The newest iteration of the Mustang can hardly be considered an underdog.
But when you put it in an open track environment against numerous formidable advisories, our beloved Pony doesn't always have what it takes to run up front—especially in base trim. MRT Performance's TKO Mustang is the exception.
If you're confused, allow us to explain.
"I like being the underdog," Scott tells us. "People always ask, 'You put all that time and money into a V-6?' and I always say, 'Let's go for a ride and see what you think then.' The technology we have today allows us to outperform the older base model cars."
The concept for Scott's low-displacement Pony started a few years ago when his wife bought a car for daily transportation.
"My wife bought an '11 V-6 to drive back and forth to work and get good gas mileage," he tells us. "I borrowed the car to help a friend with a race in Indianapolis. The event had drag racing, solo on-track runs, and autocross, and a competitors' wife wanted to go on-track with her husband on the solo track. Because we couldn't let her go with him, I took her for a ride in the V-6. I asked her how fast she wanted to go, and she said, 'All the way!' When we were done, we went 0.2 seconds quicker than the best lap of the day. I was very impressed with its performance.
"The next day was the autocross, and at the end of the day, I wanted to see how the car stacked up; it was within 0.1 second of the quickest car on that course. That's when I knew I wanted to build one for the road course."
Scott's track star started as a base V-6 coupe. Three hundred hours later, this is the finished product. The car was stripped and outfitted with everything needed to tear up the track, yet remain tame enough for the street.
The engine and trans are stock; power production has been increased with the help of a ProCharger centrifugal supercharger and air-to-air intercooler. Exhaust exits through the stock manifolds, into an MRT H-style mid-pipe, exiting through an MRT Interceptor axleback.
Inside, it's all business. The crew at MRT removed everything that didn't need to be there before adding the 10-point rollcage with NASCAR-style door bars. The stock dash and center console are all that remain from what Papa Ford installed on the assembly line.
Underneath the car is where the fun begins. The stock suspension components have given way to a bevy of parts design for better handling. H&R coilovers sit in all four corners, allowing Scott to finetune corner weights and set the ride height just right, along with a set of H&R sway bars, which help keep the car flat during cornering. The stock binders have been ditched in favor of 14-inch Baer six-piston brakes, which hide behind 18-inch Forge Star F14 wheels in all four corners.
To tie it all together, the car has been layered with six coats of Sherwin Williams black and orange paint, which really sets this V-6 apart.
Scott tells us the car is an absolute blast to drive, and the power and balance are amazing. He even tells us he thinks it has something for the Boss 302s out on track. It may sound far-fetched, but this underdog may have a fighting chance!