Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsFeatured Vehicles
Driving Impressions of the 640 RWHP S550 Steeda Q650
Standing Guard With Steeda’s Boosted Ford Mustang
First seen at the 2014 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Steeda’s Guard Green Q650 Ford Mustang had a powerful impact on enthusiasts. The deep metallic paint, aggressive styling, dropped stance and HRE Performance wheels wrapped in Nitto Invo tires got hearts racing. Combined with the Whipple- and Steeda-enhanced 640 rwhp 5.0 Coyote, this Mustang had the makings of a street/track superstar.
“Our objective is to develop Mustangs with enhanced handling and control, better braking, and improved horsepower and acceleration,” said Dario Orlando, president of Steeda Autosports. “We also included styling upgrades like our splitter and rear wing for improved aerodynamics. Our Mustangs will consistently out-perform more expensive vehicles,” he added.
Recently, we got our hands on the Guard Green SEMA Mustang for a day of cruising in south Florida. The weather was perfect and we hit the streets for a little supercharged fun. Like the previous 2015 Steeda Q650 Mustang that we tested at Sebring International Raceway last summer, this model had the full G-Trac suspension and a few power upgrades. The suspension included Steeda’s linear Sport Springs, fore and aft anti-roll bars with billet mounts, IRS Bushing Support system, Camber Plates, Adjustable Differential Bushing Inserts, Billet Aluminum Vertical Links, Adjustable Rear Toe Links, IRS Subframe Support Brace, Bumpsteer kit, upgraded Hawk brake pads, and HRE Classic Series 303 20-inch wheels with Nitto Invo tires. The leather interior remained mostly stock, but was enhanced with Steeda new Tri-Ax shifter designed to “eliminate shifter buzz,” as Orlando stated.
“The S550 suspension is amazing, but there’s room for improvement,” said Orlando. “Our goal is to develop parts that improve handling, but don’t ruin ride quality. We design and manufacture our own parts, so each Steeda package is tested and ready to perform. We’ll evaluate the parts through a multitude of basic driving tests, then do on-track testing to get the perfect balance. And it all works like a system, so you can add parts as your budget allows, or we can build a complete serialized Steeda vehicle for you. Ultimately, we strive to satisfy enthusiasts looking for a Mustang that can be used as a daily driver or capable weekend track racer,” he added.
In contrast to the Yellow 2015 screamer, which was boosted by a Vortech, this Green monster had a Whipple 2.9L Twin-Screw supercharger, finished with a black crinkle finish and sealed air box. Teamed with the Steeda Performance Exhaust System, the combination sounded great and developed amazing power from tip-in-to-redline.
“Our Q650 makes about 640 rear-wheel horsepower and features a fully CARB certified PCM calibration that reconfigures all the necessary engine functions including fuel, spark, knock detection, torque management, and electronic throttle control,” explained Glen Vitale of Steeda. “The calibration constantly tracks the engines torque output, while monitoring many different parameters to keep the engine in its ideal parameters.”
We experienced excellent drivability with power to smoke the tires a will. The taught suspension gives you a noticeable increase in cornering grip without be too harsh. The Q650 package was a blast on the street, but as you can imagine, we’d rather push harder on track. Fortunately, we’ll get out chance at the upcoming Track Guys/Camp Steeda event May 28-29 at Sebring International Raceway. Steeda mentioned it would have four of its own cars and a host of customer cars on track, plus the knowledgeable Steeda staff will be on hand to answer any questions about Steeda cars or parts. For more information on the event CLICK HERE.