Taking cues from the F18 Hornet and other fighter planes, the VMP Performance Track Attack 2017 Mustang was built to fly in The SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week and showcase the brand-new VMP Gen2R TVS supercharger that’s just under that clear window on the hood.
This week in Las Vegas thousands of cars and companies look to stand out from the crowd at The SEMA Show. As the automotive aftermarket convenes to show off its latest wares the real stars of the show are the cars built with these products. Among those cars is the Track Attack 2017 Mustang created by VMP Performance to fly over the crowd.
Each year Ford Motor Company supports a handful of aftermarket companies with new vehicles to customize specifically for this show. For 2016, Ford spread out F-150s, Fusions, Focus, Fiestas and, of course, several Mustangs. VMP applied for one of these cars and was selected based on the strength of its Track Attack proposal.
Who knew 851 horsepower and 703 lb-ft of torque could look so stock? With just the addition of a VMP Stage3 supercharger kit, which includes the new Gen2R TVS supercharger and all the supporting hardware, this stock engine belts out that power. Of course the Dynatech/Cervini’s exhaust and custom calibration are part of the equation, but all together they deliver huge power that is easy to drive.
We are going to give you a reason for the speedometer to say Ground Speed
“One of the first things I said in the little narrative on the Ford application was ‘We are going to give you a reason for the speedometer to say Ground Speed,’” BJ McCarty, General Manager at VMP Performance, said.
The reason the speedo is emblazoned with those words is that designer Doyle Letson called on the aerospace world as an inspiration for designing the latest Mustang’s cockpit-style interior. The VMP project takes that concept sky high, as BJ looked to US warplanes for inspiration.
Inspired by Aviation
In back the Cervini’s rear wing and exhaust deletes finish out the look that also includes the company’s side exhaust side skirts and front splitter. The fighter-plane inspired livery is part of a theme designed to pay homage to the US military.
“It’s really kind of a collaboration of things, but the F18 Hornet is one that I really took a look at and thought this is the one that looks mean,” BJ said. “It’s sleek. It’s mean. It looks like it’s ready to attack just sitting on the runway.”
It’s sleek. It’s mean. It looks like it’s ready to attack just sitting on the runway
A key part of giving the car its fighter plane personality was the paint scheme. VMP had hoped to score an Avalanche Gray Mustang, but just missed the production cutoff for this color. They settled for a black 2017 Mustang and had it repainted in the desired color.
While gray was important to give it the Mustang an airplane look, BJ knew it had to have a proper livery—and nose art. It had to have nose art. While trying to settle on this crucial imagery, Rebecca Starkey, noted racer and wife of VMP president Justin Starkey, was struck by inspiration. She sketched a patriotic lady sitting on a bomb and it fit. All they needed was someone to paint it, so they entrusted Chris Cruz of Chris Cruz Artistry in Deland, Florida to do it justice.
The custom-upholstered GT350R seats, Simpson harness belts and dual Aeroforce gauges further the aerospace them inside the VMP Track Attack Mustang. Ford designers drew on the aerospace world for inspiration when designing the S550 interior, so this project is an extension of that aesthetic.
One of the things I really wanted on this car was nose art. That really did pay homage to the history of military aviation
“He did the nose art. One of the things I really wanted on this car was nose art. That really did pay homage to the history of military aviation,” BJ said.“One of the things that Ford looks at is to keep the Ford branding as many places as possible. They really don’t want you taking that off, and I certainly don’t blame them because they have spent millions of dollars building an incredible brand. So we took off the 5.0 emblem and we wanted to find a way to integrate that and we did so in the nose art.”
Of course, before the car could be painted the VMP team had to imbue this S550 with the fighter plane vibe with some carefully selected modifications. Ford links its SEMA project partners with mentors. In VMP’s case they worked with Ford Motor Company Design Manager, Garen Nicoghosian, who was a lead designer on the Ford GT. He grabbed the stick and steered the Track Attack to a cleaner look and inspired one of its most unique features.
VMP Performance’s BJ McCarty acted as the project manager for the Track Attack build. He wanted to create a Mustang that looked fast and aggressive sitting still. He and the VMP team definitely pulled that off, but it looks really fast rolling down the road and its side-exit exhaust note even exudes the personality of discharging weapon.
Vroom with a View
“He kind of mocked up something with a pen and pencil and shot me a quick look at a hood and I thought ‘That really gives me an idea.’” BJ explained. “…He used the GT350-style extractor, so then I thought ‘What if we take all that room, that real estate, and got rid of the extractors elsewhere on the hood, really clean that thing up?’ Then we ended up putting a Plexi window in this thing so people could see the VMP Gen2, which is being introduced at SEMA.”
The aforementioned exhaust not only delivers an aggressive sound, but enough flow to support over 850 horsepower. Better yet it does so through high-flow cats and mufflers that exit at these stylish tips in front of the rear wheel well. Like all the other art on this car, the hot exhaust warning is painted on. There are no vinyl decals on the VMP Mustang.
VMP 2017 Mustang Mods
VMP Performance Gen II-R 2.3-liter TVS supercharger kit
Forgestar F10D directional 19- by 9.5-inch front, 19- by 11-inch rear matte black wheels
Michelin Sport Cup 2 305/30-19 front, 315/30-19 rear tires
Avalanche custom paint and airbrushed with military tribute
Cervini custom hood with active air extractors and Plexiglas sight window
Cervini grille delete
Cervini front splitter
Cervini side rockers with side exhaust ports
Cervini rear exhaust delete
Cervini Stalker low-profile rear wing
VMP Performance rear-facing outboard mirror, camera system
ZL1 Addons tow hook
Recaro GT350R seats with custom inserts and embroidery
Simpson five-point safety harness system
Brey-Krause R-1180 harness bar
Shrader Performance Mustang rear seat delete kit
Ford Performance GT350R steering wheel
Roush performance pedal upgrade kit
VMP Performance integrated rear-facing camera, with Ford SYNC 3 screen
Aeroforce Technology Interceptor dual digital scan gauges
VMP had already turned Cervini’s Auto Designs for several of the company’s S550 styling enhancements, including its splitter, side skirts, side exhaust, rear wing and rear valance exhaust deletes. So, it was only natural they asked the Cervini team to work a little SEMA miracle. Creating a one-of-a-kind hood that fused Ford parts, fiberglass and a clear window to show off that new blower.
“The middle of this is a GT350 hood. We purchased a GT350 hood, and Cervini’s cut it, took the skin of this thing and integrated the fiberglass to make this all work, on top of the fact that we obviously cut the metal for this Plexiglas window. This hood took a monumental amount of expertise and time. The time, the expertise, the craftsmanship that went into this hood is mind-boggling, but it also looks really cool.”
The blower on the other side of that window is what makes it really cool. It pushes the stock Coyote 5.0 engine beyond 850 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. If you are familiar with VMP’s Gen2 series of TVS superchargers, these 2.3-liter blowers feature a flow-enhanced inlet that provides better airflow to the efficient Eaton rotors inside the case. Positive-displacement superchargers like the Twin Vortices Series thrive on a free-flowing inlet and the Gen2R takes the inlet flow a step further.
“…It is 2.3-liters same as it was, but (on the Gen2) the airbox behind the rotor has always been larger as far as capacity. What we have done on the Gen2R is honed the inlet out even more,” BJ said. “There were people that were porting the Gen2, so we are pre-porting this version, for lack of a better term.”
We’ll have complete details on the VMP Gen2R supercharger in the near future, but suffice it to say it will allow the owner of any Coyote 5.0 to bolt-on some serious thrust. If you want your new Mustang to look like the VMP Track Attack ’Stang, however, that’s going to take a more dedicated plan of attack.
You probably know of Rebecca Starkey as the driver of a quick NMRA Coyote Modified racer, but she is also the wife of VMP President Justin Starkey. One day inspiration struck and Rebecca sketched the lady that became the nose art on VMP’s fighter-plane themed Track Attack Mustang. The directional Forgestar F10D wheels hit at a jet’s turbofan, while the meaty Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires provide ample grip for take off and maneuvers.
“These seats are Shelby GT350R seats provided by Ford. We did what any good performance shop would do. We got them and immediately ripped them to shreds because we thought we could do something cooler,” BJ explained. “We took the entire middle out of the Recaros to add logo callouts on the headrests; pilot and co-pilot callouts on the headrests; and then used a suede all the way down the kind of makes you feel like you are in a Lightning or an ’03-’04 Cobra.” Pilot an co-pilot are held safe in the seats by Simpson harness belts mounted to a Brey-Krause R-1180 harness bar mounted right in front of a Shrader Performance rear-seat delete. The two Aeroforce gauges provide all the data the pilot needs and the GT350 steering wheel is a huge improvement in comfort over the standard Mustang GT wheel.