This coupe's not just about rocket-sled acceleration. It's also upgraded in the turning and braking departments. Because they are so well calibrated and coordinated, we've become huge fans of Ford Racing's various Handling Packs, including the one used here (M-FR3-MGTA), which provides a practical 1-inch height drop, along with the sharpened reflexes of revised springs, dampers, and sway bars. Complete suspension content is listed in our sidebar, but the net effect is quickened lateral response and less understeer (not that the '11 GT has much to start with) at the penalty of a ride that is definitely firmer than stock but still livable, even on Detroit's broken cart-path pavement.
We'd love to have sampled it on a road course, where the Brembo (GT500) 14-inch front brake upgrade (M-2300-S) would also have played a larger role. More GT500 DNA is obvious in the M-1007-DC1895 rims, which are 18x9.5 in dimension and lifted directly from the '10 Shelby. Aside from the Coyote-specific supercharger kit, just about everything this rolling catalog wears can be fitted to any '05-and-newer GT.
All too soon-though happily with driver's license still intact and unsullied-it was time to bring the bellowing blue billboard back. Just as well, perhaps. In a few short hours, I'd thoroughly depleted my adrenaline supplies in the process of leaving twin black streaks over most of suburban Detroit's ragged roadways. OK, that's an exaggeration. Truthfully, I was in full civil disobedience mode only occasionally, and spent most of the time just reveling in the overall greatness of FRPP's improvements on the already-spectacular '11 GT.
When we first drove the Coyote, we wondered what could possibly be done to improve on it. Now we know.
In stark contrast to the billboard...
In stark contrast to the billboard mobile, this otherwise bone-stock, black '11 GT served as Ford Racing's rolling research and development lab for the company's premium-fuel calibration. Its interior is cluttered with instrumentation used in testing and evaluating the calibration in real-world conditions.
Admittedly, not everyone needs (or can afford) 624 hp, or even 525, from their '11 GT, and handling purists might shun adding an intercooled supercharger's weight over the front wheels. For this naturally aspirated crowd, FRPP offers a premium-fuel calibration (PN M-9603-MGTB), loaded on a Ford ProCal tool and packaged with a K&N panel air filter for a peak increase of about 16 hp and 7 lb-ft. Doesn't sound like much, does it?
After sampling Ford Racing's humble-looking '11 GT calibration-development mule, we were left giddy at how much more eagerly it responds to throttle input from idle right on up. We know that factory calibrations-even on something as potent as the Coyote-purposely leave a lot on the table in terms of throttle tip-in response and torque limiting, but we didn't expect such a dramatic difference. Retuning a Coyote, with its twin-independent variable cam timing, is undoubtedly a challenging, multi-faceted task. The best way to describe the effect of FRPP's calibration is that it felt like the GT had shed hundreds of pounds. Off-idle response is now saber-sharp-more so than we could have imagined possible from software jockeying.
This is the engine bay of...
This is the engine bay of the recalibration mule. You can't see its revised programming, and even the K&N filter hides inside the factory airbox, making Ford Racing's Coyote recalibration/filter combo (M-9603-MGTB) 100-percent stealthy underhood. You may not see it, but brothers and sisters, you'll surely feel it.
Ford Racing says the torque delta (at least while using 93-octane juice) can be as high as 60 lb-ft (yes, 60!) better than stock at 1,500 rpm, and the seat of our pants firmly declares that claim to be legit. Another major boon is that the recalibration eliminates the factory's intrusive skip-shift manual-tranny programming, meaning the driver, rather than the processor, gets to pick upshift strategy. All this for an MSRP of only $410, making this the first upgrade we'd order were we lucky enough to own an '11 GT.