Dale Amy
June 1, 2011
Photos By: Drew Phillips

Horse Sense: To us, the Tjin Edition’s single center stripe with offset narrow stripe is reminiscent of the one found on Lamborgini’s recent Gallardo Balboni supercar—not bad company, we suppose.

Every year, auto manufacturers mull over reams of proposals from aftermarket companies/tuners/builders asking for production cars to transform into SEMA project vehicles. To no one’s surprise, the Mustang is one of the most requested vehicles—especially when a milestone like the new Coyote 5.0 comes along.

We’re not privy to just how many such requests Ford fields annually, but you can be sure the company is über-selective about who gets the opportunity to represent the brand at the annual Las Vegas aftermarket extravaganza. For the ’10 SEMA show, one of the chosen few was Neil Tjin, a California-based designer traditionally linked with the sport compact scene, but who has recently turned his attention to domestic brands. This slammed, supercharged, and sanitary GT is the result.

As usual with SEMA rides, the Tjin Edition 5.0 is a showcase of the designer/builder’s talents, as well as a panoply of aftermarket hardware. In photographer Drew Phillips’ stationary shots, what is easily most dramatic about Tjin’s show-stopping GT is its belly-scraping stance, a pose made possible only by the latest in air suspensions from Air Lift. The car-to-car shot shows the digitally controlled suspension dialed up to a more useable ride height, hovering over the fender-stuffing 20-inch rolling stock. You may also notice that the Tjin Edition exterior styling—penned in concert with Josh Cloud at Gurnade Design—relies more on good taste than excess bling to get your attention.

Louis Rodriguez at L&R Paint & Body in Orange, California, gets credit for skilled application of the DuPont Cromax Pro Fortune Samurai Gold finish, as well as such distinctive details as flush-mounting the Mustang badges on the fenders and filling in the bumper-cap side markers. The front air dam, side skirts, and rear diffuser are Tjin Edition originals, and we love the pair of diminutive metal rear spoilers riveted onto the trunklid; these come from Unique Fabrication. Another California firm, Light Wurkz, is responsible for the smoked-out foglight lenses and LED-accented headlight assemblies, for which the HID conversion hardware and bulbs are from Ignited Performance.

If the outside view is understated, the cabin is anything but, mostly because its color scheme greatly expands on the tangerine hue seen in the exterior accent stripes (and on Baer’s six-piston calipers.) Perforated orange leather skins the full width of the instrument panel, which is now absent its factory cluster, replaced by an Auto Meter/STACK Pro-Comp Pro Multi-Function Dash Logger, flanked by a pair of Auto Meter/Ford Racing analog gauges.

Want more electronics? Tucked beside the driver’s right knee is an Innovate Motorsports OT-2 WiFi interface box, a device that wirelessly connects an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to the GT’s onboard sensors through the OBD-II port. When used with the free Logworks Mobile app, the OT-2 can transform an iOS device into a wireless gauge, datalogger, dyno, scan tool, or efficiency meter (www.ot-2.com) Then there’s the Azentek SmartMirror, a rearview mirror with integrated GPS navigation, Bluetooth hands-free cellular connectivity, and backup camera capability. And we can’t forget the Pioneer AVH-P4200DVD head unit plumbed to Image Dynamics drivers, or the Webasto sunroof that lets a little California light shine in.

As you may have guessed from the stitching on the headrests, the custom buckets are from Stätus Racing, as are the restraint harnesses which are secured to a harness bar crafted up by Unique Fabrication. The whole cockpit is trimmed in contrasting black and orange leather, and there’s even a Recaro child seat occasionally seen onboard.

While some of the onboard electronics may be news to you, there should be nothing unfamiliar to 5.0 readers about the Tjin Edition’s power adder, the venerable Vortech V-3 Si-trim centrifugal blower, in 20th anniversary black finish. Its new air-to-air intercooler is clearly visible through the GT’s lower grille opening. Another weapon in the arsenal is a Coyote-specific, single-nozzle nitrous system from Nitrous Express, though with its busy show and touring schedule, the car has yet to be dyno’d to see the effect of all this additional combustion oxygen.

This way-cool GT now forms part of the Tjin Edition Roadshow, a traveling trailer-load of Neil Tjin’s growing list of automotive creations, meant to promote the wares of his various project partners. As the announcer might say—look for it at an event near you.

5.0 Tech Specs

11 Mustang GT

Engine and Drivetrain

Block Stock
Crankshaft Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Camshafts Stock
Power Adder Vortech V-3 Si-Trim supercharger w/air-to-air intercooler and Nitrous Express single-nozzle nitrous system
Cylinder Heads Stock
Intake Manifold Stock
Fuel System Stock w/GT500 injectors
Exhaust American Racing headers and crossover w/MagnaFlow cats and mufflers
Transmission Stock, with SPEC clutch
Rearend Stock

Electronics

Engine Management Stock w/Vortech calibration
Ignition Stock
Gauges Auto Meter/STACK cluster w/Ford Racing gauges

Chassis and Suspension

Front Suspension
K-member Stock
A-Arms Stock
Struts Air Lift
Springs Air Lift
Sway Bar Eibach
Brakes Baer six-piston
Wheels Forgestar Concave C5, 20x9-in
Tires Falken FK-452, 255/35/20

Rear Suspension
Shocks Air Lift
Springs Air Lift
Control Arms Stock
Sway bar Eibach
Brakes Baer, six-piston
Wheels Forgestar Concave C5, 20x11-in
Tires Falken FK-452, 285/30-20