It is hard to argue with the profound effect the latest 5.0L creation has had on the aftermarket. Dubbed the Coyote, it has virtually reset our standards of performance thanks to its efficiency and responsiveness to power adders of the boost and chemical variety. But there is more to the '11-present Mustang GT than its Coyote 5.0L powerplant. Among a lot of great upgrades, the Ford engineers also added a new automatic transmission, dubbed the 6R80, and it features six-forward gears--a first for the Mustang.
And lets face it, life with an automatic can make things easy, especially in traffic and at the drag strip. And no one knows this better than Chris Cruz, who's pushing back against the competition with his 1,002 rwhp '11 Mustang GT/CS. The road to 1,002 rwhp started with humble beginnings at the dealership, where he acquired the Performance White GT/CS less than 2 years ago. "I bought this car because my other Mustang, a 2007 GT, was built into a track-only car and I wanted a street car," explained Chris. In the course of 19 months, his street Stang has been through a transformation of sorts that has left Chris with an 8-second timeslip in street clothes--save for a set of slicks.
It is a car built to tickle all of your senses--from sight to sound and even smell. Just imagine watching, hearing, and smelling a car of this caliber smoke the tires. The exhaust growl and whine from the twin-screw supercharger tickles your ears, and the smell of burnt rubber never gets old--nor does the sweet smell of E85 ethanol fuel emanating from the tailpipes. And having 1,002 rwhp shows how the latest technology from Ford is helping enthusiasts win the street wars.
To reach his goal, Chris dropped his brand-new car off at Evolution Performance (Aston, Pennsylvania). The car has been stepped up little by little. The first tweak included a Ford Racing/Whipple 2.3L supercharger and some minor suspension modifications, Weld RTS wheels at all four-corners, and a custom tune by Jon Lund. In this trim, the car unleashed high 10-second times, but eventually found its way into the high 9s--with the stock engine and factory-supplied 6R80 transmission.
The street life became more serious, and the 2.3L was eventually swapped to Ford Racing's 2.9L unit. The move prompted Evolution to turn to its long-time engine builder, L&M Race Engines, to construct a bulletproof 5.0L. The goal is always street first and race second, so the stock block was prepped and received custom Diamond Pistons that put the compression ratio at 10.5:1, while a set of Manley I-beam rods swing off a stock crankshaft. The cylinder heads have stiffer valvesprings to help control the valves under heavy boost pressures and high rpm (7,200 rpm shifts), but they remain un-ported. The spent gases are routed to the rear bumper through an American Racing Headers system, including 17?8-inch long-tube headers, a 3-inch X-style mid-pipe, and Dynomax Bullet mufflers. Feeding fuel to this Coyote screamer is the job of a return-style fuel hat from CP-E, and it houses three Deatsch Werks fuel pumps, while Aeroquip feed and return lines bring fuel back and forth to the Metco fuel rails and Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator.
Last season culminated with an impressive 9.70 at 148 mph thanks to a little giggle gas (75hp) on top of the 18 psi of boost. It wasn't the e.t. that totally captured our attention, but rather the fact Chris ran so quickly with a car wearing 20-inch Forgestar F14 wheels all around and a pair of Nitto NT05 tires out back. This screams sleeper and the 9.70 runs back up our perception. The Nitto tires barely cooled off before Evolution's Fred Cook was planning the next step. It was back to the shop and the team was aiming for the 8s--but still emphasizing street, not race, like Chris' other Mustang project.