Scott Hoag just laughs us off when we question his tendency to build black show vehicles for his company, Mustang Racing Technologies. "But Scott," we whine like insufferable children, "black cars are so hard to photograph. They don't draw the eye's attention, so almost never make our cover."
Smiling patiently and resisting the urge to backhand us upside the head, Mr. Hoag then builds up this wicked, mostly black MRT Predator from an '11 GT. Despite our warnings, the thing wins the Product Excellence Award from Ford Motor Company at the 2010 SEMA show -- proving once again that insufferable children should keep their mouths shut, and black cars are just plain cool.
It seems there’s more color underhood than on the rest of the car, thanks to MRT’s Carbon
So we found ourselves eating humble pie and dodging thunderstorms (in the midst of a month-long drought!), while trying to capture this award-winning Predator roaming the streets near MRT's suburban-Detroit headquarters. As we tucked in vehicular formation to follow Scott and his Predator to the photo site, we were also reminded that while understated hues may be to his taste, understated exhausts are definitely not.
With Dynatech long-tube headers backed up by MRT's own 3-inch, stainless cat H-pipe and axle-back system, this Predator won't likely be sneaking up on any prey. Then again, however, with a Sean Hyland supercharger underhood, it should still be able to catch most any prey.
MRT's Predator was the first installation we'd seen of this intercooled, Eaton TVS-based blower, which is said to produce 605 hp from only 7 psi of boost, and even carries a three-year warranty. We can never have too many boost choices, even if the Sean Hyland blower is Coyote-only.
As a SEMA star, MRT's menacing coupe is, first and foremost, an exercise in self-promotion, so pretty much everything you see on it is likely available through the company (www.mrt-direct.com). Some of those products are its own, like the rear window louvers and the Carbon Cherry finishes you see accenting the underhood and cabin areas. More than just a parts warehouse, MRT's Plymouth, Michigan, headquarters contain installation bays as well as a professional paint booth. Also on-site is the hardware necessary to apply those carbon-look finishes -- or myriad other patterns -- to practically any metal or plastic parts. So if you're looking for personal customization...
Obviously, not everything on the Predator is manufactured in-house, yet some of those bits are still MRT-exclusive, like the diamond stitch-pattern seat covers (front and rear), door-panel inserts, and center console lid that give such a custom -- dare we say, retro? -- pleated look to the interior.
MRT is also an H&R suspension distributor, and the German manufacturer's S197 coilover package gives the Predator its crouching stance and simple ride-height adjustment, so it can go from show car to track car (Mr. Hoag has a love of road racing) in short order. In that regard, a massive Baer brake package is readily apparent behind the thin spokes of 20-inch Forgestar F14 rims, custom finished to match those subdued overall black and cherry hues.
The Predator's physique is embellished with a 3D Carbon Boy Racer body kit, along with Silverhorse Racing quarter-window fillers and billet fuel door (black, of course.) And in the nose is a Boss 302 grille; beneath it you can see the heat exchanger for the blower kit.
After wrapping up our photo shoot (during which we bellyached and moaned most of the time about the black-related lighting challenges), we couldn't resist asking Scott about the color for the follow-up MRT SEMA Mustang project. In deference to our cameras, only the top is black. 5.0
Horse Sense: Longtime readers may recognize Scott Hoag as being instrumental in bringing the '01 Bullitt to market, back in his former life with Team Mustang at Ford Motor Company.
5.0 TECH SPECS
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
- Power Adder
- Sean Hyland 2.3-liter TVS supercharger, intercooled
- Cylinder Heads
- Intake Manifold
- Sean Hyland
- Mass Air
- Fuel System
- 47-lb/hr injectors w/fuel pump booster
- Dynatech long-tube headers w/MRT stainless, catalytic 3-in H-pipe and after-cat system
- Stock MT-82 six-speed manual
- Stock 8.8-in
- Engine Management
- Copperhead w/Sean Hyland tune
Suspension and Chassis
- FRONT SUSPENSION
- H&R coilover
- H&R coilover
- Baer six-piston
- 20x9-in Forgestar F14, custom-painted
- Pirelli, 255/35R-20
- H&R coilover
- H&R coilover
- Control Arms
- 20x11-in Forgestar F14, custom-painted
- Pirelli, 295/30R-20