Not standing still for too long, Lethal Performance took the '11 GT to Palm Beach Internat
When we last left Lethal Performance's '11 Mustang GT project car, it was transformed from mild-mannered stocker into a bolt-on, nitrous-breathing contender. With just a few bolt-ons and a whiff of the horsepower gas, this car was a serious street machine.
Those modifications, however, were simply a test to see how the car responded. The goal all along was to add boost and hold on for dear life. To make that happen, Lethal returned the car largely to its stock configuration, save the one-piece DSS driveshaft and Magnaflow after-cat exhaust. With that done, it was time for us to head back down to Power By The Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida, to watch the car go under the knife and receive Ford Racing's new Whipple supercharger kit.
Lethal has long been a proponent of Whipple's twin-screw superchargers, and has used them on several prior project cars, including its recent 5.0&SF cover star, a '10 GT500 project car.
"Being that we've got an excellent relationship with Whipple as well as the fact that we ran their twin screws on our past project cars it was a no brainer who's kit we were going to run once they became available for the 5.0," said Jared Rosen of Lethal Performance. "Not only do their kits provide awesome power but we know that the support we'll receive with the kit is of the highest level as well."
Likewise, Ford Racing Performance Parts has long offered complete supercharger kits based on Whipple's superchargers. Naturally, FRPP's kit was the first variation of Whipple blowers available for the new Coyote 5.0. However, even for the factory's performance arm there were challenges to creating a kit for the all-new engine.
"Accessory drive was a challenge, as well as hood clearance. This is common for any positive displacement valley-mounted supercharger kit," Ford Racing's Jesse Kershaw explained. "Also adding the second ACT sensor. This is critical to offering a warranty on our 525hp kit. By adding a second air-charge-temperature sensor downstream, we are able to monitor what's going on with air charge as well as the incoming air through the mass air. With only one, which is typically installed in the intake, the PCM is only getting half of the information we need to fully calibrate the kit. Only the Ford Racing kit features the second ACT sensor."
Besides the factory levels of quality put into the mechanicals of this kit, it's the tuning that Ford Racing is most proud of. "Tuning is extremely critical with this engine. Higher compression ratio, more processor functionality, and twin independent variable cam timing all play a role in maximizing power but add to the difficulty of calibration," Jesse said. "The second ACT sensor requires all-new software in the processor not just a calibration. It's akin to a normal calibration being a Microsoft Word file, ours is like downloading a new version of Microsoft Word with new functionality that accepts our file. No one else can do this outside of Ford."
In practice, the kit's results are quite impressive. The driveability surpasses that of the stock car. The car's response is improved and the annoying skip-shift is a thing of the past. Moreover, the car picks up gobs of power and torque across the entire powerband, essentially transforming the already impressive Mustang GT into a stealthy street fighter capable of going toe-to-toe with even pulley-and-tune GT500s.