The MRT EcoBoost Mustang is subtle in its outward approach a splash of color and a dash of carbon fiber accent the black S550. It is, however, the Vortech-supercharged EcoBoost engine underhood that really makes it stand out.
If you love custom vehicles that dare to be different, the 2017 EcoBoost Mustang built by MRT for The SEMA Show is right up your alley. It would be easy to throw on a bigger turbo and some flashy paint and call it show ready, but MRT gave its Mustang a complete makeover highlighted by a crazy, compound-boost setup.
Going with bigger turbos is one thing, but adding boost with a supercharger is a little different. We like being different.
“The whole inspiration behind this car is Sport Touring. What that means is addressing every attribute a driver would engage with a vehicle—driving, styling, handling, performance and comfort—the whole shooting match,” MRT main man Scott Hoag explained. “EcoBoost is a fabulous powertrain that offers a lot of performance and a lot of fun, but it has been around for a few minutes and SEMA is about taking it to the next level. Going with bigger turbos is one thing, but adding boost with a supercharger is a little different. We like being different.”
Looking to stand out from crowd, the MRT Mustang features basic black paint scheme accented by splashes of color and generous dose of carbon fiber from Anderson Composites. The scheme is just enough to let you know this isn’t your average EcoBoost Mustang and that theme continues with the suspension.
What do we have here? Is that a Vortech supercharger boosting a turbocharged EcoBoost 2.3-liter? It sure is. MRT wanted to stand out at The SEMA Show, and this combo definitely turned some heads.
“Our friends at BC Racing helped us out with the coilovers that let us set the stance of the car exactly the way we want it. The stance of the car says I am road hungry and I want to handle the corners,” Scott said. “To accomplish that we teamed up with Toyo on a set of performance Proxes and to support the tires are the stunning HE forged wheels, which are debuting at SEMA. These are brand-new to the marketplace. HE stands for Halibrand Engineering and you know the history of Halibrand. They were the first mag wheel in the automotive industry, so this is where it began and they are back again.”
Right now this is a one-off installation, but if MRT comes up with a salable solution to fueling this twice-boosted combo, this kit may one day hit the market.
Anderson Composites full carbon fiber rear seat delete
Sparco carbon fiber front seats
MRT color-accented trim
MGW short-throw shifter
Kicker audio system
More than just a retro-themed wheel, the modern vintage Halibrands are lightweight forgings that only tip the scales at 20 pounds, which is five or more pounds lighter than you might expect from a typical 20-inch wheel.
While dropping a few pounds at each corner helps with performance, MRT set out to really ramp up the power level of the 2.3-liter engine under the hood. That started with a few well-chosen bolt-ons.
“At MRT we cannot leave the exhaust alone. We are the experts in that field at balancing performance, sound and comfort,” Scott enthused. “It has no resonance and no boom, but it delivers a performance sound for an EcoBoost. When you start it, it says I’m something special and it was also a big enabler for us to get the horsepower to the ground.”
Besides the exhaust, MRT turned to JMS for its dynamic duo of plug-and-play performance enhancers.
“We have added the PedalMax and BoostMax and the best way I can describe it is that the PedalMax absolutely connects you to the car. Your throttle response is right there, crisp and right now,” he said. “There is also increased area under the curve thanks to the BoostMax and it really is a lot of fun.”
“We are supporting a 3,000-watt stereo system, which is tuned and balanced by Kicker and it is absolute studio sound,” Scott said. “It sounds like they are singing to you.”
Of course, what really builds steam under the hood is a custom Vortech supercharger installation. Rather than supplanting the factory turbocharger, it is configured to deliver boost into the turbo. Compound boost dates back to World War II fighter planes, so the concept isn’t new, but the execution on a gas-turbo direct injection application definitely is new, but the question remains if this system will make the leap from custom to production.
It fits, it works and the concept is proven. Now we need to finish the details so that the consumer experience is right
“I would like to predict the future and say that it will find its way to the market eventually, yes. We still need to work out a couple of things,” Scott added. “It fits, it works and the concept is proven. Now we need to finish the details so that the consumer experience is right. That is the commitment that both Vortech and MRT have with the things we bring to market.”
The main thing to work out is providing adequate fuel to feed the dual-power-adder 2.3, but those solutions are making their way to market, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar setup offered for sale.