5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2011 Vortech Supercharger Kit Test - Deja Boost
It's 20 Years Later And A Different 5.0, But Once Again Vortech Has A Centrifugal Blower
In Second gear roll-ons, the blown GT not so much exploded but wound up in a hurry. With no boost gauge, we found it impossible to tell what rpm the blower was taking practical effect, though it's not for a lack of trying. Seat-of-the-Levi's, it's simply impossible to say where the revving Coyote starts gaining from the Vortech blower because the power ramps up smoothly. (The dyno shows extra power from lower than 2,000 rpm.) Experienced as we are with Vortechs-we believe we were the first magazine to sample the then-new centrifugal in 1990-it was no surprise to feel the GT pull harder and harder in a swelling rush as rpm built. This is the big cookie in centrifugal supercharging-the building power rush-and it's definitely there in the new GT.
With all that happiness duly noted, we must also say the '11 Mustang GT is a heavy beast, and to make it a snappy street performer requires more rear gearing than the common 3.31 cog. The 3.55s should be just right with the Vortech for all-around use, while the g-junkies and smoke-'em-if-you-got-'em crowd will no doubt find the 3.73s willing partners. The smooth, linear power of the Vortech should be real treat on a road course, too. There, the constant high-rpm tempo is well-matched to the centrifugals power output, good adiabatic efficiency, and minimal weight gain.
As a street piece, the subdued V-3 Vortech blower is well-mannered. It makes a light, high-pitched gear whine that's just audible at idle, at least with stock mufflers and the radio off in the quiet '11 cockpit. There is no scream or siren-calling under boost, but there is big industrial air noise from the bypass valve with each shift and when holding some engine speed, say 4,000 rpm, at part-throttle. That's from the large volume of air being bypassed, and Vortech notes it has a quieter bypass exit arrangement it could fit. We drove with the standard K&N-type cone filter on the bypass outlet, which in our old age we thought obtrusively loud. If you're wanting a hot-rod persona, the little filter is your buddy; if preserving the '11's decorum is a goal, go with the quiet bypass.
Of course, there's always something, and when we drove Vortech's test mule, the electric power steering was mysteriously inoperative. Luckily the EPAS uses a stiff T-bar (that's a small torsion bar previously used to tune hydraulic-assisted steering feel, but a simple mechanical link with EPAS), so without assist, the steering is merely high-effort and not the rubbery, non-linear mess of a non-op hydraulic system. In fact, it reminded us of when men were men and drove vehicles like our buddy's 427 Cobra.
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On The DynoVortech uses its in-house Mustang Dyno for development, a test rig notorious for lower readings than the ever-popular Dynojet. In fact, while we often guestimate flywheel horsepower as 15-percent lower than that reported by a typical Dynojet, 24 percent is a more accurate multiplier with Vortech's Mustang Dyno. As it is, we saw 450 rwhp on Vortech's dyno during the run we're presenting here.
Note how the rpm, boost, and horsepower are linear. The torque wanders some, with the Coyote's characteristic dip around 4,000 rpm-it must be the variable cam timing causing this.
Vortech intelligently aims for a conservative tune, using 10.7:1 as the air/fuel ratio target and timing set for 91-octane fuel. This is necessary to cover the real-world variables, and lets East Coasters custom-tune an extra 30-40 hp with their readily available 93-or-better-octane pump premium.
We can also see how boost really doesn't get out of the 7-psi range on this development run. Vortech's goal is 8 pounds of boost and 500 rwhp using the off-road inlet pipe.
Of course, the racers are already far ahead of all this. Tuned into the low 11:1 air/fuel range, spinning the supercharger to 10 pounds with a T-Trim and the engine well into the 7,000-rpm zone, racers had already run an automatic '11 GT as quick as 10.73-second e.t.'s using East Coast premium pump gas at press time for this issue.