longer tailpipe on the '10. Other than that, the Panhard bars, the sway bars, everything else fits."
There were, of course, challenges to building big power into the latest Mustang. Russell Williams, who does the actual build work at Car FX explained Ford narrowed the front grille opening in the restyle of the 2010, creating clearance interference for large high-performance intercoolers. "We removed the front fascia and made our own brackets to fit the largest intercooler we could on the 2010." Since the '10 Mustang front grille opening apparently doesn't admit as much air as the '05-'09 grille, Car FX mounted the intercooler as low and as far forward as possible to expose it to the largest volume of incoming air.
In addition to lowering, No....
In addition to lowering, No. 33 gets a visual boost from the modified front valance and bumper, clearing the way for a giant intercooler, which gives the '10 a brash, high-performance look. Steeda's 18x9-inch Pentar 2 wheels mounting Nitto Invo tires fill the wheelwell to put as much tire on the ground as possible with no body adjustments. Russell said, "They're good on the street, and really sticky on a road course." Car FX chose four-piston Brembo brakes with 14-inch rotors up front. In the rear, it selected Baer 14-inch rotors featuring improved pads.
The '10 might be middle of the road in this trio of Pony cars, but its theme is certainly high performance. Car FX claims, "We wanted to build a supercharged Mustang to go after your Lingenfelter Corvettes, your Vipers that had a lot of money put in them." Even the tamest tune, Mustang No. 88, minus a blower or nitrous, carries ambitious aspirations. Will aimed for a car that "On Saturday you can go to the track and jump on Vettes and Vipers." Of course, No. 88 and No. 33 have judicious amounts of suspension tuning to effectively transfer 350 and 525 horsepower, respectively, to the pavement.
The most aggressive performer of the three wears the lowest number, No. 12. Will explained the Car FX plan of attack. "Instead of building a street car that can go out there and race on the track, we built a track car that we could make street legal. Car FX stripped car No. 12 of most of its interior. It replaced the rear glass and door glass with Plexiglas to subtract more weight. The vehicle barely tips the scales at 3,000 pounds. "We shaved weight everywhere we possibly could," Will said.
Although the horsepower is not gaudy at 625 at the flywheel, the forged internals are stout. The bored out 4.6-liter aluminum block has the guts to rev to 8,000 rpm, or just what the track ordered. The Grigg's racing suspension plants the massive P305 series sticky tires on the track to do their business. Lights, turn signals, horns, windshield, and "everything else" functions to make the car legal on the street. Full 3-inch JBA exhausts are flat out loud and obnoxious, or all-the-better for Saturday night cruising and car showing.
Of course the No. 33 '10 offers the most versatility between street and track. It uses bits and pieces of the other two and strikes a great balance. This Mustang started life as a stock '10 GT loaded with options. Car FX removes the black textured lower rocker panels and bumper covers. It repaints these pieces body color in the company's paint booth to avoid overspray on the car. The purpose is to "bring it all together" in a styling sense.
Passengers ride in comfort...
Passengers ride in comfort with leather bucket seats and the great new dash layout of the '10 featuring an in-dash rearview in the central monitor courtesy of a camera mounted in the back.
"The black cladding makes the car look taller," Russell said. The black tends to fade into the road surface and the body appears to start up higher with the Grabber Blue paint. Black cladding defeats part of the purpose of lowering, which is to give the car more of a performance attitude. Along those lines, the Car FX striping department came up with the CFX Racing Stripe Package hood stripe incorporating the horsepower numbers.
The CDC Shaker-fed Paxton...
The CDC Shaker-fed Paxton is running a mere 9 pounds of boost. Russell says the 4.6-liter "will take that [boost] all day long for 100,000 miles and you keep your warranty." The quiet Paxton supercharger is stealthy cruising on the road.
A Shaker hoodscoop from Classic Design Concepts rounds out the appearance mods and ties in the exterior with the Paxton-blown Three-Valve, which cranks out 525 horsepower. With that kind of power, a great-handling suspension bolted to the rigid new chassis, Car FX's '10 runs with a variety of limited-edition tuner cars. Unlike the engine in the race car, the blown 4.6-liter doesn't require swapping pistons, and revs to a crisp 6,500 rpm.
In total, the Car FX '10 artfully blends street and track proficiency with full navigation, air conditioning, stereo, beautiful leather seats, and virtually every option possible. Of course, Will and his crew will help you build a 'Stang that's mild or wild, but be warned, he might just suggest that you paint it Grabber Blue.
5.0 Tech Specs
Car FX 2010 Mustang
Engine And Drivetrain
4.6-liter 90-degree V-8
Cracked powdered metal with floating wristpins
SOHC, variable camshaft timing
Aluminum, three valves per cylinder
Composite shell-welded single runner, charge motion control valves
Stock with SLP Loudmouth after-axle exhaust
Intercooled Paxton Supercharger SL2200
Tremec 3650 five-speed
8.8-in w/ 3.73 gears
Stock with Car FX tune
Chassis And Suspension
Tokico D-Spec Adjustable shocks
Tokico Adjustable-Height Coil Over Struts
Brembo 14-in brakes and four-piston calipers
18x9.5-in Steeda Pentar 2, Black
Nitto Invo Tires 275/40-18
Tokico Adjustable Height Variable Rate Rear Springs
Tokico D-Spec Adjustable
Baer 14-in upgrade
18x9.5-in Steeda Pentar 2, Black
Nitto Invo Tires 275/40-18