Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2013

The Mustang's performance is at an all-time high right now. Factory ratings north of 400 hp were most likely not even a thought in the Fox era. Sure, 300 lb-ft of torque from the pushrod 5.0L back in the late 1980s/early 1990s certainly felt spirited, but owners had to do so much more to get real power out of the venerable small-block under the hood. If your Fox GT or 5.0 LX wasn't running heads, cam, intake, gears, full exhaust, and so on, you just weren't running with the pack. However, today's Mustang is a world-class performance car that can hold its own against much more expensive and exotic machines thanks to the power and technology wrapped in that sharply creased sheetmetal.

Far be it for Mustang owners to leave well enough alone, though. As time has proven, no matter the factory rating, Mustangs were meant to be modified. The 2011-2013 Mustang's 5.0L TiVCT "Coyote" V-8 is no different. Great right off the showroom floor, it can easily be made just that much better with some simple bolt-ons. Gone are the days of swapping heads, cam, and intake (mainly because there are little in the way of heads, four cams will set you back over a grand of spending money, and there's no such thing as an aftermarket intake for the Coyote, save for the OE Boss 302 piece). Instead, today's bolt-on weapon of choice is often a roots-style or twin-screw supercharger. If you don't have the cash to belly up to the supercharger bar, fear not, as the Coyote really responds to such traditional bolt-ons as free-flow exhaust, cold-air induction upgrades, deeper rear gears, and of course the all-inclusive manipulation of electrons through flash tuning.

The 2013 Mustang GT seen here is a perfect example. The owner can't swing the cheddar for the supercharger of his dreams, so he has been slowly upgrading the car with key bolt-on parts for a nice, steady improvement in horsepower and torque. First on the menu was an axle-back exhaust to help the engine exhale. Today he's installing a Roush Performance cold-air intake kit (PN 420131, $224.99, fits 2011-2013 5.0L Four-Valve as well as 2010 4.6L Three-Valve) on the inlet side of the Coyote's powertrain to help give the 5.0L modular all the cool air it can. In the near future, his plans call for a throttle-body upgrade along with some flash tuning on a local chassis dyno to maximize his bolt-on efforts. We stopped by, camera in hand, to check out the Roush cold-air intake being installed. Check out the photos yourself to see just how simple a cold-air kit is to install on the Coyote 5.0L.

1. The stock Mustang airbox is a sealed unit that breathes from the grille. Ford actually refers to it as a cold-air induction setup; however, the stock paper panel filter is the main restriction.

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