5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
4.5-liter Whipple Supercharger Installation - Massive Attack
Lethal Performance takes its Shelby deep into four digits with a 4.5-liter supercharger.
Horse Sense: It should be no surprise that big blowers make big steam, but in the world of factory-built race cars, Carl Tasca has run as quick as 7.73 at 179 mph in a Cobra Jet topped with a 4.0-liter FRPP/Whipple supercharger. Imagine what it could do with a 4.5-liter Whipple ...
As we have covered numerous times in recent years, the crew at Lethal Performance is not shy about taking a fresh-off-the-dealer-lot Mustang and taking it to the bleeding edge of performance before it's time for the car's first oil change. That kind of modification moxie has earned our undying respect, and a great deal of coverage on these pages.
In the case of the company's '13 Shelby GT500 project car, lovingly named Snow White, this car went from zero to low-9s in the quarter in the blink of an eye. To get there it picked up a built short-block, a 4.0-liter supercharger and all the necessary support hardware. We covered its transformation in detail on these pages, so if you missed it, check out the previous stories on our website.
"The magic question. When do we stop? Is this it for Snow White?" said Jared Rosen of Lethal Performance. "I'm not quite sure I can answer that with assurance. On one hand, we've got one hell of a car. On the other hand, we still have yet to put an automatic transmission in any of our cars. I guess we'll just have to wait and see..."
In the case of the company's '13 Shelby GT500 project car, lovingly named Snow White, this car went from zero to low-9s in the quarter in the blink of an eye.
You might assume that once you get your Mustang to about 1,000 rwhp, you might be able to sit back and enjoy it. Well, the Team Lethal crew is not one to rest on its performance laurels. When the opportunity arose to test one of the first production 4.5-liter Whipple superchargers for the Shelby GT500, it was an easy decision.
"You know I've always been the guinea pig for the vendors we do close business with. So whether it's a new intake, driveshaft, or supercharger that needs some testing done on I'm the first to raise my hand. With that said, we've been waiting on the 4.5-liter Whipple for quite some time. Once the first one was ready, Dustin asked me what color I wanted it and what day," Jared explained. "He really didn't have to twist my arm too hard either.
"For the exhaust, we initially started with the 17⁄8-inch headers from American Racing Headers with a 3-inch collector. On our other cars those seemed to be plenty big and work very well for us. However, with our 2013—since it makes a solid 200 rwhp more than our 2010 did—we believed we would benefit from the larger primaries of their 2x3.5-inch setup."
It was an easy choice for us too. We hopped in the car and headed to South Florida to see what the big hardware would do on a built Trinity 5.8. It was definitely worth the trip, as the results were pretty impressive.
"Happy is an understatement. I'd say impressed is more like it," Jared added. "This thing is ridic. Not only does this car make more power than any of our other project cars, it looks, sounds, and performs better than all of our previous cars as well."
That is saying something. Follow along and see what mods made this kind of improvement.
On the Dyno
In our last installment ("White Feat," July '13, p. 54), Snow White put down 1,107 rwhp with a built Trinity 5.8 and a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger. Anything above four digits is going to impress almost any gearhead. However, if more is better, then a lot more must be great.
It should come as no surprise that augmenting Snow White with a massive supercharger and bigger exhaust would result in huge power at the rear tires. In the case of the Whipple 4.5 and ARH 2-inch headers, they pumped up Lethal's Snow White Shelby GT500 to the tune of 1,236 rwhp on the Dynojet at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida—and that's with a bit of boost lost to a slipping belt. Of course, these gains didn't just appear from the hard parts. They needed the assistance of Ken Bjonnes of Lund Racing to work his keyboard magic and tune-up the new combo.
"We're more than happy with the results from this car," Jared enthused. "It's by far my favorite Mustang we've ever owned. Everything about the 2013—just how it came from Ford—was awesome. We just made it bigger, stronger and faster." Indeed.