5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2008 Widebody Ford Mustang GT-R S197
APR Takes On The Mustang With Its 2008 Widebody Ford Mustang GT-R
Check out exclusive photos of the widebody GT-R here.
APR Performance, based in Walnut, California, has been at the forefront of developing performance-oriented body components for the automotive industry for the last decade. Whether for competition at the race track or for the ultimate street car, APR's main focus is always on performance. "All of our products are developed and driven by racers," says KC Chou, owner of APR Performance. "Every one of our products is tested and proven to increase performance on the vehicle." Much of their work has been reserved for imports, like the development of an aerodynamic widebody kit for Subaru's SCCA GT class racecar, but recently they have turned their attention to American muscle and developed a package for '05-'09 Ford Mustang owners. "We chose to enter the Mustang market due to a high volume requests made by owners and track racers," KC tells us. "Many of these Mustangs had high horsepower but lacked traction due to the limited tire widths that could fit within the fenders of the stock-bodied Mustangs."
The idea to build the Mustang you see here, on which the body kit was developed, started in March of 2008. A few hand-sketched designs eventually turned into a 2-D color rendering on AutoCAD that formed the platform on which APR's engineers would work.
The next step was to physically make all of the components on top of a real Mustang, and a team of three designers spent approximately 1,400 man hours forming all of the prototype body panels for the molds. Nine separate pieces were needed to complete the body kit, including the carbon-fiber front splitter, front bumper, front fenders, side skirts, rear fenders, and a rear bumper.
Optional carbon-fiber components include a vented hood, a GTC-500 adjustable rear wing, a rear diffuser, and a sideview mirrors. The additional width, 45mm at each of the front fenders and 50mm at each of the rear fenders, gives the Mustang a much more aggressive and hunkered down appearance, especially from the front and rear.
While APR waited to get the production pieces, the Mustang was sent over to SP Engineering in City of Industry, California, for work on the engine, suspension, and interior. To boost the stock horsepower to racecar levels, the company turned to Turbonetics for its single turbocharger system to provide the necessary boost in performance. The kit utilizes a T4 60-1 ball bearing turbo, Spearco intercooler, Raptor blow-off valve, and an Evolution wastegate along with polished stainless steel exhaust tubing and silicone hoses. A high-flow radiator and oil-cooler kit from Mitshimoto mitigate increased temperatures caused by the heat from the turbocharger, and a Magnaflow Magnapack system with TRU X-shape crossover ensures that exhaust gases exit as efficiently as possible.
After custom tuning using an SCT XCalibrator 2, the result was 435 hp and 460 lb-ft torque at the rear wheels at 8.5 pounds of boost. The five-speed Tremec transmission remains in place, although an ACT six-pad race clutch and lightweight flywheel help transmit the additional power.
In the handling department, the Mustang was set up with a Variant 3 coilover system from KW Suspensions, as well as their front and rear antisway bars. Massive Stoptech 15-inch rotors with six-piston calipers provide excellent braking power up front, helped by stainless steel brake lines, upgraded pads, and stock size drilled rotors at the rear, all also from Stoptech.
Taking advantage of the extra width of the widebody kit, SP Engineering fitted the widest set of rear tires we've ever seen on a road-going S197 Mustang-a set of 345/25-20 Toyo Proxes T1R tires on 20x12.5-inch Work VS-XF wheels complemented by 285/30-20 units on 20x9.5-inch wheels up front. This was done purposefully by APR, which designed the body kit to accommodate this size of tire. "The wider tires allowed for higher levels of grip, and keeping the tires within the fenders allowed for reduced aerodynamic drag compared to a stock-bodied Mustang," says KC.
The interior is all business, looking and functioning more like a racecar than a street car. Recaro Profi SPG racing seats with four-point harnesses hold both the driver and front passenger firmly in place, while an AutoPower four-point rollcage was installed in case things go awry.
APR also upgraded the Mustang with an Alcantera Momo steering wheel and Carbign Craft carbon-fiber trim on the center console and surrounding the gauges and A/C vents. Lastly, a Magden Auto M1 performance data computer tracks provides as much information about the car as you would ever want to know. The system can display and datalog any information that can be sent through the OBD-II port or any added sensor, all in a customizable display that fits neatly into the instrument panel.
With just a few weeks to go until SEMA, APR received the first batch of production parts for the widebody kit and went to work on prepping and painting the parts for the show. The last step was to apply a custom APR-code BASF red paint with black stripes, and the car was completed just in time for its debut in Las Vegas at the 2008 SEMA show. "The reaction at SEMA was phenomenal," Casey tells us. "Many people were surprised to find out that the parts were production pieces."
The Mustang even took home a few awards, including a Product Excellence Award from Ford. With such high praise coming from the Blue Oval, we expect it won't be long before Mustang owners start to take notice as well.
5.0 Tech Specs
2008 Widebody Ford Mustang GT-R
Engine And Drivetrain
Rods Cracked powdered metal with floating wristpinsPistons Hypereutectic aluminum
Heads Aluminum SOHC, three valves per cylinder, variable camshaft timing
Intake Turbonetics w/conical air filter
Throttle Body Stock
Mass Air Stock
Fuel System Ford Racing dual fuel pump, 60-lb/hr fuel injectors
Exhaust Magnaflow 3-inch system w/ MagnaPack mufflers, TRU X-shape crossover
Transmission Stock five-speed
Clutch ACT race clutch w/ Xtreme pressure plate and lightweight flywheel
Rearend Stock 8.8
Engine Management Stock Silver Oak with custom tune with SCT XCalibrator 2
Gauges Zeitronix air/fuel wideband and EGT, Magden Auto M1 Performance Data Computer
Chassis And Suspension
Shocks KW Suspensions Variant 3
Springs KW Suspensions Variant 3
Brakes Stoptech 15-inch rotors w/six-piston calipers and stainless steel brake lines
Wheels 20x9.5-inch Work VS KF three-piece
Tires Toyo Proxes T1R 285/30-20
Shocks KW Suspensions Variant 3
Springs KW Suspensions Variant 3
Brakes Stoptech crossdrilled rear rotors w/stock calipers
Wheels 20x12.5-inch Work VS KF three-piece
Tires Toyo Proxes T1R 345/25-20