Dale Amy
December 27, 2013
Photos By: Drew Phillips

Although SEMA, that annual automotive extravaganza in the desert, is occasionally dissed by some as a perennial bling parade, what brings us back to Las Vegas every November is of course the new Mustang gear that inevitably debuts. That, and the creative rides used to showcase not just the hardware, but also the personalities and talents behind the builds.

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This classy 2012 Ford Mustang GT is a creation of Kris Horton (www.carsbykris.com), a gifted West Coast designer/illustrator who, after a childhood infested with Chevys, has grown to appreciate the finer things in life. Like Fords, for instance. Kris' design skills first caught the attention of Ford's management team with a Mustang he created for the 2009 SEMA show, and then that relationship was cemented via a wildly slammed F-350 Super Duty crew-cab pickup (Project Pit Boss) that was the talk of SEMA 2010. Having firmly established his credentials, Kris participated in another Mustang build for the 2011 show, and thus the folks at FoMoCo were receptive when Kris drew up another Mustang proposal for last fall's SEMA gathering.

Kris' overall concept or theme for this build was blending the Mustang's familiar American muscle with a little international flair and sophistication. It's appropriate then that, around this same time, Kris was approached by an Australian-based company called Whiteline Performance Suspensions with the idea of showcasing its latest S197 suspension hardware on the project. Whiteline's primary party piece is its Watt's link that replaces the Mustang's stock Panhard bar for lateral location of the GT coupe's rear axle, but the company has a range of additional chassis bits for all years and bodystyles of S197. Most of the company's catalog can be found on Kris' project, including rear upper and lower control arms; front and rear antiroll bars; some upgraded bushings; and a strut-tower brace underhood.

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Another international player—KW Suspension, headquartered in Germany—supplied the front and rear coilovers for Kris' GT, and these are of top-of-the-line, multi-adjustable Variant 3 specification. HRE forged P41 Monoblock wheels—seemingly a favorite on high-buck import rides—are also onboard, as are Baer binders.

Even the GT's finish has considerable international flavor, being a combination of Lexus Starfire Pearl White, and (smoked) Kia Alien Green, highlighted by a little Jet Black, all sourced from BASF's Onyx HD Waterborne lineup. Those hues cover mostly stock GT body panels, save for some carbon-fiber fascias and skirts by TruFiber, and an APR Performance front splitter with stainless-steel support rods. And check out those three-dimensional taillights that Kris designed himself. All this on a spoiler-delete GT certainly makes for a classy first impression.

The color scheme is carried on both underhood and in the interior. We imagine considerable time went into detailing the supercharged Coyote and its surrounding engine bay. The intercooled blower is a ProCharger P-1SC-H, made quiet by its helical gearset, and producing 525 rwhp on a conservative Mustang dyno—and that was before the Snow Performance Stage 3 water/methanol injection started spraying.

Similarly, a lot of effort went into the cabin, which started life in monochrome black, but ended up with white and green accents and yards of Pecca leather and suede-like Alcantara, all fitted by TopStitch Upholstery. A one-off rear seat delete setup was fabricated by Custom Dimensions, and stacked high with Rockford Fosgate Boosted Rail audio gear. The overall effect is kind of like Aston-Martin-meets-Mustang, and looks particularly upscale captured in that California desert twilight.

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The color scheme is carried on both underhood and in the interior

5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain
Block: Stock Coyote aluminum
Crankshaft: Forged steel, fully counterweighted and induction hardened
Rods: Powdered-metal forging, I-beam
Pistons: Hypereutectic w/ four equal valve reliefs and moly friction-reducing coating
Camshafts: DOHC w/ Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing
Cylinder heads: Aluminum Four-Valve
Intake manifold: Constant cross-section-molded composite
Power Adder: ATI-ProCharger P-1SC-H, 8 psi
Fuel system: Stock mechanical returnless w/ 50-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust: Stock w/ MagnaFlow Competition Series axle-back
Transmission: Stock MT-82 six-speed manual w/ SPEC Stage 3 clutch
Rearend: Stock 8.8-in

Engine management: Stock Copperhead w/ ProCharger tune
Ignition: Stock coil-on-plug
Gauges: Stock w/ Auto Meter Phantom II

Suspension and Chassis
Front suspension
K-member: Stock stamped steel
A-arms: Stock reverse L
Struts: KW Suspensions Variant 3 coilovers
Springs: KW Suspensions
Brakes: Baer 6P 14-in, six-piston
Wheels: HRE P41 Monoblock, 20x9.5-in
Tires: Toyo T1R, 265/35R-20

Rear suspension
Shocks: KW Suspensions Variant 3 coilovers
Springs :KW Suspensions
Control Arms: Whiteline upper and lower w/ Whiteline Watt's link
Brakes: Baer 6P w/ 14-in, six-piston
Wheels: HRE P41 Monoblock, 20x11-in
Tires: Toyo T1R, 305/30R-20

Horse Sense: Check out Kris Horton's work and bio at his website at www.carsbykris.com. Among his many projects, Kris has done freelance artwork for the ever-popular Mattel Hot Wheels die-casts.