No matter what product you buy, a better product is sure to supplant it. Buy a new computer, there will be a faster one. Buy a new TV, there will be a bigger one. Buy a new phone and there will be a cooler one. Cars are no different. Even if you buy a top-of-the-heap car like a Shelby GT500 with the Performance Pack, you aren't safe from buyer's remorse.
As awesome as the '11-'12 GT500s are, the announcement of the 650hp '13 GT500 delivered a strong message. You have two choices. Sell your GT500, or upgrade it. The former requires taking a large financial hit, while the latter will only cost you a bit more. Besides, you've been wanting to upgrade anyway.
In the case of Rick Schmidt of National Parts Depot, he is one of the few guys that calls his Performance Pack '11 Shelby GT500 a daily driver. With a factory glass roof, silver paint, and stripe delete, it's exactly the car your author would have ordered. It is a great car, but after piling up the miles, Rick was ready to add some ponies without detracting from the car's driveability.
With that in mind, Rick turned to VMP Tuning for one of Justin Starkey's TVS supercharger upgrade kits. Having already experienced the results of Justin's tuning and pulley upgrades on his otherwise-stock GT500, Rick knew that Justin has an effective recipe. Moving up from the stock blower to the TVS was the next logical step.
"The VMP TVS is built to my specs at the time of manufacture and includes a 12-month warranty. Those specs include a specially machined nose drive for the included 2.5-inch pulley. This is worth about 1 pound more than a regular TVS, which will only take a 2.6-inch pulley," explained VMP's main man, Justin Starkey. "The inlet of my VMP TVS is CNC ported and about 20-percent larger than the regular TVS, and it is matched to the high-flow inlet elbow..."
In the end, the dyno results were quite impressive, but even more impressive was Rick's impression of the car.
"It's a tale of two extremes, only now the two extremes reside in separate solar systems. Driven normally, the car behaves just as nice and docile and drivable as it was stock... But step into it past half-throttle and the car is an absolute gorilla," Rick enthused. "I honestly can't remember what it ‘felt like' before. I had thought the car was fast stock, but now it's a far more serious and g-force–experiencing prospect when you mash the throttle. Only in the right conditions can I get Third gear to hook whatsoever, and when it does, it's like riding a rocket."
Keep reading to see just how easy it is to completely transform your GT500's performance.
Horse Sense: Terminator owners needn't be jealous of all the GT500 upgrade options any longer. VMP recently introduced a TVS supercharger upgrade for the '03-'04 Cobra. It's available for $3,499 with a stock-style inlet elbow, or $3,549 with a single-blade inlet. VMP says this kit delivers as much as a 300hp gain on an otherwise-stock Termi.
On the Dyno
It's not too often that you'll see such a huge gain from basically one major modification,
We've been around our share of aftermarket-supercharged GT500s, including our own Project Vapor Trail, so we know what to expect. That said, even we were impressed by the stout 136 hp and 129 lb-ft peak gains we saw on Rick's stock-exhaust car. We saw these on a mild day, but it wasn't really cold and the barometric pressure was pretty average. This was just a legit, healthy gain.
Of course, there was more than just a peak gain with this mod, the VMP TVS delivered solid gains throughout the power curve.
You can't tack on 4 pounds of boost and 136 hp without a proper calibration. Of course, Ju
"Rick's car is well broken in and picked up right around what I would expect," Justin said. "The stock cats are raising boost by about 0.5 to 1 psi. With the addition of an off-road pipe, this car would probably see around 15-20 rwhp; something like Dynatech 17?8-inch longtubes would probably net 25-40 rwhp."
This is Rick's stock engine. The '11 GT500s not only received a bump in their stock horsep
Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning first removes the inlet tubing and throttle body. The oil poo
With the inlet and blower drive belt out of the way, Justin unbolts and removes the stock
Conversely, the Twin Vortices Series unit offered by VMP features more efficient twisted r
VMP Tuning offers just the supercharger upgrade ($3,499) as well as a complete kit ($3,999
If you want to easily adjust your boost level anywhere between 12 and 22 psi (depending on
The VMP TVS is just about ready to go out of the box, but you do need to swap over this lo
Justin drops the TVS right into place like it was meant to live there. In addition to its
VMP maximized the performance of its Q-port inlet elbow (left) with computational fluid dy
The '11-'12 GT500 inlet elbows feature a bung that directly accepts the EVAP solenoid. VMP
Of course, there is no sense in upgrading your supercharger and inlet elbow and retaining
The VMP supercharger kit includes eight new Motorcraft spark plugs, which are one heat ran
The factory '10-'12 inlet tubing features a built-in resonator to dampen the melodious ton
While Rick's ride already featured a high-flow air filter, Justin installed a fresh blue f
Here is the finished installation. The VMP TVS looks right at home in the engine bay, and