Tom Wilson
December 21, 2010

"You and I will never talk about this kit again," said Jim Bell as he sat behind the stacks of yellow legal pads overflowing his desk. We'll admit he had our attention at this point.

"There will never be another [Kenne Bell] 5.0 Mustang supercharger kit; this is it," he continued. Then, as explanation, "We sell as many '90 kits as we sold in 1990 and 20 years from now we'll still be selling 5.0 kits. I don't want to redesign this 5.0 kit later... I got the big pipe that will flow all the air I need. The restriction is in the throttle body, and I can replace it, and if that isn't enough, I'll replace the supercharger. You can change the supercharger in about 20 minutes."

And with that introduction, we were off and running on one of our most anticipated Mustang and supercharger combinations, the Kenne Bell-assisted '11 Mustang GT. Kenne Bell specializes in blower kits for the too-much-is-just-right crowd, and with ample torque and power guaranteed from the twin-screw, positive-displacement Kenne Bell blowers, we were eager to see how the new Coyote 5.0 would respond.

To avoid undo suspense, at this early stage in the game we saw 604 rwhp on the KB Dynojet. Light-duty you say? Sure, until you know that this was with a mere 10 pounds of boost. The blower and its supporting pieces hadn't even broken a sweat and the power was approaching '03 Cobra levels using much the same KB equipment. But the Terminator needed more like 17 pounds of boost to make 650 rwhp, while the Coyote was trotting into that territory with plenty more on tap. Less boost and displacement making about the same power means a better-breathing engine.

In fact, in all early supercharger development tests we've witnessed, the Coyote is fulfilling its promise of eventually making nuclear power. The trick is picking the 5.0's formidable electronic lock, a daunting task thanks to all-new software code that runs in closed loop at all times except deceleration, frequency-based mass air metering, a mechanical-returnless fuel system, and especially the electronic throttle. In a nutshell, understand that the '11 Mustang GT engine-management software is mind-numbingly complex, fraught with endless stumbling blocks and an electronic policeman intent on ensuring excess power is not made. So far, Kenne Bell has reached into the mid-600-rwhp range, but once the electronics are figured out, four-figure power numbers are only a short-block away.

As is normal with Kenne Bell, its '11 Mustang GT blower kit uses a KB-built twin-screw supercharger sitting atop a new intake manifold in the engine valley. All the '11 GT kits are charge-cooled using air-to-water heat exchangers, and in all but the base kit, some of the charge-cooling water is run through the front of the supercharger drive section. This evens temperatures front-to-rear in the blower, allowing tighter tolerances, and is the source of the Liquid Cooled nomenclature. Because Jim Bell is adamant intake air must be sourced from outside the hot engine compartment, a new inlet tube is cut through the inner fender and radiator support. That puts the air filter behind the driver-side headlight, just in front of the tire.

As Jim Bell said, his '11 Mustang GT kit is super-sized from the get-go. That is, the vital naturally aspirated side of the air stream-everything upstream of the supercharger-is heroically over-sized to ensure maximum power. The same can be said for everything downstream of the supercharger-namely the newly enlarged heat exchanger and no-runner intake manifold. Like the inlet side, these pieces are designed to support mega power.

That leaves two adjustable portions of the kit: the throttle body and the supercharger itself. Throttle body choices are reusing the stocker for all street applications, then moving directly to Kenne Bell's gigantic, 168mm, single-blade billet throttle body for anything up to 1,400 hp.