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Procharger's Programmable Ratio I-1 Supercharger - Control Variable
A Look at ProCharger’s Innovative, New Programmable-Ratio i-1 Supercharger
Being recognized as the first to develop unique performance parts for late-model Mustangs is a distinction that comes with high regard. In our world, having early opportunities to work with such technologies carries just as much prestige.
The SEMA trade show, held annually in Las Vegas, is one of our prime spots for checking out the latest aftermarket performance and appearance hardware for late-model 'Stangs. The 2012 show put us on a direct path with one of the most radical concepts we've seen in many years: ProCharger's i-1 programmable-ratio supercharger. This patented centrifugal unit—that unlike any blower before it—allows drivers to dial-in variable boost ratios on the fly from an '11-'13 5.0 Mustang's cockpit.
Unprecedented technology? It most certainly is! Never before have we seen a bolt-on, intercooled centrifugal blower with this type of programmable-ratio capability—a supercharger that ProCharger's CEO, Ken Jones, says is the result of an incredible team effort by the entire company. "The i-1 delivers all the benefits of our current product line, including the coolest charge-air temperatures, but it also adds a programmable boost curve that drivers control from the cockpit, using a three-position selector switch or an optional touchscreen," Ken says. "We're all about choice. The i-1 is not a replacement for our P-series or D-series superchargers, nor is it something that we think will replace positive-displacement units. It's basically an extension of our current product line that brings three additional features to the market."
With a first wave of i-1 systems simultaneously deployed for Mustangs, F-150s, and also Brand-X, there was no way that we could wait too long for an opportunity to learn details about this unique new concept in forced air induction, which in ProCharger's internal tests, is said to have made approximately 200 additional horses at the feet of the company's stock-5.0 test vehicle.
Within a week after the turn of the new year, your scribe was on a flight to Kansas for a first look at the i-1 supercharger setup, and an opportunity to pick the diabolical brains of the engineers at ProCharger who made this game-changing blower a reality. The following photos, captions, graphs, and charts detail technical information (that could be divulged) about i-1's inner workings and user functionality, as well as highly anticipated results of dyno tests that we performed on ProCharger's in-house Mustang Dyno using an '11 5.0 Mustang GT.
Horse Sense: Depending on your age, you've probably heard structures like the Great Wall of China (Beijing), the Taj Mahal (India), and the Coliseum of Rome (Italy) referred to as Wonders of the World. Technically, there are seven ancient locations that have been given such a high distinction, based on the phenomenal ingenuity and detail of their construction. In many cases, granular data on their makeup remains a mystery to those who have been studying the structures. ProCharger's new i-1 centrifugal supercharger is a Kansas-born wonder of the technical variety. It was introduced to the world in November 2012 and earned runner-up honors as one of the best new performance street products unveiled at SEMA.
On The Dyno
Having the opportunity to fully examine ProCharger's i-1 supercharger, be a part of its installation on a Coyote Mustang, and even get behind the wheel to experience programmable boost from the driver seat seems like more than we could ever ask for. However, we were just as excited to learn how well the new blower's power potential stacks up against ProCharger's advertised claims of nearly 200 rear-wheel horsepower on a stock GT with pump gas and 7 psi of boost.
To measure i-1's impact, we used ProCharger's Mustang Dynamometer chassis dyno—strapping down the company's '11 test mule and evaluating its performance in bone-stock trim first, and then with the i-1 bolted on and dialed to the Sport Mode calibration. The graphical and numerical results from each test are presented here for your review.
Based on this data, the horsepower and torque gains achieved with the new i-1 are impressive to say the least. In addition to the power and torque increases, we see that the blower started heading toward max boost (7 psi) at approximately 2,500 rpm, which was our prescribed rev range, and the CVT maintained peak boost throughout the run.
ProCharger's i-1 supercharger is hands-down one of the coolest forced-air-induction systems for the latest 5.0 Mustangs that we've tested. Like its P-1SC-1 and D-1SC siblings, the new blower produces stout power per pound of boost, and the i-1's programmable-ratio capability certainly will expand its overall operating range considerably, on stock and on modified ponies.
One caveat of the new setup is its $7,699 price tag. But keep this in mind: If you want the latest technology, you often have to pay a premium. This unit definitely is, as ProCharger CEO Ken Jones puts it, “A cool option over our other systems, positive-displacement blowers, turbochargers, or nitrous oxide, for those enthusiasts with the means to invest in this unique, new technology for their Mustangs.”