Pete Epple Technical Editor
January 24, 2011
Photos By: Team MM&FF

As members of the greatest late-model Mustang publication, we work very hard to stay on the pulse of the Mustang world.

We usually don't need to look far for newsworthy stories, but when it came to the 2011 Mustang, the phone seemed to ring almost daily with stories of someone raising the performance bar another notch. Seemingly before the 2011 Mustang GTs began to surface in dealer lots and at racetracks across the country, rumors of how much horsepower the TiVCT 5.0-liter-powered Ponies made began popping up all over the Internet. When MM&FF finally got its hands on a test vehicle and blasted out quarter-mile times in the low 12.30-range with nothing other than a rear tire swap, we knew these claims were more than mere rumors.

Soon after the car's release, tuner shops all over the country began finding ways to add power. A massive influx of research and development led to impressively quick track times and even more impressive power levels. Soon, many shops found themselves in an undeclared war to be the quickest and fastest with Ford's latest rendition of the Pony car.

The Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords 2011 5.0-liter Shootout was conceived to bring the quickest and fastest naturally aspirated and power-adder-equiped '11 Mustangs to one location for a run-whatcha-brung day of on-track action. We invited seven N/A cars and five power adder cars to compete in early September. The event was held at Englishtown Raceway Park to take advantage of the great weather conditions in the Northeast, along with the spectacular track prep E-town always provides.

Our competitiors have put together some of the nastiest combinations available for the '11 Mustang GT. From big boost and built motors to simple bolt-ons, there is something for everyone.

Nelson Whitlock

Aston, Pennsylvania

9.41 @ 132 MPH

Research and development is hugely important when it comes to getting down the track with a new car or powertrain. Nelson Whitlock and the rest of the crew from Evolution Performance in Aston, Pennsylvania know this all too well. As soon as the 2011 Mustang GT hit dealerships, the Evolution crew began making passes and logging data.

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Since Whitlock picked up his 5.0L-powered Pony, extensive testing was done in naturally aspirated form as well as with healthy amounts of nitrous oxide. When word of our shootout made its way to Evolution, Whitlock ditched the giggle gas in favor of something different. He rolled into Englishtown with the most radical combination of all the participants.

The stock engine was pulled and fortified with Diamond pistons and Oliver rods from L&M Race Engines in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. An ATI/ProCharger F1C centrifugal supercharger pumps 20 psi of boost into the stock intake manifold after a Stage 2 air-to-air intercooler from ProCharger drops the temperature. An Alky Control water/methanol kit also helps reduce inlet air temps.

A Pro-Formance C4 backs the powerplant with a 5,500-stall converter transferring power to the trans. A blend of Evolution Performance and QA1 suspension components help get all of the power to the track, with 28-inch-tall, 10.5-inch-wide Mickey Thompson ET Drag tires keeping Evolution's 2011 GT glued to the track.

Like many of the people competing in our shootout, the Evolution crew rolled the car out of the trailer with a basically untested combination. As Whitlock pulled into the water box and began to heat the Mickey Thompsons, all eyes watched to see what 20 psi of boost would translate to on track. Whitlock left hard and the rear meats dug into the track surface. With all day to make passes, he cut his first run short and coasted to a 10.53 at 109 mph. On his next run, he wound his Kona Blue 2011 out a little further, but still clicked it off early, coasting to a 10.08 at 120 mph. The next attempt was a bust as tire spin forced Whitlock to abort the run shortly after it began.