Foose Mustangs - Foose On The Loose
Blower Power Has Arrived For The Foose Stallion
Finally, the Foose Stallion Mustang has a blower. It makes sense. Styling is a major selling point with anything from Chip Foose, the designer from the popular TV show Overhaulin'. With a name like Stallion, along with stiff competition in the high-performance Mustang specialty market from Saleen, Roush, Steeda, and Shelby, horsepower is a huge selling point.
That's why we hustled to Unique Performance for a look. At press time, Gary Anderson's team was still in the deliberation about which supercharger would go on the ultimate Stallion.
There are now three levels of Foose Mustangs. The base Stallion is pretty much a "cosmetic exercise" with a seven-piece body kit and graphics, and it comes with the factory GT's 300hp, 4.6L, Three-Valve V-8. The next level has the same engine with Ford Racing's cold-air induction, pumping up the power by approximately 35 ponies-enough to give the Foose what Gary calls "more performance personality." The 300 and 335hp engines have been optional in the Foose since the Stallion was created in 2006.
For '07, the blower pushes horsepower to 445. That's a substantial jump and enough to move the Stallion where it needs to be to compete with the big boys.
Paul Cavins, General Manager of Unique Performance's Western Region sales, is a member of Gary's team and speaks the musclecar lingo. "Back in the day-the mid '90s-when Ford came out with the Cobra Mustang, it had 305-310 hp," he says. "Everybody said, 'Oh, those things are fast!' Now you say '300 hp' and they just laugh. I think in order to remain competitive, we have to offer something north of 400 hp."
We were curious as to what type of supercharger Unique would choose for the Stallion: centrifugal or Roots-style. The ever-popular centrifugal superchargers, like those from Vortech, Paxton, ATI, and Powerdyne, compress the air inside the blower and force it down the intake. They're easy to spot because they mount on the front of the engine.
When we opened the hood on the Vista Blue prototype Foose Stallion, we saw the other type of supercharger, which is technically external compression. Called Roots- or Eaton-style, these blowers mount on top of the engine. The '03 Cobra, and more recently the new Ford GT super car, brought a lot of attention to this second style. Roush, Kenne Bell, Eaton, and Whipple are popular manufacturers.
Gary clued us in on the selection process. "Ford wants us to use a Whipple. That's going to be 6 to 8 months away. Roush's blower is something we can get our hands on in a shorter amount of time." Paul feels the Roush supercharger will be an interim blower until Ford Racing's supercharger is validated and warrantied.
The Unique team has also been working on the suspension. Their goal is to get ride and handling characteristics somewhere between a stock Mustang GT and one that's track-ready. "We don't want the suspension to beat you to death on a rough road," Paul says.
Tuning was fairly basic with a novel twist. First, the factory springs and struts/shocks were replaced, a cool modification from Multimatic, a large automotive company in Canada. Its core business is making suspension components. After lowering the body 71/48 inch, the company recommended relocating the mounting points for the front sway bar. This gives the Stallion a stiffer antiroll bar without switching to a larger one.
Another trick fast becoming de rigueur is staggered wheels and tires-larger at the rear than the front. Foose wheels measure 20x8.5 inches up front and 20x10 inches in the rear. Staggering provides better grip at the rear of a Mustang, decreasing understeer by mitigating the lightness of the rear end.
With the blower and a big set of tires, the Stallion has become a muscle Mustang contender. No, it's not 500 hp, but the Foose Stallion fits into a unique niche. The cost is less and enthusiasts will surely turn up the boost (stock is 6 psi) to achieve north of 500 hp.
"I know that's what I'd do," Paul says. "If I bought a blown Foose Mustang, the first thing I'd do is put a bigger pulley on it and maybe some freer flowing exhaust."
Bring on the big boys.
Sometimes you just have to be the giant killer, such as Brent Fennimore. He wheeled out a tame-looking '06 V-6 convertible and proceeded to burn the tires-or tire, as it was with the single-track rearend. Of course, the V-6 was supercharged.
We could see a V-6 connection. Brent began with Shelby Automobiles in 1997 before moving to Unique Performance. Shelby includes a Paxton supercharger on the CS-6, so Brent knows how a blower wakes up Ford's V-6.
The little V-6 is actually hotter than a normally aspirated, 300hp GT. Brent went through the math for us. The stock V-6 Mustang has 210 hp; the GT has 300. The V-6 Mustang, however, is 300 pounds lighter. So even if the supercharged V-6 matched the GT in horsepower, the V-6 would have more horses per pound.
With the V-2 SQ S-Trim supercharger system, standard output is 290 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque estimated at the flywheel-the factory figures for the V-6 and GT are also flywheel horsepower. Although 290 doesn't quite match the 300 of the GT, with Vortech's air-to-water charger cooler, the numbers bump up to 330 hp and 337 lb-ft. Sure enough, the charger cooler is underhood in Brent's V-6. Clearly, he has an advantage on the GT.
Brent's sleeper convertible provides inspiration for V-6 buyers. The base Mustang coupe retails for around $18,000, and the insurance cost is lower withthe smaller engine. Add the $3,600 blower and you still spent $2,400 less-if you did the 10-14 hour installation yourself-than the $6,000 more to buy a GT.
While photographing the first supercharged Foose Stallion coupe, we spied a convertible that was also blown-except it has the centrifugal type of blower. Mike Erinakes was the high bidder on a Vortech blower last October at Unique's PerformanceFest, a giant car show. Vortech donated the blower for the silent auction, with proceeds going to Chip Foose's favorite charity, the Progeria Research Foundation. Progeria is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children. Chip's youngest sister, Amy, passed away of this rare disease. Mike asked Unique Performance to install the blower. In the spirit of the charity auction, the company agreed to do the work. As a result, #002 isn't only the lowest serialized Foose Stallion convertible on the streets, it's probably the hottest with 462 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque.