Jim Smart
April 28, 2016

Ford has given us a great playing field for performance in the all-new S550 2015-2016 Mustang V-6 and Coyote V-8 Mustang GT. Best we can tell, there are no lo-po Mustangs on Ford’s ever-exciting showroom floors.

BBK Performance is no stranger to all-out affordable performance products for the new Mustang. Just imagine, you can gain more than 40 hp and between 20 and 25 lb-ft of torque without tearing into the engine. That’s 40 hp and 20-plus pounds of twist with cold air, a larger throttle-body, tuned-length or long tube headers, and BBK’s new tunable Vari-Tune exhaust system. What’s more, you can achieve this in just a weekend.

We headed over to BBK Performance’s development lab, where we are going to show you in real rear-wheel numbers what these modifications will do for your 2015-2016 Mustang GT. Let’s pop the hood and get started.

Cold Air & 85mm Throttle-Body

BBK Performance is about to prove to us on its in-house chassis dyno what can be gained from simple, affordable bolt-on products. These are easy bolt-on modifications you can handle in your home garage or driveway. We begin our BBK bolt-on regiment with a cold air kit and a larger 85mm throttle-body.

1. First order of business is to disconnect the battery’s negative terminal in the interest of safety.

2. The stock intake duct and noise suppression are removed. There is actually a sound tube leading to the firewall, which brings the engine’s intake roar inside for occupants to hear. The Coyote is that quiet in normal driving.

3. Modifications begin with swapping out the stock 80mm throttle-body with the BBK 85mm unit. There is also a 90mm throttle-body for an even greater increase in high-end horsepower.

4. BBK offers you two throttle-body sizes depending on your expectations. This is the 85mm throttle-body, which gains horsepower and a modest amount of torque. Your primary objective here is horsepower. No adjustment is required, just plug and play. For greater amounts of power, seriously consider a professional custom tune shop.

5. The left-hand radiator support bracket is removed for cold air intake installation.

6. The BBK Performance cold air system begins here at the washable free-breathing low-restriction air filter and housing. It drops right into place and fastens with ease.

7. This “F” fitting installs like this at the intake duct and crankcase ventilation system.

8. The BBK Performance cold air duct drops into place as shown. The MAF sensor swaps from the factory duct to this striking BBK duct. This guy is available in chrome or matte black.

Chassis Dyno

Baseline Test 368.98 hp @ 6,470 rpm 344.91 lb-ft @ 4,180 rpm
Cold Air/85mm 385.27 hp @ 6,420 rpm 354.70 lb-ft @ 4,090 rpm
Increase 16.29 hp 9.79 lb-ft

What do you stand to gain from these very basic BBK Performance modifications? Anywhere from 15 to 20 hp just opening the hood. BBK’s baseline tests netted 368.98 hp and 344.91 lb-ft of torque. When we installed the larger 85mm BBK throttle-body and the cold air package we got 385.27 hp and 354.70 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 16.29 hp and 9.79 lb-ft of torque.

This first round of improvements doesn’t cost much, and you can feel the gain in your backside. Cold air induction and a larger throttle-body may not seem like much, but they work and really contribute to horsepower. Power comes from cooler, denser air coming in, which delivers a greater rate of expansion when it hits those hot chambers. When you weave in a larger 85- or 90mm throttle-body there is even greater gain that comes with volume. This is the easiest 20 hp gain you will ever find.

BBK Performance Exhaust Upgrade

We are going all out underneath on the BBK Performance 2015 Mustang GT test mule to show you what is possible from your Gen 2 Coyote with Charge Motion Induction. We’re going to show you numbers from BBK’s Tuned Length Headers with cats and again with full-length headers without cats. BBK has opted for its own stainless long tube headers, which for our testing eliminate the catalytic converters in off-road use only. BBK also offers high-flow cats for the long tubes for street and race use. You might also be interested in knowing BBK Performance exhaust components are made right here in the USA, in Southern California, which puts Americans to work making great products.

9. Meet the new BBK Performance 304 Stainless Vari-Tune Muffler for 2014-2016 Mustang and Mustang GT. The Vari-Tune stainless muffler with rolled tip is the first tunable muffler for the masses. It employs a patented adjustable power valve that enables you to tune sound and airflow on your driveway without special equipment. Tune it. Drive it. And tune it some more.

10. Installation begins with the removal of the factory stainless shorty headers here on top before going underneath. Some header flanged nuts are accessible topside as shown.

11. Underneath is where the going gets challenging. You’re going to have to jack the engine, remove mounts, and disconnect the steering shaft to gain access. Begin with the left side (driver’s side). Transmission bellhousing is supported as shown. If you are working on a garage floor, safely support the vehicle with jackstands and get it as high as you can off the floor. If you are installing BBK long tube headers you will need as much room as possible to get them installed.

12. Left-hand factory headers and cat are removed as shown. The steering shaft has been disconnected. Before you disconnect the steering shaft, make sure the steering wheel is locked and front wheels centered.

13. Disconnect both O₂ sensors, taking care not to damage plugs.

14. Disconnect factory exhaust pipes at the resonator as shown. These easy quick-connect/disconnect clamps make light work of any exhaust swap.

15. For 2015-2016, the factory catalytic converter and header are a one-piece affair. There are two O₂ sensors, one ahead of the cat and the other within it. This enables the PCM to read conditions going in and ultimately coming out, which means precise fuel mapping, spark timing, and cam timing.

16. The O₂ sensors are removed from the stock cat and header for transfer to our BBK long tubes.

17. The O₂ sensors are transferred to our BBK long tubes. Because this is an off-road application, a test mule, there are no catalytic converters. One O₂ sensor is installed in the header collector while downstream O₂ sensor is installed in the pipe. If you opt for the high-flow catalytic converters from BBK, the downstream O₂ sensor is installed after the cat in the pipe. You will have to retune the PCM in any case.

18. We like these 304 stainless long tubes from BBK. Although challenging to install, they are worth the effort if you are seeking real power. Because they are 304 stainless there is no concern about rust, corrosion, or longevity.

19. The stock exhaust studs have been removed to gain long tube header access. BBK provides the hardware and gaskets needed for installation.

20. The steering shaft is reconnected and secured as shown.

21. On the right-hand side, the header installation becomes more involved but worth the time. The starter is removed first.

22. The engine is jacked for right-hand mount bracket removal. Once the engine is raised, the bolt access is easy. When you study both bracket and engine mount designs it becomes apparent why 2015-2016 Mustang GT operation is smooth and quiet. This broad bracket damps engine harmonics along with the huge donut-style mount. Both the bracket and mount must be removed to gain header access.

23. The right-hand factory header flange nuts are removed along with the header.

24. The factory header studs are removed to make way for BBK long tubes and the provided header bolts. The studs will not clear the BBK long tubes.

25. The BBK long tubes glide into place as shown with the engine properly supported. The toughest part is removing the engine mount and bracket, but once both are out of the way, it is easy. Use the BBK bolts instead of studs.

26. Extension pipes with O₂ sensors are next. Both sides are fitted with downstream O₂ sensors.

27. BBK Performance makes it easy to tie long tubes to the exhaust system. Here we are working with off-road pipes void of catalytic converters because we’re working with a test mule. BBK also offers high-flow cats. Check with BBK Performance and local jurisdiction (smog laws) before ordering your BBK long tube headers and cats.

28. The BBK Performance X-pipes improve scavenging, not to mention the weight you save by dumping the heavy factory resonator.

29. The factory exhaust hangers are temporarily disconnected to free up tailpipes and mufflers. Because the 2015-2016 Mustang has fully independent suspension the exhaust system hangs from the chassis and is routed beneath the axles and suspension.

30. The BBK Performance Vari-Tune stainless mufflers and tailpipes are secure as shown. These guys are easy to access and tune depending on your driving agenda and the power required. Tuning access is just behind the rear valance at the rear of the muffler. If you’d like a quiet ride, these BBKs deliver. And when you are ready to get it on, all you have to do is open up the tuning valve.

Chassis Dyno, Take 2

Baseline Test 368.98 hp @ 6,470 rpm 344.91 lb-ft @ 4,180 rpm
Tuned Length 388.34 hp @ 6,370 rpm 352.57 lb-ft @ 4,590 rpm
Full Length 406.06 hp @ 6,370 rpm 366.25 lb-ft @ 4,490 rpm
Increase 37.08 hp 21.34 lb-ft

From these simple bolt-on modifications we learn what is possible from Ford’s powerful 5.0L Ti-VCT Coyote V-8. Ford delivered slam-dunk power for 2011-2014 and followed that act with the more powerful grand slam for 2015-2016. BBK Performance enables you to get even more power from the Coyote without internal modifications. What’s more, if you decide to follow these BBK upgrades with a custom tune by a reputable tune shop, it is remarkable just how much power you can make.

Modifications are best made in baby steps to see what you’re getting for your money. When you add up each of these modifications, such as BBK cold air, a larger throttle 85- or 90mm throttle-body, long tube headers, a resonator eliminator X-pipe, and Vari-Tune mufflers, you can wide up with 40-50 hp and 20-plus lb-ft of torque. Opt for a hotter cam and a deep-breathing induction system and you can gain 50-100 hp before even getting into boosted induction. Now that’s real bang for the buck!