Adding over 150 horsepower to an S550 with bolt-on boost from Vortech
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Vortech Superchargers
For those of you that weren’t around during the first wave of 5.0 fever back in the mid-’80s, things have changed quote a bit. Gone are pushrods and cams in blocks and in their place is overhead cams and TiVCT. Back then of you had a 400hp Mustang you had the baddest ride in town, and if you had a Vortech whistling away under your hood people knew better than to rev up on you.
These days 400 horsepower is stock and supercharging has become mainstream, but one thing that remains constant is that you can still bolt a Vortech supercharger onto your new Mustang and get a significant step up in power. Depending on which blower you have, they might not be able to hear it. However, when you put your foot in it, they will know it’s there.
With the arrival of the 2015 Mustang GT, the 5.0-liter engine is new and improved, but it’s packaging is different enough that Vortech had to engineer a new kit. As such, its S550 supercharger system is similar to its predecessor, but it is also improved to better mesh with the latest Coyote engine.
“The major difference is related to the charge-air plumbing. These are due to the changes in the 2015 chassis,” Jimmy Martz, Director Global Sales of Vortech, explained. “We were able to shorten and simplify the air path as compared to the previous generation Mustang kit. The cooling system expansion tank is also fabricated aluminum and all new inlet ducting has been created.”
With the hardware solution designed, a bolt-on centrifugal becomes a great match for the high-winding Coyote engine. As you know, centrifugal superchargers build boost in step with rpm, which makes for tractable power that scales in lockstep with the rev-happy 5.0-liter engine.
“Vortech centrifugal superchargers are the most efficient supercharger compressors on the market. This means cooler denser air for more horsepower per pound of boost,” Jimmy said. “With the Vortech kit, the Ford factory-tuned intake manifold is retained and you get the benefits of OEM driveability with the additional power when its wanted the most. The additional power created is useable horsepower, it just doesn’t go up in smoke at the starting line.”
Clearly the marriage of Vortech’s centrifugal supercharger an the latest Mustang is a happy one. And, it seems that the coupling is even more blissful than the previous nuptials of the belt-driven blower with the last-generation 5.0 engine. And, we already know a Vortech boosted the quickest 2015 Mustang GT to date.
“The 2015 Vortech Kit is advertised to make 640 horsepower. This is above the previous generation kit,” Jimmy said. “Owners of the 2015 Mustang will benefit from all the same proven modifications as the previous generation Coyotes.”
Of course, these numbers were generated with the as-delivered kit with the standard supercharger and Vortech’s calibration. This setup features the self-lubricated V-3 Si supercharger pullied for 7 ½ to 8 ½ pounds of boost and about 640 flywheel horsepower. For those that want more, scalability has always been a pulley or blower head-unit swap away, the latter of which can push the car to over 1,200 horsepower provided it has the supporting hardware.
“Vortech systems are completely upgradeable. They are six-rib pulley options to allow for more boost when desired,” Jimmy added. “For the enthusiast that wants the ultimate street machine, we offer an eight-rib upgrade drive assembly and the YSi-B supercharger, which has proven to make 1200-plus horsepower, all while being a bolt-on upgrade to the existing kit.”
So if you’ve been considering a supercharger upgrade for your shiny, new 2015 Mustang, follow along as we hit the highlights of the standard system’s installation.