Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 10, 2012
Photos By: Steve Turner

King Of The Street

Chris Cruz
2011 Mustang GT/CS

Figuring to be one of the KOTS front runners, we saw Chris Cruz and his GT/CS in action before the competition. We knew the car would fit right into the KOTS template, and running out of the Evolution Performance camp, we knew the car's build quality would be top-notch. We're just glad it didn't feature an "Evo-matic" transmission. Thankfully, Chris' GT/CS still boasts the stock 6R80 six-speed automatic, so we were pleased.

Chris' GT/CS looks amazing. The factory Performance White with California Special graphics mixed with the car's Forgestar F14 matte-black wheels is simply stunning. Ford Racing springs enable the car to hug the 20-inch rolling stock, but the ride isn't compromised at all, a trait of the remarkable 2011 suspension.

Even more fun than just looking at it, I was able to drive it as part of the Ride & Drive segment. I know, tough gig, right?! The best thing about Chris' GT/CS is its simplistic nature. We already knew the car was 9-second capable, so that it was a simple drive-in-the-park was quite astonishing. It has a JRS Fabrication six-point, but with swingout doorbars, getting in and out is a non-issue. The car features stock seats and seatbelts for KOTS, along with ice-cold A/C.

After getting situated in the car--which is easy--the Whipple supercharged Coyote roars to life. With a stock shifter in place, just drop it in Drive and go. Can it really be this easy? With Chris' GT/CS, yes, it is. The car's not loud and it doesn't beat you up. It doesn't have skinnies up front, which means you can really drive it; you don't have to worry about folding over the front tires in the curves.

As for really driving it, Chris' GT/CS is ridiculously fast. I know the throttle can be tuned to give 100-percent response at 3/4 throttle, but even at 3/4 throttle, the Nitto Extreme Drag radials had no chance. During the Ride & Drive, I give each car the business, and in Chris' car, I left black marks for days. The only word I can think of to describe his car is ridiculous. The power it makes--ridiculous. How fast it is--ridiculous. The way it looks--ridiculous. And all in a good way.

Even with its ridiculousness, Chris' car wasn't without fault. It did have slight gear whine, and it also suffered from a low-speed surge/sluggish condition. I've heard this is common for high-horsepower '11-'12 automatic cars (Beefcake's car did the same thing), but just cruising along, the transmission is slow to upshift. It's hard to explain what the car does, but it just seems to not want to go anywhere. The engine seems sluggish and slow to upshift to a lower gear. However, Chris' car epitomizes what we look for in a KOTS car in the fact that you can throw the keys to anyone, and they could drive it. Not that Chris would throw the keys to just anyone, but you get my drift.

Chris didn't get the people's vote, but he scored near the top of every other category to win the 2011 King of the Street. Congrats, Chris!

KOTS Score
Horsepower:8 (815 hp)
Ride & Drive:9
Engineering:8
Fit & Finish:9
Drag Race:10 (9.70 e.t.)
Popular Vote:3
Final Score:81

5.0 Tech Specs

2011 Mustang GT/CS

Engine and Drivetrain
Block Stock '11 Mustang GT
Crankshaft Stock
Rods Oliver billet
Pistons Diamond Racing w/Total Seal rings
Camshafts Stock
Cylinder heads Stock w/Boss 302 valve_springs, stock followers, and valve lash adjusters
Intake manifold FRPP/Whipple
Power Adder Whipple 2.9_liter supercharger with 2-3/4-in pulley, 18 pounds of boost, Afco dual_pass heat exchanger, and NOS EFI 125hp nitrous kit
Fuel system CP-E billet triple-pump return-style fuel hat, Aeroquip fuel lines, Metco fuel rails, Evolution Performance 83_lb/hr fuel injectors, and Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Exhaust American Racing Headers 1-7/8-in long-tube headers with 3-in X-shape crossover pipe, and FRPP mufflers
Transmission Stock 6R80 six-speed automatic w/Dynotech aluminum driveshaft
Rearend 8.8 w/Torsen differential, 3.55 gears, and 31-spline axles

Electronics
Engine management Copperhead w/Jon Lund tune
Ignition Stock w/NGK spark plugs
Gauges Stock w/Auto Meter Cobalt series boost gauge