Tom Wilson
January 5, 2011

It's appropriate that the first '11 Mustang GT supercharger we should examine is Vortech's. The company started, and was for all practical purposes, made by the original 5.0 Mustang, and the two names have been linked ever since. While the first Vortech Mustang kits were the work of a talented but fledgling company, Vortech is now a mature speed corporation still blessed with talent, but enjoying the full range of corporate capabilities. Among the greatest of these is 20 years of supercharging Mustangs and an especially strong production capacity emphasizing accuracy.

It's understandable, then, that Vortech had an appropriate '11 Mustang GT supercharger-the self-lubricated V-3 in Si-Trim-already spinning away under the hood of Three-Valve Mustangs. All that was necessary, at least from a hardware standpoint, was to package it to the new Coyote engine. This was done by Vortech technician Peter Waydo, who took us through the new kit's installation, testing, and general layout.

The tuning is a different kettle of wiring, of course, and was still on-going by tech Lance Keck during our first look at the new Vortech kit. As always, Vortech is selling the new supercharger with a street-legal, conservative 91-octane tune. There is plenty of racing potential here, and the bigger YSi and Novi 2200 blower heads bolt into this bracketry as upgrades-but the standard kit is designed for trouble-free street use.

The first thing an old Vortech hand will notice is the blower's handsome black finish. Officially this is a one-time specialty treatment commemorating Vortech's 20th anniversary and is limited to the first 50 (or 100, depending on who you talk to at Vortech) '11 Mustang GT kits. But it's so sharp you know market demand will have Vortech building black blowers for the next 20 years in addition to their usual satin and polished offerings. If you like the look, let Vortech know.

Under that black the familiar V-3 blower is unchanged and is sold with equally familiar Si-Trim, as it is on the Three-Valve kit. The mounting bracket is all new, naturally, and works with the outer of the two stock six-rib drive belts. The stock Ford belt routing is unchanged, with only extra length in the new belt to accommodate the Vortech idlers and blower pulley. Belt wrap around the blower pulley is downright circumferentional to coin a word, and the mounting plate appears robustly rigid. No stock Ford accessories are relocated or deleted, the Vortech proving purely an add-on.

As expected, the stock intake manifold and throttle body are left intact, although the throttle body is inverted and spaced forward for blower clearance. Concerned about possible driveability or power issues, Vortech tested the re-positioned throttle body on their otherwise stone stock test mule before starting blower development and found absolutely no problems.

For street use, Vortech retains the stock air-filter-box assembly to avoid any complications with the California Air Resources Board and their insistence on maintaining the stock hydrocarbon trap in the air filter lid. An off-road-only underhood "cold-air inlet" with the usual cone filter and air dam will be offered for racers and should be worth 10-15 hp depending on the final tuning.

A big change for Vortech (but not sister company Paxton), is a move to air-to-air charge cooling from Vortech's traditional water-to-air system. Packaging is the cited reason; there just isn't room atop the engine compartment to fit a heat exchanger there. We think cost reduction may have played a role as well, but no matter, air-to-air charge cooling is effective, packages easily in the '11 GT, weighs less and should help holds costs, so we're happy to see it.