Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
March 1, 2009

Techo--that's Steve Saleen's new car business--has released preliminaries and these computer-generated images of its new supercharger. Aimed at the usual domestic ponycar suspects, the new supercharger will be sold on new SMS (www.smslimitedusa.com) vehicles and over-the-counter for Techco (www.tech cointl.com) aftermarket sales. One of those is SMS' upcoming 2010 Mustang. As the new Mustang uses the same engine as the current car, the Techco blower will also fit the popular S197 Three-Valve engine.

A twin-screw design, the new supercharger benefits from the latest low-restriction air path developed by Techco engineers. Single-pass water routing and greater charge-cooler area promise better cooling. In OEM applications the drive pulley is sealed, but aftermarket blowers feature interchangeable pulleys for tuning the boost pressure.

Pricing, at least initially for after-market applications, is $6,995. Techco stresses that this includes absolutely everything required to install the blower, all the way down to the gasket sealer and plastic ties.--Tom Wilson

Harnessing The Power
If you've been following our Fox 500 adventures and would like to do something similar with one of Ford Racing Performance Parts' (www.fordracingparts.com) crate engines--like the Three-Valve 4.6 (PN M-6007-A463NA) or Romeo 605 GT500 (PN M-6007-SGT)--and you'd like to retain the drive-by-wire arrangement the factory uses, FRPP finally has a solution for you. Its new install kit (PN M-6017-463V) includes a wiring harness with OBD-II port, electronic throttle-control gas pedal, FRPP cold-air kit, mass air, PCM calibrated for a return-style fuel system, and the necessary instructions. Yes, it's the same harness we'll be using in the Fox 500, and we hope it really spurs along modular swaps.

Long Live The King
We admit it.: We made the mistake of thinking the '09 F-150 was merely a reskinned '08. Wrong. Two October days spent putting the latest F-truck to the test on Michigan roads as well as Ford's torturous Romeo Proving Grounds showed us that this year's upgrades are far more extensive than a mere facelift. First, the 4.2-liter V-6 and manual gearbox are history; a 248hp, two-valve, 4.6-liter V-8 and four-speed auto are now the base powertrain--and they deliver the same economy as the old V-6. In fact, fuel economy is up an average of 8 percent across the whole F-150 lineup. A Three-Valve 4.6-liter is new to the option list, producing 292 hp and bringing along a six-speed automatic (6R80E)--something it shares with the top-dog flex-fuel, 5.4-liter 3-V, which now puts out 320 hp and 390 lb-ft.

But power is only part of the story. An all-new interior is even nicer than the last generation's, and notably quieter, too. No easy feat. The SuperCrew cab is now 6 inches longer than before, with a perfectly flat rear load floor, so bring on the passengers and inside cargo. The already-stout hydro-formed ladder frame has been stiffened for roughly 10 percent more torsional rigidity than last year, permitting class-leading maximum towing and payload ratings of 11,300 and 3,030 pounds, respectively. Ford's engineers wisely chose to focus on the F-truck's core customers--those who actually use a pickup as more than a simple fashion statement--and have made their half-ton series more capable, comfortable, and quieter than ever before.

While all this sounds nice, we were able to compare the '09 F-150 head-to-head with the latest from GM, Dodge, and Toyota in hauling, handling, and towing tests on the proving grounds. We also street-drove it back-to-back with some '08 F-150s. While we're hardly unbiased, the results were universally conclusive: Despite the competition's best efforts, the new F-150 once again stands firmly at the top of the mountain looking down. It's good to be king.--Dale Amy

Short Times
As if they know how much Editor Turner loves Carbon Fiber, Carbign Craft (www.carbigncraft.com) is unleashing a tidal wave of carbon-fiber gear for S197 Mustangs... If your '05-'09 Mustang Convertible's rear quarter-glass is separating, you better take it into the dealership and have them check out TSB 08-17-3, which calls for the glass to be re-aligned... Nitto Tire (www.nittotire.com) is unleashing a new Ultra-High-Performance tire, the NT05, which will be available next month...

Little Stallion
As we get older, we often wish we could go back to those care-free days of being a kid. It's toys like the Lil' C-500 from Cervini's [(800) 488-6057] that make this idea even more tantalizing. Just like it does with a full-size Mustang, Cervini's took a Power Wheels and turned it into a retro-themed C-500 tuner stallion with the addition of a C-Series hood, side exhaust, rear spoiler, racing stripes, interior accents, and more. Standard features are an adjustable seat and functional gauges, and the car has been clocked at 0 to 5 mph in 4 seconds. Only a limited number of these sweet rides are available for $499.95, so check 'em out over at www.cervinis.com. Sadly, a time machine isn't available, but at least your kids can enjoy a toy you could only dream of having.