Miles Cook
June 1, 2005
Photos By: John Kiewicz

The new '05 Mustang has taken the automotive world by storm. In car-oriented circles, the '05 is a hit, and Ford is in the company of one when it comes to offering a modern, American designed and built, V-8-powered ponycar-a class the Mustang invented in 1964.

As the lowest-priced 300hp new car on the market today, the buzz for the '05 goes beyond the core group of Mustang enthusiasts. In fact, you can bet the '05 will likely bring many more new buffs into the fold, people who didn't consider themselves Mustang fans before this car was introduced.

Many of us Mustang devotees feel that late-model Mustangs and supercharging go hand-in-hand, mainly because the two- and four-valve 4.6L V-8s in the pre-'05 cars respond so well to forced induction-a fact not lost on Vortech Engineering. The company got its hands on a three-valve '05 Mustang GT as soon as it could begin development of a supercharger system for the new car.

That car, the Windveil Blue Mustang GT you see here, is the first '05 to get the supercharger and ancillary components that go along with it. Using as the foundation one of the most popular-size blowers Vortech makes-the V-2 SQ S-trim-the package has essentially the same content as the systems that fit '03-'04 GTs and Mach 1s. The main difference is the inclusion of a DiabloSport Predator handheld programmer.

A popular way to go for many dyno-tuning shops when tweaking supercharged '03-'04 Mustang Cobras, the Predator reflashes the '05's Motorola-made Spanish Oak processor (which replaces the not nearly as powerful EEC V) so the car can be tuned to run with the blower. The Predator allows Vortech (or a subsequent tuner) to modify the car's factory programming to add more fuel, remove timing, and check and clear diagnostic codes. While this is a simplified way to describe what the Predator will do and what has to be done to make the '05 Mustang run with the blower, the bottom line is, getting these cars to operate correctly in supercharged form will be entirely possible. Furthermore, though not related to blower tuning, you can adjust the Predator for gear-ratio and tire-size alterations, as well as data log, for up to 90 minutes.

These and other unique features-such as the blower mounted on the driver side of the engine and the availability of an air-to-water aftercooler that's configured for the '05 that will make the system a high-output setup-mean the main objective of having a package available for the '05s has been successfully achieved. As with any other Vortech blower kit for 4.6 Mustangs, several other major components are also included, such as higher-capacity fuel injectors, a high-flow bypass valve, and the usual Vortech-style bulletproof mounting bracketry. The other standard supporting parts like oil-feed and drain assemblies, all inlet and discharge connections, and other related mounting hardware are also included.

As is the case for most late-model Mustang applications, Vortech offers the supercharger in a standard satin finish or with a polished housing, and both are available in either standard or high-output setups, which adds the aftercooler. Pricing at this point ranges from under $4,000 (standard kit with a satin finish) to a little over $5,000 (high-output kit with a polished finish).

The car featured here is equipped with a standard system that makes about 8-9 psi of boost. The high-output air-to-water aftercooled system pullied to produce around 10-11 psi will be available by the time you read this, and this car will be used to prototype that setup.

Vortech forecasts that the three-valve 4.6 with the standard system and correct tune will produce around 410 hp at the flywheel. The engine and high-output aftercooled system is likely to produce upwards of 450 hp at the flywheel. Take approximate parasitic drivetrain losses into consideration, and these figures will equate to somewhere around 350-380 rear-wheel horsepower, factoring in variations with each individual car.

While that's the story on Vortech supercharger availability for the '05 Mustang GT, this particular car is also worth examining. As the '05 Mustang used to prototype the Vortech package, the company also added some other goodies to make it more appropriate for the automotive-press spotlight.

Starting with a basic Deluxe-packaged five-speed car, the first step was to get the ride height down to give the car a more road-racy flair. That was accomplished with an Eibach Pro Kit spring package that resulted in about a 1.3-inch lower ride height in front and 1.4 inches out back. Tokico D-Spec struts and shocks were fitted to the car to complement the springs.

Also installed was a prototype Baer brake system, with Baer/Alcon six-piston calipers up front, along with a set of 13.5-inch two-piece EradiSpeed rotors. The rear rotors are 13-inch units. When Baer's production '05 Mustang system becomes available, 14-inch rotors that fit behind an 18-inch wheel will also be available.

With the stance of the car just right, Vortech went with a slick set of Ronal LZ Eleganz wheels, which measure 18x8.5 inches up front and 18x9.5 in the rear. Toyo Proxes RA-1 tires are wrapped around the wheels-245/40ZR18s in front and 275/35ZR18s out back. A pair of Bassani Quiet Thunder mufflers that fit behind the rear wheels on an '05 Mustang gives the car a nice, aggressive audio track (and some extra power along with the blower).

The wheel, tire, suspension, and brake updates make this '05 a solid notch or two more fun to drive than a stock Mustang because of its aggressive look. But factor in the blower and sporty sound emanating from the Bassani exhaust, and the fun factor really jumps. Why? Because a new Mustang, with all the inherent pleasures it provides, would be mated to pure big-block-like pull. When the gas pedal hits the floor, you'd get the same feeling a 428 CJ provides and then some.

"Then some" was proved when our colleagues at Motor Trend ran this car through their usual testing regimen on a 300-foot-diameter skidpad and a 600-foot slalom. The suspension and wheel/tire upgrade made a noticeable difference. A stock '05 Mustang circled the skidpad at .87 g and ran through the slalom at 65.4 mph. This car bettered those figures in fine fashion with .92g and 67.3-mph showings.

As for pure straight-line acceleration, a new supercharged Mustang will easily run and hide from any big-block vintage Mustang. Even on this car's Toyo street tires, the Motor Trend boys hustled this blue bomber to 60 mph in a scant 4.65 seconds on the way to a quarter-mile time of 13 seconds flat at 108.5 mph. And that's with the car's stock 3.55 gears. We'd surmise that with a high-output aftercooled Vortech kit, a pair of 10-inch slicks, a set of 4.10 gears, and a good driver, a supercharged '05 Mustang GT could possibly be an 11-second ride.

Any takers?