Dale Amy
February 4, 2011

Well, I managed to avoid getting arrested, and that's no small accomplishment when turned loose for a day of infantile frolic on the streets of Detroit in a 624hp '11 GT with humongous "Supercharged by Ford Racing" billboards on its burnout-pockmarked rear quarters. Stealthy, it ain't.

The crew at Ford Racing put this graphically extroverted Kona Blue coupe together to showcase some of its available late-model parts and mostly to highlight their new 9-psi, twin-screw Coyote blower kit. Thus its rear-quarter billboards; thus my fear of imminent imprisonment.

Those initial worries of maybe attracting just a bit too much attention were compounded once I turned the key and the Coyote immediately barked its current location coordinates to most of Dearborn through FRPP's new (M-5230-MGTLA) Sport axle-back exhaust kit. So now Smoky didn't even need to see me to hunt me down.

But after spending a few urban and freeway hours in their sonic embrace, I have to confess that even as the recognized curmudgeonly old fart around these pages, I've just flat fallen in love with these mellifluous mufflers, which are pretty vocal without being obnoxious in any way. They are not boom boxes (they seem to sing in a higher octave), nor do they drone at all on the highway. On lifting the throttle, they emit a playful cackling back-off burble the likes of which I haven't heard since prior to the days of catalytic converters. Windows down or up, they are truly symphonic, but like this car's graphics, not exactly stealthy.

But maybe I should talk some about the blower, right? In fact, Ford Racing is now offering two levels of intercooled supercharger for the new 5.0-liter. First up is a variant (M-6066-MGT525D) good for 525 hp at 6,400 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm by way of about 7 psi and a calibration for use with 91 octane fuel. This base system also brings a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty if installed by a Ford dealer.

However, the top dog is this car's 624hp version (M-6066-MGT624D, with 536 lb-ft at 4,700 revs), which huffs out 9 psi of boost while requiring 93 octane for that full output. This one has no warranty, but both versions are 50-state legal; are based on Whipple's proven, quiet, and highly efficient 2.3-liter twin-screw assembly; and can be had in either black or polished finish.

Numbers are fine, but those of us who have been through the ongoing evolution of Mustang forced-induction systems know that even four-figure power is relatively meaningless-especially for a street car-if it only shows up within a narrow, high-rev band. Have no fear: Like most screw blowers, this system comes to life at the slightest nudge of throttle and feels as linear as gravity right up to the 5.0-liter's stratospheric redline. Leave the traction control on and this salvo of Ford Racing firepower is manageable by even the most fumble-footed newbie. Turn the nanny button off, however, and you'd best be paying attention, because even this coupe's generous rear skins could be overwhelmed in the blink of an eye-over and over and over again (so I'm told).

Yet FRPP's included calibration is honed to factory-civilized perfection, with none of those driveability warts and hiccups that used to drive us nuts and limit our supercharged 'Stangs to occasional-driver status. Man, we're spoiled these days. These are the most seamless, well-mannered, and unobtrusive 624 horses you'll ever encounter, making this a ride that could easily be driven every day (though winter might get interesting), while always delivering a grin and the distinct possibility of incarceration.

This coupe's not just about rocket-sled acceleration. It's also upgraded in the turning and braking departments. Because they are so well calibrated and coordinated, we've become huge fans of Ford Racing's various Handling Packs, including the one used here (M-FR3-MGTA), which provides a practical 1-inch height drop, along with the sharpened reflexes of revised springs, dampers, and sway bars. Complete suspension content is listed in our sidebar, but the net effect is quickened lateral response and less understeer (not that the '11 GT has much to start with) at the penalty of a ride that is definitely firmer than stock but still livable, even on Detroit's broken cart-path pavement.

We'd love to have sampled it on a road course, where the Brembo (GT500) 14-inch front brake upgrade (M-2300-S) would also have played a larger role. More GT500 DNA is obvious in the M-1007-DC1895 rims, which are 18x9.5 in dimension and lifted directly from the '10 Shelby. Aside from the Coyote-specific supercharger kit, just about everything this rolling catalog wears can be fitted to any '05-and-newer GT.

All too soon-though happily with driver's license still intact and unsullied-it was time to bring the bellowing blue billboard back. Just as well, perhaps. In a few short hours, I'd thoroughly depleted my adrenaline supplies in the process of leaving twin black streaks over most of suburban Detroit's ragged roadways. OK, that's an exaggeration. Truthfully, I was in full civil disobedience mode only occasionally, and spent most of the time just reveling in the overall greatness of FRPP's improvements on the already-spectacular '11 GT.

When we first drove the Coyote, we wondered what could possibly be done to improve on it. Now we know.

All Natural

Admittedly, not everyone needs (or can afford) 624 hp, or even 525, from their '11 GT, and handling purists might shun adding an intercooled supercharger's weight over the front wheels. For this naturally aspirated crowd, FRPP offers a premium-fuel calibration (PN M-9603-MGTB), loaded on a Ford ProCal tool and packaged with a K&N panel air filter for a peak increase of about 16 hp and 7 lb-ft. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Wrong.

After sampling Ford Racing's humble-looking '11 GT calibration-development mule, we were left giddy at how much more eagerly it responds to throttle input from idle right on up. We know that factory calibrations-even on something as potent as the Coyote-purposely leave a lot on the table in terms of throttle tip-in response and torque limiting, but we didn't expect such a dramatic difference. Retuning a Coyote, with its twin-independent variable cam timing, is undoubtedly a challenging, multi-faceted task. The best way to describe the effect of FRPP's calibration is that it felt like the GT had shed hundreds of pounds. Off-idle response is now saber-sharp-more so than we could have imagined possible from software jockeying.

Ford Racing says the torque delta (at least while using 93-octane juice) can be as high as 60 lb-ft (yes, 60!) better than stock at 1,500 rpm, and the seat of our pants firmly declares that claim to be legit. Another major boon is that the recalibration eliminates the factory's intrusive skip-shift manual-tranny programming, meaning the driver, rather than the processor, gets to pick upshift strategy. All this for an MSRP of only $410, making this the first upgrade we'd order were we lucky enough to own an '11 GT.

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5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain
Block Coyote 5.0 aluminum
Crankshaft Forged steel, fully counterweighted, induction-hardened
Rods Forged steel
Pistons Hypereutectic, short-skirt, flat-top w/four equal valve reliefs; moly friction-reducing coating; oil-jet cooled
Camshafts DOHC, four camshafts, independently adjustable timing
Cylinder Heads Aluminum, four valves per cylinder
Intake Manifold Composite shell-welded with runner pack
Power Adder M-6066-MGT624D FRPP/Whipple 2.3-liter, intercooled twin-screw supercharger
Fuel System Sequential mechanical returnless
Exhaust Stock w/M-5230-MGTLA Sport muffler kit, T304 stainless
Transmission Getrag MT82 six-speed manual
Rearend 8.8-inch

Electronics
Engine Management Copperhead PCM w/FRPP tune
Ignition High-output coil-on-plug
Gauges MyColor

Chassis and Suspension
Front Suspension
Struts FRPP Dynamic dampers
Springs FRPP, 1-in drop
Brakes M-2300-S Brembo (GT500) 14-in front brakes
Wheels M-1007-DC1895 '10 GT500-style 18x9.5-in
Tires Goodyear Eagle F1
Rear Suspension
Shocks FRPP Dynamic dampers
Springs FRPP, 1-in drop
Control Arms Three-link
Brakes 11.8-in vented discs; single-piston, 43mm, floating-iron calipers
Wheels M-1007-DC1895 '10 GT500-style 18x9.5-in
Tires Goodyear Eagle F1