Despite what the Nevada city's nudge-nudge, wink-wink commercials might suggest, the goings-on in Las Vegas don't always remain discreet, especially on the automotive side. Case in point, last November the crew from Raceskinz rolled into Sin City with this hot number and now the whole world knows about it. Blame the annual SEMA show, where any hopes of keeping such smokin' affairs under wraps soon fall under the relentless tell-all scrutiny of the performance-publication paparazzi. Like in Hollywood, only the ugly remain anonymous.
Obviously, there was little hope of Raceskinz's '11 RS50 project retaining any anonymity whatsoever, 'cause it's a striking example of what the aftermarket can do with the current GT. This was, in fact, one of Editor Turner's favorite Mustangs among the scads of them on display at last fall's SEMA show, and I can hardly find fault with the ponytailed patriarch's assessment. Avoiding the over-the-top excesses of some Vegas show types, the RS50 is leading-man handsome, yet remains real-world with its absence of artificially contrived glitz or bling.
Of course, the RS50 serves to showcase many of Raceskinz' own exterior and cabin enhancements, yet it shares the makeover glory with other aftermarket offerings, such as Steeda's Q-Series hood and front fascia, 3D Carbon's 3D500 rear spoiler, and Mono Leggera Dito 22- inch rims in Stealth Gray. In total, these combine for a package that accentuates--rather than trying to compete with--the factory GT's good looks.
In case you've been living under a Geico rock, California-based Raceskinz has been steadily building a business since 2007. Its carbon-fiber accessories include the RS50's lightweight Extreme front splitter, paired with its matching rear diffuser, rocker panel extensions, and mirror covers. Of course, the upgrade that started it all for Raceskinz are its real-carbon-fiber top and side stripes--maybe not the cheapest way to stripe your ride, but surely one of the most distinctive.
Not just about exterior enhancements--as evidenced by a look inside the RS50's cabin-- everything aft of the dashboard comes from the company's catalog. This includes its leather-trimmed and red-accented RS50 seats (with matching door-panel accents), as well as the Rear Seat Delete II kit, also trimmed in cowhide. As part of the kit, the real estate formerly occupied by the back seat is now surrounded with a rear-seat bar--usually known in less litigious circles as a rollbar. Quickly becoming a Raceskinz staple, the delete kit hardware extends right into the trunk area and certainly changes the overall character of a Mustang cockpit. Who needs a cramped back seat anyway?
Raceskinz doesn't make chassis bits, so it partnered with Steeda Autosports to address the RS50's handling prowess, and the gang in Florida responded with their full '11-version G-Trac suspension for the project. Though no 5.0-tuned dampers were yet available, the RS50 wears Steeda's Extreme Sport springs, adjustable front and rear antiroll bars, heavy-duty upper strut mounts, bumpsteer kit, billet rear lower control arms (with relocation brackets), and adjustable Panhard bar. And that, uh, handled that.
Oh, and there was no way Raceskinz was headed to the SEMA stage with a bone-stock engine bay. That situation was remedied with ProCharger's (Stage 1) air-to-air intercooled P-1SC centrifugal blower kit, pullied for 7 psi and resulting in 545 hp and 422 lb-ft at those fat rear wheels.
If you like the overall result as much as our editor does (and as Ford seems to--the auto company awarded the RS50 a Ford Corporate Design Award at SEMA), you'll be happy to know that Raceskinz and Steeda are partnering to make customer copies available even as you read this. 5.0
Horse Sense: Raceskinz is a division of Catalyst Industrial Marking, a major producer of OEM and fleet graphics with facilities in both Sun Valley, California, and Las Vegas, and its OEM customer list includes Shelby American.
5.0 tech specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Power Adder ProCharger P-1SC (Stage 1)
Cylinder Heads Stock
Intake Manifold Stock
Fuel System ProCharger 50-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Magnaflow 3-in
Engine Management Stock, with ProCharger calibration (91-octane)
Gauges Edge Insight CTS monitoring system
Suspension and Chassis
Springs Steeda Extreme Sport
Sway Bar Steeda adjustable
Brakes Baer 14-in w/six-piston calipers
Wheels Forgiato Mono Leggera Dito, 22x9-in, three-piece
Tires Pirelli P-Zero, 245/35-22
Springs Steeda Extreme Sport
Control Arms Steeda billet lowers, relocation brackets and adjustable Panhard
Brakes Baer 14-in rotors, stock calipers
Wheels Forgiato Mono Leggera Dito, 22x10-in, three-piece
Tires Pirelli P-Zero, 295/25-22
▼The only auxiliary instrumentation inside is a pillar-mounted Edge Insight CTS monitoring
▲ProCharger’s 7-psi (Stage 1) P-1SC centrifugal blower and a Magnaflow 3-inch exhaust comb