Watson Racing boosts its street/strip SEMA star with a Whipple supercharger
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Watson Racing
While there have been a few shots heard ’round the Mustang world, we’ve been waiting for the S550 horsepower wars to escalate. Well, thanks to our friends at Watson Racing, the battle has begun in earnest. The company recently added one of Whipple Superchargers’ new 2.9-liter superchargers for the 2015 Mustang, and the results were downright breathtaking.
If you have followed our coverage of the Watson S550, you know it debuted at last year’s SEMA show in the Ford display. It was one of the few drag-strip oriented machines on the SEMA show floor, and it had the mods to back it up. However, as with most SEMA projects, the Watson car had to be show-ready in a short amount of time. That didn’t leave the opportunity to maximize the car’s full potential.
Regular readers will also know that the company is busy with myriad other projects—from converting Ford Racing School 2015 Mustangs to building up customer Cobra Jets for the new racing season. As such, it was difficult to find the opportunity to work on its own project, but when the company carved out the time, its team knew just what they wanted to do.
“Honestly, to push the envelope and still be a very streetable car,” John Phillips, Products Manager at Watson Racing, explained. You can watch them push that envelope on the dyno right here:
To do so, the Watson team fortified the stock Coyote short-block with good internals, reinstalled the stock heads, and fitted those heads with a set of custom camshafts built to Watson Racing specs. With that gear in place, they installed the aforementioned Whipple supercharger system. The company is quite familiar with how effective these superchargers are on Cobra Jets, so the 2.9 was a natural choice for its own project.
As you may know, one of the constraints holding back the escalation of major horsepower on the latest Mustangs is the complexity of the programming inside the new TriCor PCM. While strides have been made producing power with the factory computer, the Watson team wanted to eliminate any variables and go right into making big power.
“We opted to remove the factory electronics and go with the F.A.S.T. engine management system,” John said. “This—along with the expertise of our tuning guru Kim Mapes—resulted in some impressive numbers.”
They are impressive numbers, indeed. With the F.A.S.T. system in place, the Whipple-blown Coyote put down a whopping 928 horsepower to the rear wheels. Better yet, that is on a conservative tune. Kim believes there is more power to be had, but they want to wring the rest of it out at the racetrack before choosing a racing class for this impressive machine.
“We are extremely pleased with the numbers we are putting down. There is still more in though. Now we just need make some fast passes in Florida to complete the loop,” John added. “We will run some exhibition passes at Bradenton and then make that decision.”
So, if you are as excited to see this Mustang run as we are, make sure you are in the stands at the NMRA season opener in Bradenton, Florida, on March 5-8.