Richard Holdner
January 1, 2007

The Term performance enthusiast must be Latin for gullible idiot. I don't speak a word of Latin, yet I was driving the 7th hour of a 15-hour stint from sunny Anaheim, California, to somewhat less sunny Roswell, New Mexico. I thought, Well, at least I'll get to relax when I get there.

Actually, I made the trip willingly to ensure that MM&FF got the exclusive on the new low-buck turbo kit from Snow Performance. Designed and manufactured by the performance experts at HP Performance, the goal was to provide the added benefits of turbocharging at a rate comparable to the current '05 supercharger systems.

While all forms of forced induction have their strengths, there is no denying the power potential of a well-designed turbo system. Unlike the three popular forms of supercharging, turbocharging does not require a crank-driven system to spin the impeller. As such, turbo motors do not suffer the same parasitic losses associated with driving the supercharger. What this means is that, boost-for-boost, a turbo motor will produce more power than a supercharged motor.

The power advantage offered by the turbo is improved even further when you add the inherent efficiency of the modern compressor wheels (and housings). Only the best centrifugal superchargers can match the compressor efficiency of a turbo. In terms of efficiency, Roots-style blowers don't even come close, though they and the positive displacement twin screw blowers, offer the benefit of immediate boost response, which can mean tremendous low- and midrange power and torque.

If you've checked out our Mods for Mods series, you already know that the Three-Valve motor introduced in the '05 Mustang GT responds well to performance upgrades, including boost. All the usual suspects offer blower kits for the '05-'06 motors, but available turbo systems are few and far between. Fewer still offer complete turbo kits that combine the ability to produce exceptional power gains at an affordable price.

The key to the kit from Snow Performance is, of course, the turbo. The Stage 1 kit tested here features an impressive 60-1 turbo. Capable of supporting over 550 hp, the single turbo offers more than enough flow for a stock or modified Three-Valve motor. While everyone seems interested in how much boost the turbo will make, the more accurate representation is the airflow or power potential, since the power output of the turbo combination will be a function of the power output of the NA motor combined with the boost. The best combination is a powerful NA motor with a minimal amount of boost. Check out the power gains offered by just 5 psi and you start to see the big picture.

The limiting factor in terms of power production from the Stage 1 kit is available fuel flow from the factory injectors. Combined with a Boost-a-Pump and proper tuning, the stock injectors can provide enough fuel to support nearly 400 rwhp (at sea level) before things start to get dangerously lean. For those looking to exceed this power level, the Stage 2 kit comes with a new set of 30-lb/hr injectors, which should provide the necessary fuel to reach 500 rwhp. In this day of (supposedly) 20 psi street cars, 5 psi may not sound like much, but it is hard to argue with a real turbo system capable of delivering (just over) an honest 100hp gain at such an affordable price. Every bit as important is that this turbo kit has the ability to provide significantly more power once upgraded with the proper injector size.

Mmfp_0701_01z Ford_turbo_mustang Engine
What could be better for a new Mustang than a little boost?
Mmfp_0701_02z 2005_ford_mustang Engine
Though powerful in stock trim (275 hp at the wheels), what Three-Valve motor couldn't use an extra 100 hp?
Mmfp_0701_03z Ford_turbo_mustang Boost_cooler
Naturally, the Snow Performance turbo kit (priced at $299) included the methanol/water injection system. The Snow Performance system also featured Safe Injection (retailing for $99), which has the ability to vary the injection rate based on mass air voltage.
Mmfp_0701_04z Ford_turbo_mustang Piping
Here is a shot of the inlet and exhaust tubing associated with the turbo kit. All of the tubing featured Jet Hot coating to maximize the heat energy to the turbo.