Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 17, 2010
Photos By: Courtesy Of VMP Tuning

For decades, blowers and Mustangs have been fast friends. Because they combine always-available power from a system that packages well in a Mustang engine compartment, superchargers have long held the mantle as the top of the bolt-on ladder. In short, for street cred, adding a blower is an instant ticket into the club.

We've looked forward to the moment we could add a supercharger to Ford's latest engine masterpiece from the moment we laid eyes on it. However, we were warned from the outset by Ford engineers that the Coyote 5.0 was maximized for naturally aspirated power, but not built to withstand boost.

Of course, we just had to find out for ourselves, and when Roush Performance announced its Roushcharger kit for the '11 GT, we knew it was worth a look.

Although known for its racing and high-performance aftermarket business, Roush is also a supplier that works directly with Ford on many engineering projects. With close ties to Ford, Roush was able to work directly with factory engineering data to create a comprehensive supercharger kit. Key to this system was the creation of a new lower intake manifold encompassing the air-to-water intercooler, similar to the factory induction on the Terminator Cobras and GT500s.

"Although the construction and materials are the same, the intercooler is larger in all dimensions than the one used on the Terminator program," explained Erin Dmytrow, director of engineering at Roush. "It is identical in size and performance to the intercooler used on the GT500, and is also the same unit we used on our previous R2300 offerings (i.e., P51a and b, '10 Stage 3 and 540RH vehicles). The overall intake volume was decreased substantially from previous designs to optimize throttle response while still achieving maximum levels of performance."

"Our biggest challenge came through the front engine accessory drive. In stock form, this is a dual sheave design in the 5.0 engine. The first sheave, which is located closest to the front cover, is dedicated to the A/C compressor. There isn't a tensioner on this sheave as it uses a tensioner-less belt. The second sheave contains a light-duty tensioner, a water pump, and alternator," Erin added.

"After considering all the options, we decided to design an all-new first-sheave FEAD system to drive the Roushcharger. This allowed us to integrate a heavy-duty tensioner that was designed to handle the increased load of the R2300 supercharger, and apply this load closer to the number-one main, thereby reducing the strain on both the bearings and nose of the crankshaft."

Rounding out the system is a re-engineered front-engine accessory drive, specially engineered 47-lb/hr injectors, a heat exchanger, an intercooler pump, a rerouted air induction, and the necessary wiring to run the intercooler pump. In practice, the kit is clean and simply looks factory, but the trick, at least early on, is that the kit was only available as a $5,999 tuner kit with no calibration. A warranteed version with a Roush calibration will likely be available by the time you read this, but for our purposes we needed a tuner to make the magic happen.

It just so happened that Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning was getting his hands on one of the early Roush kits for his wife Rebecca's new '11 GT automatic. He asked if we were interested in covering the install and test, and we jumped at the chance. We've had the opportunity to work with Justin on several projects over the years, most notably his tuning of our own Project Vapor Trail GT500. Quite simply, he knows his way around a Mustang's PCM. We knew he'd be able to get the Roushcharger running with a sharp tune.