5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2010 Mustang GT Fun Factory - Ford Racing 2010
Ford Racing Performance Parts Proves A Bolt-On Point With A Friendly, Powerful '10 Mustang GT
We're often asked if we've driven anything interesting lately. Honestly, we often answer "no," but we've been gushing about this Grabber Blue GT for weeks. We can't say it's the fastest, most exotic ride, or anything like that. It's simply that some cars are plain, old fun to drive, and this is one of them. And it's a true compliment this hot-rodded GT stays fresh in our minds, as recently we've been downright fire-hosed with hot hardware, from the '10 Mustang to the new Camaro, Dodge Challenger SRT-8, and the thundering '10 Shelby GT500.
One reason for our warm fuzzies is as soon as your '10 Mustang GT hits the streets, building one of these for yourself will be easily possible. What we're checking out here is a standard '10 GT that Ford Racing Performance Parts has decked out with trinkets from its catalog. OK, a supercharger is a bit more than a trinket, but you get the idea. Take one of the astoundingly good '10 Mustang GTs, coat it in white glue, whip it through the FRPP warehouse and see what sticks.
In this case what stuck is a Whipple twin-screw supercharger. A non-charge cooled version, it's a dead-simple installation putting out a polite 5 pounds of boost. That's enough to put the power rating up to a square 400 hp at 6,100 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. This is the same Whipple blower currently in the FRPP catalog for '05-'09 Mustang GTs, so a CARB emission compliance is expected shortly for the '10 version.
Featuring 3.73 rear-axle gearing in a limited-slip carrier, and wheels and brakes from the Shelby GT500, FRPP's '10 GT gets its suspension attributes right from the catalog. The spring, bar, and shock package is FRPP's FR3 kit, just as it was sold for the '05-'09 Mustangs. There are more details in the online sidebar, but for now let's note this is about $10,400 worth of FRPP upgrades at full-pop retail pricing ($9,000 worth in the real world). There's even a one-year warranty on the parts, and you could have the dealer install them so you could ignore the economic crisis and finance the go-fast goodies along with the rest of the car.
And you'll have no angst making the payments on something this fun. This car is a blast to drive, with a light, willing persona. Four hundred horsepower and equal pound-feet of torque do wonders for making a 3,700-pound car light on its tires; because the torque hits right away, the feeling is one of immediate response at any time.
The 3.73 gears are perfect to a bit on the short side with this much power, making acceleration that much snappier. Shifting is mechanically rewarding via a Hurst shifter. It clicks through the gates with short, moderate efforts, guided by a classic, impossible-to-improve-on round ball atop its abbreviated handle.
Short gearing can be a disaster on long drives, but freeway composure is fine thanks to great sound insulation inherent to the 2010 Mustang. With the louder (never boomy or droning) mufflers, the somewhat busy rpm had us wondering if a six-speed gearbox would help fuel mileage enough to bother with. Ultimately we decided a larger, heavier gearbox would just be more weight-gain and dollar drain, so we'd stick with the five-speed. Of course, driven as intended this thing has a healthy appetite for premium fuel, so when $5-a-gallon gas returns, a six-speed will make sense.
The chassis backs up the power with a drum-taut suspension. The ride is stern as a schoolmarm, and you'll notice it over the bumps, but the tradeoff is sharp steering and plenty of grip. Balance, and especially precision, are much better than what we've come to expect from factory Fords, even the S197 variety. The supercharger's weight high over the front end can just be felt, this FRPP car exhibiting a touch more understeer than a standard '10 GT with the Track Pack II option. That's hardly complaining, though, as the Track Pack II cars have no understeer in practical terms, and with the extra power, you're going faster on corner entry and exit, so what's the worry? Only the most snooty cornering snobs will ever notice; the rest of us will stay enthralled for a lifetime.
Given the larger tires, the nicely padded leather steering wheel delivers just the right amount of power assist. Pedal action is equally rewarding. Clutch effort is thankfully low and the brakes powerful with good modulation. Even our favorite whipping boy-the electronic throttle-performed just fine. No doubt, the combination of '10 Mustang and FRPP bolt-ons makes a car that works with you to deliver everything its got.
Daily manners are a lightly mixed bag. If it weren't for the more than occasional whoop up the backside from what felt like overly stiff rebound shock valving, this car could probably qualify for schlepping grandma betwixt hairdresser and podiatrist. Cold starts came with a raucous 2,000-rpm idle that unnecessarily woke the neighborhood and there were some thunks and rattles from the suspension and shifter you'd eventually do something about. But the exhaust was pleasantly present, but no more so, and engine noise muted until called to duty. Of course, there's no faulting the heated seats, SYNC electronics, sophisticated interior design, or even the standard sound system. But ultimately this willing car carries an urgent undertone that's difficult to resist.
And yes, "only" 400 hp sounds like weak tea in this age of 700hp street machines, but that's missing the point. This car is a daily driver sportster that gets with it and could be easily replicated by real-world enthusiasts. Our only real complaint is it still isn't in our driveway.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Aluminum 90-degree V-8
Cracked powdered metal with floating wristpins
SOHC, variable camshaft timing
Aluminum, three valves per cylinder
Composite shell-welded single-runner, charge motion control valves
FRPP/Whipple twin-screw, 5 pounds of boost, non-charge cooled
Cast-iron exhaust manifolds
Stock Five-Speed Manual
8.8-in axle, FRPP limited-slip differential, 3.73:1 gears
Stock with FRPP calibration
Chassis and Suspension
Ford-based MacPherson strut w/FRPP gas-filled struts, FRPP springs
Reverse-L independent MacPherson strut
FRPP, 92-in-lb rate gain over stock, 33mm loweringStruts
14-inch FRPP/GT500 vented rotors, Brembo four-piston calipers, Ford ABS
FRPP forged aluminum GT500, 18x9.5-inch
Goodyear Eagle P255/45ZR-18
FRPP, 77-in-lb rate gain, 38mm lowering
Ford 11.8-in vented disc, two-piston caliper
FRPP forged aluminum GT500, 18x9.5-inch
Goodyear Eagle P285/40ZR-18