Lethal Performance boosts its GT350’s Voodoo 5.2-liter with a Whipple
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Lethal Performance
After we got over the initial excitement of learning about the Voodoo 5.2-liter engine, there was one evil thought that came to mind. What would it be like with boost? Fortunately we know people who think the same way. When the crew at Lethal Performance acquires a new Mustang project, it’s a fait accompli that the car will eventually receive a Whipple supercharger and for the Lethal Shelby GT350 that time has arrived.
“We’ve always upgraded our cars with Whipple’s newest offerings so it really wasn’t much different with this one,” Jared said. “Just look at how well our 2015 GT did with boost. Now imagine that with a higher revving, higher compression motor like the 5.2-liter Voodoo engine.”
Of course doing so meant adapting Whipple’s existing Coyote kit for the GT350 platform. While the engine shares the same basic architecture as the Voodoo engine, some of the support systems in the new Shelby created challenges. Chief among them was calibrating this combo to work with the GT350 software, which was handled by the pros at Lund Racing. However, there were also several hardware hurdles that the crew at Power by the Hour also had to leap over to install the kit.
“There were a few things we needed to do to make the standard Whipple 2015+ GT kit fit the GT350. For one the GT350 uses a fuel rail pressure sensor where the GT doesn’t. Although Whipple has since made an adapter for that we ended up welding a bung into the fuel rails supplied with the kit to allow the use of the rail sensor,” Jared explained. “We also had to relocate the remote oil cooler as that’s in the same location where the Whipple intercooler tank reservoir and pump get mounted. Lastly, the blower wouldn’t fit under the stock hood without the help of some UPR adjustable motor mounts. Once we put those in, we had plenty of good clearance and could still run the stock hood liner.”
Now for some purists this might seem like sacrilege, but admit it. Even the leave-it-stock crowd has to be a little curious about how the high-revving 5.2-liter engine would respond to boost. It turns on that with the proper supporting equipment and careful calibration, this engine responds quite well to forced induction.
You can watch the Whipple-boosted GT350 run on the dyno right here…
“I’m still kind of shocked about how much power this car made with the blower. It’s actually funny listening to all of the people on the Internet and forums saying the high-compression, flat-plane-crank engine wouldn’t handle the boost. Then you have your real sources who actually calibrate these cars for Ford and have extensive hands on experience with the 5.2-liter saying the exact opposite,” Jared said. “Of course we’re not going to throw 20 pounds of boost to this thing, but with some good fuel like E85 and the best in the business—Lund Racing—tuning it we achieved some amazing numbers. Comparing our 2015 GT with the Whipple that made 700 rear-wheel horsepower at 11.50 psi you have to be impressed with the GT350 making almost 120 more rear-wheel horsepower at the same boost level. An 819 rear-wheel-horsepower GT350 is pretty bad ass in my opinion and that’s on a completely stock motor.”
As you might expect, the next step for this fledgling combination is a trip to the drag strip. After driving this car with nitrous, driver Jeremy Martorella was quite confident that the supercharged version would run well on the 1,320, and Jared has some lofty goals for the car.
“We’re really not sure what to expect at the drag strip. I know that we went high 10s at 600 rear-wheel horsepower with a slipping clutch. So, I guess anything with a 9 in the beginning sounds reasonable,” Jared surmised. “The only issues we’re going to battle are that we’re running that factory clutch until McLeod finishes up with the unit it is building for us. In addition to that the gearing in the car isn’t ideal for the strip, as the car wasn’t designed for that. We shall see I guess.”
Naturally, we’ll keep you updated as the Lethal GT350 makes its next moves, so stay tuned.