661BHP MUS­TANG

We go for a wild ride in the 661bhp Ford Per­for­mance Parts tuned Mus­tang GT...

Fast Ford - - Contents - Words DAN TRENT Pho­tos SIM MAINEY

We drive the su­per­charged Ford Per­for­mance Parts Mus­tang.

AMus­tang is never go­ing to be shy and re­tir­ing, es­pe­cially one with a 5.0-litre V8 un­der the bon­net. But what’s it like when you bolt a su­per­charger on and un­leash 661bhp through the rear wheels? Deceptive, in a word.

You no­tice the Per­for­mance Shifter Kit first, the stumpy lit­tle lever re­duc­ing the throw by nearly a fifth over the stan­dard setup. And the mo­ti­va­tion to get a bit Fast and Fu­ri­ous (or should that be Bul­litt?) with your gearchanges is that bit stronger thanks to your more in­ti­mate phys­i­cal con­nec­tion to the big V8. Straight away this Mus­tang feels sig­nif­i­cantly more butch than a stan­dard one. Which is kind of ap­pro­pri­ate.

My first run in the car is around Good­wood’s fa­mously fast and un­for­giv­ing cir­cuit, the com­bi­na­tion of 670PS, a damp sur­face and lit­tle more than a few me­tres of wet grass be­tween track and tyre­wall of­fer­ing food for thought when the speeds are well into three fig­ures. This car is louder thanks to its 2.5in cat-back ex­haust sys­tem, also from Ford Per­for­mance Parts and sup­plied un­der li­cence from Borla. And to be­gin with the ex­tra V8 sound­track is enough to con­vince me I’m mak­ing good use of the ex­tra power. Turns out I’ve been a

com­plete wuss though.

As I com­plete my lap and exit the chi­cane I give the ac­cel­er­a­tor a proper shove. Holy moly. Un­like a tur­bocharger’s whizz-bang spool-up there’s no sud­den kick in the back, mean­ing on gen­tle throt­tle open­ings it feels like a stan­dard 5.0. But when you floor it the nee­dles on the rev counter and speedo move so quickly they be­come blurred, much like the scenery out­side. And the speed with which it rips through the gears mean you’re kept very busy with that short-throw shifter.

My in­struc­tor is gig­gling at my stream of ex­ple­tives and the panic brak­ing as I charge head­long into the first cor­ner. Thank­fully the stan­dard-fit six-pot Brem­bos feel up to the job, like­wise the stock GT sus­pen­sion. I’d ex­pected the car to be a bit of a hand­ful but, for all its mon­strous power out­put, it’s pretty civilised. Al­most like it was built for it all along in fact.

I’m still mind­ful of the damp look­ing track but much more con­fi­dent of the Mus­tang’s abil­ity to deal with it. As the heart-in-mouth right-han­der at Ford­wa­ter ap­proaches I’m ready to slot fifth and get on it. And where the stan­dard GT can feel a lit­tle breath­less the su­per­charger gives it in­stant throt­tle re­sponse at any speed or revs. It's a Ford Per­for­mance Parts kit based on the Roush Phase 1 pack­age sold in the States and in­cludes an Ea­ton 2.3-litre Twin Vor­tices Se­ries (TVS) su­per­charger, high-flow in­let and out­let ports, new in­take man­i­fold, twin 60mm throt­tle body sys­tem, fuel rails and in­jec­tors and in­ter­cooler sys­tem. The per­for­mance it un­leashes is ab­so­lutely ad­dic­tive, the in­ter­ac­tion with the man­ual trans­mis­sion mean­ing it’s a car that needs to be driven prop­erly to be en­joyed.

As driven this car is just shy of £54,000, the su­per­charger kit nearly ten grand on its own. But the parts are all avail­able through your Ford deal­er­ship and warranty friendly. And you’ve got four grand and an ex­tra 240hp in your pocket to dent the smug­ness of any BMW M4 driv­ers you might en­counter.

Given the track en­vi­ron­ment and ex­pe­ri­ence with the US-only GT350 R com­par­isons are in­evitable. The Shelby is prob­a­bly more suited to hand­ing the BMW (and plenty of oth­ers) its ass on a cir­cuit thanks to its re­duced weight, more ex­otic en­gine, Cup tyres and spe­cially tuned sus­pen­sion. I’ve been lucky enough to sam­ple the GT350 R for a cou­ple of laps pre­vi­ously and it’s a much more so­phis­ti­cated ma­chine, this su­per­charged 5.0 GT more blunt in­stru­ment than pre­ci­sion weapon.

No less charm­ing or ex­cit­ing for that though. And as the cat­a­logue of of­fi­cially ap­proved parts per­mits fur­ther tun­ing and per­son­al­i­sa­tion within the com­fort of your fac­tory warranty it’s nice to know Ford can help you put the mus­cle into your mus­cle car. Just the right side of un­ruly, this is the Mus­tang show­ing its true red, white and blue colours.

The la­g­less su­per­charger pro­vides plenty of in­stant grunt

The short-shift-kit is a sim­ple but ef­fec­tive up­grade

The Ford Per­for­mance Parts su­per­charger kit is based on the Roush Phase 1 kit, pro­duc­ing a warranty-friendly 670PS!

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