Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 1, 2013
Photos By: Ryan Merrill
The first factory-supercharged Mustang is a classic in any configuration, but a Grabber Blue Terminator is a striking sight to behold. Color us jealous.

If you are an active participant in pursuing horsepower with modern Mustangs, then you have heard of Lethal Performance. This growing concern started like most, with a wild idea, and it has prospered into a prominent force in the Mustang aftermarket. That stuff is obvious, but we rarely take the time to think about how such businesses begin.

It's not quite as circular as the chicken or egg question. When it comes to automotive aftermarket businesses, it's always the car that comes first. From there, it's easy to see how the need for speed creates a rabid base of potential customers. As you might have guessed, the formation of Lethal Performance owes a great debt to the car you see here. What you might not know, is that a thief and a Brand-X ride really got the ball rolling.

"I ordered my car after my '99 Camaro SS was stolen back in 2002. I had never owned a Mustang before but knew that the '03 Cobra was soon to be released. It seemed to be the baddest thing to come from Ford," Lethal Performance's Jared Rosen explained. "Since I always wanted a Cobra I pre-ordered one. My car was delivered to me on July 1, 2002, and it was one of the first '03 Cobras to arrive in the South Florida area."

Now modifications and '03-'04 Cobras go together like eggs and bacon, so you know that Jared wasn't about to leave that car stock. He moved quickly from tuning and bolt-ons to cams and a larger supercharger. Along the way he started making friends across the Mustang Aftermarket in South Florida, including Brian Kearney, Bart Tobener, Sam Cory, Mike Szabo, Jeremy Martorella, and Chris Johnson to name a few.

As the Cobra project turned serious, Jared enlisted modular guru Al Papitto of Boss 330 Racing to construct a robust aluminum short-block, while Kris Starnes prepped the cylinder heads for maximum flow. Around this time Jared and his friend Jonas Cooper were joining forces to create Lethal Performance, and Jared was eyeballing another supercharger.

"I remember calling Whipple for the first time in early 2005 just as we started Lethal Performance. At this stage Whipple was just coming back onto the scene after having supply issues with the company that used to manufacture its rotors," Jared said. "Dustin Whipple explained to me that they were just about to receive their newly designed superchargers and what it took to become a dealer. I immediately jumped on it and boy was I glad I did. Not only did I make a really good friend out of it but I had also created an excellent business relationship which has been fruitful for both Whipple and Lethal since."

After a 3.4-liter Whipple joined the built 4.6, the project hit the burner all the way at the back. As you know, there are no shortage of project rides around the Lethal laboratories, so the likes of Coyotes, Boss 302s, and Shelby GT500s soaked up the spotlight for a while. Eventually, Jared got fired up about the car, and Bart Tobener chipped in to get the car close to completion.

"Around this time, the new '11 5.0s came out, and the Grabber Blue paint finish came back on the scene," Jared explained. "Being that my car was black and had been scratched up pretty good from being stored for so long I decided to change it up and turn it into a Grabber Blue Cobra. After the paint job the car went off to Power By The Hour for a big DivisionX return-style fuel system."

By this time a 4.0-liter Whipple and E85 had joined the party. With Ken Bjonnes of Lund Racing tweaking the tune, this unique Terminator blasted out 872 horsepower to the rear tires.

As impressive as that is, it's not where this car is now that is most impressive, but what it started. "This car has been instrumental to me and my introduction and growth in the Mustang parts industry," Jared added. "I remember early on being on some of the car forums seeing people struggle to get parts in a timely manner. It was a great opportunity to step in and become a supplier for all these guys just like me who were looking to buy parts." 5.0

Horse Sense: Jared believes this car is his, but it's really his son's car. Young Luca Rosen became accustomed to seeing the car in the family garage, and he used to carry the car's keys around with him at all times. He loves this car, and who could blame him?

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5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Teksid aluminum 4.6
Crankshaft
Stock forged steel
Rods
Manley I-beam
Pistons
CP
Camshafts
Comp Cams custom
Cylinder heads
Stock ported by Kris Starnes
Intake manifold
Stock intercooled lower
Power Adder
4.0-liter Whipple supercharger w/ Crusher inlet, Whipple monoblade throttle body, Whipple 123mm CAI, and SCT B5000 mass air
Fuel system
Division X fuel hat w/ twin Walbro 400-lph pumps, Fragola Teflon race hoses, Aeromotive fuel-pressure regulator, DivisionX fuel rails, and Lethal/Bosch 105-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust
Kooks 17⁄8-in long-tube headers w/ 3-in X-style pipe and Magnaflow Magnapack mufflers
Transmission
Stock Tremec T-56 six-speed manual w/ Mcleod RXT twin-disc clutch, stock driveshaft, and Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
Rearend
8.8-in solid axle w/ rebuilt Cobra diff, 3.73 gears, and Superior 31-spline axles

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ custom Lund Racing tune by Ken Bjonnes via an SCT XCal3
Ignition
Stock
Gauges
Stock w/ Aeroforce Interceptor and Innovate air/fuel monitor

Suspension and Chassis

Front suspension
K-member
UPR Products tubular
A-arms
UPR Products tubular
Struts
Bilstein
Springs
UPR Products
Brakes
Stock calipers w/ Baer Decelarotors and Hawk HPS pads
Wheels
Wheel Replicas Saleen-style
Tires
Nitto 555 265/35ZR18
Rear suspension
Shocks
QA1 single-adjustable
Springs
UPR Products
Control Arms
UPR Products
Brakes
Stock calipers w/ Baer Decelarotors and Hawk HPS pads
Wheels
Wheel Replicas Saleen-style
Tires
Nitto 555R 305/35ZR18