In this era of 420hp GTs, it's difficult to believe there was a time when a 390hp Cobra was the king of the Mustang hill. However, in many ways, the '03 Mustang Cobra was the spiritual beginning to the current era of high-powered 'Stangs. Our memories of first dumping the Terminator's heavy clutch pedal and unleashing the Eaton-supercharged Four-Valve 4.6 are still vivid. It was the car that delivered so many things that enthusiasts demanded for years: a six-speed manual, a supercharger, and even a nod to the wine-and-cheese crowd with an independent rear suspension. In short, it was one for the ages. Little did we know then that 390 hp and 390 lb-ft would seem weak by comparison. My how times have changed. However, one benefit of ever-increasing technology is applying it to older Mustangs.
Terminators have long loved supercharger upgrades, but heretofore there hasn't been a Termi TVS supercharger option. Eaton's Twin Vortices Series superchargers have proven their efficacy on GT500s and Coyotes. At the forefront of the TVS revolution is VMP Tuning, and its 800-plus-rwhp '07 GT500 and its 9-second '11 GT. Both cars were boosted by the trusty TVS. "After overwhelming success with the VMP TVS on the 5.4-liter GT500, it only seemed natural to go back and apply the technology to '03-'04 Terminators," explained VMP's main man, Justin Starkey. "While the cars are much older, stock unmolested cars pop up all the time with mod-eager owners." With such great results on those cars, Justin decided to offer a TVS for the Terminator. He engineered a bolt-on upgrade package.
"The VMP TVS is the first 'OEM-style' aftermarket blower ever produced for the '03-'04 Cobra. We started with an a new design based on OEM CAD data, then tooled a one-piece housing to bolt up to the factory lower intake," Justin added. "There is no adapter or intermediate plate, essentially making it just like an OEM blower in terms of fit and finish. This makes the blower easier to install and service, more durable/rigid, and less prone to vacuum leaks." That sounded pretty good to us, so we visited the VMP shop to see how this blower bolts on and what it puts down.
Horse Sense: Best known for its GT500 and now Terminator TVS upgrades, VMP Tuning also offers pulley and tuning upgrade packages for all Roushcharged Three-Valve 4.6 and Coyote 5.0 applications.