Tom Wilson
January 5, 2011

Given the daily driver nature of this Vortech kit, plus what seems an intent by Ford to someday provide forced induction in the Mustang, the stock fuel pump, filters, lines and rails proved plenty large. Only the fuel injectors require a step up to the tried and true GT500 units. Electronic tuning is done via an SCT hand-held flash tuner hooked to the electronic data port under the dashboard. As always, Vortech demands a stock compression ratio and 91-octane-or-higher premium fuel. East Coasters with ready access to 93-octane premium can gain an additional 30 hp with custom tuning.

Thanks to the intricacies of the parts supply pipeline, divining the street price of Vortech's soon-to-be-released '11 Mustang GT kit requires some crystal balling. The suggested retail-a price no one pays-is $5,995.95. This is identical to the same system if it were polished and more than if it were garden variety satin. Satin pricing had not been set at our press time.

Squinting a little, we'll guestimate the real-world street price of the black anniversary '11 GT kit to hover at $5,475. Expect the same pricing for the eventual polished kit, and about $5,250 for a satin kit. Another guess is when the satin and polished kits will be released. The black anniversary kits will definitely be available by the end of November 2010, and we'll wager the satin/polished versions will show by March 2011, possibly sooner.

The other option is a tuner kit. That's a blower kit designed for pro shops that prefer to do their own tuning, so they don't want, need or get a flash programmer, fuel injectors and other fuel system bits in a tuner kit. In short, it's just the mechanical portion of the blower kit and typically costs approximately $1,000 less than the full kit. But obviously the installed cost will still reflect aftermarket fuel injectors and custom tuning.

All told, the '11 GT Votech is a moderate installation job that should take at most one shop day. Home installation by experienced enthusiasts is no problem. With its relatively modest low-rpm power increase and strong top end charge, the Vortech is a good partner for the gent wanting a civilized around-town driver along with extra snort when pushing hard. It's also a smart choice for any sort of road course work-open-tracking or racing-because the power is easily hooked up, the rpm can easily be kept high on the track and weight gain is less than a positive-displacement blower.

Drag racers may find the Vortech revvy personality helpful, too, depending on how much traction their class allows, but they may miss icing the old water-to-air charge cooler. In all cases we recommend 3.55 rear gears or steeper to maximize initial acceleration before the boost ramps up. Here's to another 20 years of centrifugual fun. Congratulations, Vortech, on the silver anniversary, and thanks for celebrating it in black!

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Wheeling The Wheel

Although far from fully tuned, Vortech generously put us behind the wheel of its '11 test mule so we could begin our blown Coyote education.

Happily, we must say a '11 Mustang GT putting down 460 Clydesdale horsepower to the rear tires is a smoking good time. Switch off the traction control, put a couple of thousand rpm on the tach, trade clutch and throttle pedals with authority, and the big GT blazes the rear tires as much as you command. With the rear end slowly swinging side-to-side, First gear goes by quickly; an enthusiastic granny shift keeps the music squealing in Second. It takes a touch of driving to maintain directional control, and as speed builds to the top of Second gear and your tire-frying resolve begins to wane in favor of forward motion, the 5.0 will be ready to hook up. A speed shift into Third would no doubt bring a satisfying bark from the rear tires, but we didn't want to visit such aggression on Vortech's shiny red bit of test equipment, so we left that for you to explore. But it definitely has some steam.