Just as the Coyote engine set a new power standard for the Ford world in 2011, the third-generation version of the iconic 5.0-liter engine has taken the performance world by storm. Quickly powering the 2018 Mustang to impressive milestones on the chassis dyno and quarter mile, this engine has proven a monster when paired with a power adder.

I think we’re probably at this engine’s limit, or very close to it. — Jon Lund Jr., Lund Racing

“The 2018 engine is ripe for making big power because of the high compression and direct injection,” Jon Lund Jr., of Lund Racing, explained. “The larger intake and exhaust valves are also a small contributor.”

Though the tach signal glitched on this run, so the torque wasn’t recorded, you can see this Coyote just kept pulling to the tune of 1,016 rear-wheel horsepower courtesy of 15 pounds of boost. (Photo Credit: Midnight Performance)

One of the latest machines to maximize the potential of the Gen 3 Coyote without even removing the cam covers is Jesus Fajardo’s 2018 Mustang GT, which runs out of the Midnight Performance stable. Optioned with the 10R80 10-speed auto trans, it recently became the first to run in the 8-second zone with little more than a turbo kit, a fuel system, and a Lund Racing custom calibration.

What’s It Feel Like?

You might be wondering what it’s like to put together a car like this and put down such impressive numbers in short order. Well, the car’s owner Jesus Fajardo says it came together pretty easily.

“OK, so when I first got this car I had already planned to do a turbo kit from the get-go. I went with Aldo Welds, as he is a good friend and local fabricator,” he said. “Once it was done we upgraded the fuel system and took it down the track for the first time ever. Man did it feel so good, that 10-speed just rippin’ though those gear and the steady force of it just pulling! That was on wastegate, which was 4-5 psi.”

But what did it feel like when he turned it up?

“When we saw everything was good, we turned it up and ran 10 psi, and oh my god, what a big difference it made!” Jesus added. “Finally on this last visit to the track we were on 12-13 psi and the feeling is just amazing, as the car just took off so nasty and just put me in my seat cutting a 1.4 60-foot for the first time and lifting front wheels a little off the ground, I ran that 8.99 at 155. I am very happy with this car’s performance and its modern features to go along with it. The car is still on 100-percent stock motor and 100-percent original stock transmission.”

You can’t help but be impressed by how well this new engine performs.

“The biggest contributor to the efficiency of the Aldo Welds Turbo kit is the exhaust manifolds, and where everything is placed. Aldo did a fine job engineering it,” Jon said. “The other part is the Precision 6466 turbos. They are very efficient and make great power with ease. The air-to-water side obviously allows us to keep intake air temps chilled, so it never has to worry about the Texas heat it resides in. As a side note, on this 1,000-rear-wheel-horsepower hit, it didn’t even have ice in the tank. That was water only and driven to the dyno, hot off the street!”

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While some might frown at calling this engine ‘stock,’ it technically just has external bolt-ons. It is stock from throttle body to oil pan save for the turbo kit bolted to the cylinder heads and the larger injectors in the manifold.

“Aside from proper calibration, to keep this engine living it requires good fuel like E85 to deter detonation, as well as cool inlet air temps,” Jon explained. “It also requires us to pay attention to the details. Manuel Gomez (of Midnight Performance) is my eyes and ears on the car while I am remote. Without his awareness on something he sees or hears that could help prolong the life of the engine, it could be a mess.”

Add boost, E85, and a custom calibration to a 2018 Mustang, and voilà, you get four-digit performance. With the proper supporting hardware, that translates into 8-second e.t.’s.

Fortunately it hasn’t been, but that doesn’t mean that Lund Racing is resting on these impressive laurels. The crew there is still doing research and development on the latest platform.

“I am constantly learning something new about the 2018 calibrations,” Jon said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to push these combinations to keep learning!”

Midnight Performance 2018 Mustang Mods

Aldo Welds custom twin-turbo kit w/ air-to-water intercooler

• AMS2000 boost controller

BMR Suspension complete upgrade

• DSS driveshaft

• DSS 1,400-horsepower halfshafts

• E85 fuel

• Fore Innovations dual-regulator return fuel system w/ three Walbro 465-lph pumps

• Injector Dynamics ID1300x2 port injectors w/ factory direct injection

• Lund Racing remote calibration via nGauge

Mickey Thompson skinnies (front) and 17-inch ET Street SS Drag Radials (rear)

• Precision Turbo 6466 turbos

• Viking Performance shocks and struts

• Watson Racing K-member

• Wilwood brakes

“I think we’re probably at this engine’s limit, or very close to it,” Jon added. “We don’t want to scatter parts, but we’re all eager to keep making the car go quicker and faster. It’s like trying to do back flips on a high-rise tightrope!”

So, don’t expect people to push the Gen 3 Coyote too much further into the four-digit range. However, you can expect more 2018+ Mustangs to sneak into the 1,000-horsepower zone without touching the engine, and that goes to show the amazing times we are living in.

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