If you are a Mustang enthusiast, surely by now you know the capabilities of the 2011 Mustang. While a few shops have been able to squeeze out 500 RWHP naturally aspirated, most go straight for the power adders, and that is exactly our goal with our 2011 Mustang project.
One of the goals of the “Wild E. Coyote” 2011 Mustang is a 10 second time slip. While we could have gone a variety of different ways – including nitrous or a turbo – we went with a company that has been producing superchargers for Mustangs for over twenty years, and that company is Vortech Superchargers.
In naturally aspirated form, our Mustang was making about 55 RWHP more than stock – thanks to a JPC header-back exhaust system, Airaid intake, and a custom SCT Flash tune by Brenspeed. For most, having a muscle car that lays down 428 RWHP to the pavement might be good enough, but it wasn’t for us.
Vortech’s 2011 Mustang System
Part of Vortech’s goal with the 2011 Mustang system was to design the only centrifugal supercharger kit for this car that will be CARB legal. There is a carbon trap inside the stock air box that will instantly void any manufacture’s ability to make a CARB legal kit that cannot transfer that feature over. “The primary reasons we placed the supercharger on the passenger side was packaging and CARB certification,” said Vortech’s Mike Reagan. “Based on the accessory placement and thermostat housing on the 5.0, it was a a cleaner installation on the passenger side too. Also, intercooler plumbing was a factor.”
Vortech offers the kit in three finishes – satin, polished or 20th anniversary black edition. Wanting the ultra clean appearance of an all-black kit, with went with the anniversary edition. The kit overall is the same, though the piping that leads to the throttle body, the supercharger, and intercooler are all powder coated black.
From there, Vortech stuck with their tried and true V3 self lubricated supercharger. Out of the box, the supercharger is designed to produce around 6.5 PSI with the stock air box and pulley combination. With a simple pulley change, the V3 is capable of supporting nearly 800 HP. “The V3 Si-Trim is an evolution of the S-trim, which is about 6% more efficient and supports 80 more horsepower,” said Reagan “The Si-Trim has a peak efficiency of 78% and it has a really broad map to accommodate about 95% of our street applications, plus it can support about 775 horsepower with smaller pulleys.”
The supercharger is hung to a bracket and pulley system that mounts to the passenger side cylinder head area utilizing the stock location bolts. Since the kit uses the stock serpentine belt configuration, a cog pulley setup is not possible with this kit. We have to mention that Justin Burcham of JPC Racing has made over 850 RWHP with the serpentine system. For those concerned about this, Reagan explains, “The way the bracket is laid out with the idlers and supercharger drive pulleys, it creates excellent belt wrap. The stability of the mounting bracket bracket further reduces any flexing under high horsepower applications.”
Helping keep that pressurized air cool is Vortech’s massive front mount intercooler. Due to the size of this intercooler, modifications to the inside of the front bumper cover will need to be made. “The charge cooler itself has the capability of supporting around 900 horsepower,” explained Reagan. “We basically tried to fit the largest heat exchanger we could without compromising engine cooling capacity.”
Installing the Vortech Supercharger Kit
If you are installing the kit yourself in a garage, you should plan for a full weekend to complete it. There is not much fabrication involved with this kit other than the trimming that will need to be done to the inside of the bumper cover and splash shield.
To keep a close eye on the amount of boost we were making, we turned to AEM Electronics for their 0-15 PSI boost gauge. It uses an electronic boost sensor and not a long vacuum line plumbed into the car, plus it features adjustable black lighting colors as well as gauge faces. The water/methanol gauge is for a up coming article where we install an AEM water/methanol injection kit.
Holding the gauges in place is a Speed of Sound gauge pod. Keeping you from having to cut up your stock pillar plastics, Speed of Sound includes a new OEM Mustang pillar plastic that comes pre-fitted with their custom, textured gauge holders that are designed for 2-1/16th” gauges. Speed of Sound offers these pods in all OEM color combinations.
Dyno and Driving Impressions
Key in the ignition, turn, and fire – the Mustang fired up immediately and idled with ease. The sound of the Vortech supercharger whine was music to our ears. Since we installed the Vortech kit on the Dynojet’s four post lift, we simply raised it and strapped it down on the rollers.
Driving the Mustang with its new-found Vortech power is extremely easy. The vehicle performs like it is naturally aspirated when driving under low throttle situations, but it is eager to pounce when the throttle hits the floor. This is where the Mustang feels like a different animal, making second gear nearly useless on street tires. The power delivery is super-linear and peak boost will be seen around 5500 RPM.
Taking it down the ol’ 1320
We were like kids waiting for Christmas until the next open track session was available at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. This is the closest quarter mile track to our office and is only open about two weekends a month. This time we showed up for a PSCA Friday test session. We drove the Mustang to the track with our new 15×10 Weld wheels and Mickey Thompson 295/55/15 drag radials installed. With the tire pressure dropped to 14 PSI, we headed to the lanes.
At the end of the day we couldn’t be happier with how our 2011 Mustang performed. Vortech includes everything you need with the kit and the installation takes about 10 hours without any specialty tools needed. If you are worried about driveability with a supercharger installed, don’t. With 700 HP at the crank, the Mustang drives exactly like stock around town and gives you all the power you need… when you need it. Best of all, our 10 second ET goal will soon be accomplished; now we just need to increase our handling efforts for our 1G skid pad run!