HP Tuners built a 2015 Mustang as a multi-purpose promotional project
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of HP Tuners and Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car
In the automotive aftermarket it is standard practice to build project vehicles to garner attention. These cars often show up at trade shows or on manufacturers midways as eye candy to lure in potential customers. HP Tuners definitely wants to attract potential customers with is latest Mustang project, but the company also wants to prove its wares in a number of competitive environments.
“We believe that with the late-model muscle cars that we have available, power, handling, launching, and stopping are not mutually exclusive. When we set out to build this car, we named the project Uncompromised so that we can show what is necessary to perform at the drag strip, road course, half-mile runway, drift circuit and the street,” Jay said. There were also complaints regarding drivability with the 2015 Mustang and a power adder, and we aimed to show what one can do to overcome those drivability issues.”
Of course tuning a power-adder Mustang meant adding a power adder. There are plenty of options out there to add more oomph to a modern Coyote, but for a project meant to thrive at a number of different automotive disciplines, the team at HP Tuners opted for a centrifugal supercharger from the intercooled-supercharging experts at ProCharger.
“… We believe that we can apply power earlier on corner exit on the road course and autocross (with a centrifugal),” he said. “We also wanted to limit the number of parts and weight added to the vehicle, particularly up front.”
Obviously, tuning a supercharged Coyote is nothing new to HP calibrators, but tuning it to survive and thrive in some harsh competitive environments allows for continued learning. For every hardware chance or change in the performance mission for a new event there is a challenge to overcome and that learning can be passed on to the company’s dealers.
“For every step of the project, tuning is necessary. For instance, we are swapping the MT82 with a Magnum trans from American Powertrain. In order to get the cruise working properly, we must put the proper gear ratios in the file,” Jay explained. “When it comes to power, obviously, HP Tuners is utilized to tune the PCM so that we can extract as much power as we can. This will also require flex fuel tuning, as well as dedicated E85 and 91-octane tunes so that we can drive the car on the Hot Rod Power Tour.”
Even aftermarket companies don’t have unlimited car funds, so anyone that’s built up a car can identify with the struggle. Moving from racetracks to long-haul street cruises means dealing with the trapping of extra horsepower and working through any anomalies, while keeping the project-car budget in check.
“We have the ProCharger Stage 2 kit on the car and the intercooler is excellent, but it’s large. We will have to add a heat-extracting hood as well as ducting air to the radiator better. We will also upgrade the radiator at some point,” Jay said.
Despite the fledgling nature of the project, Jay was eager to put the company’s 2015 Mustang to the test. To do so, he also entered the car into the GT class at the Optima Search For the Ultimate Street Car event at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. With Jay behind the wheel, the 4,000-pound Mustang placed third in its class in the Autocross, fourth in its class in the Speed Stop Challenge and second in its class in the Engineering and Design Challenge.
“We earned 471 points for the event which secured third in class! First in class earned 484 points and second was sitting with 476 points, while fourth place earned 461 points,” Jay said. “I am not an experienced road racer, and I have never driven the track at New Jersey. The learning curve was steep and I only had two sessions in the dry. For the Hot Lap Challenge we placed 13th overall (of 38) and seventh in class. The car was faster than I was!”
Competing in events like this not only allows HP Tuners to improve its grasp on the tuning intricacies of a modern muscle car, but it also allows them to use another of the company’s products to learn about how the car behaves on the racetrack. This one transforms your smartphone into a datalogging video recorder, which you can learn more about here...
[video=youtube;eMtHR_jvR2w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= eMtHR_jvR2w [/video]
“Track Addict is a tool that helps you dial in the driver, more than the car. You can see where you are braking early, or late on the throttle or just slow through a corner,” he said. “But, you can also see where you are pulling timing through the knock sensors, or running hot, etc.”
Running in the Optima and Wanna Go Fast events is just the beginning for this car. It is slated for drag racing, road racing and more. Each event will allow for more learning and honing of the combination. Along the way it will gain more upgrades and get progressively quicker as it heads toward hitting the lofty goals Jay has set for the project.
“By the end of 2017 we would like to see the car perform well on the road course (tough to quantify but we will work on the metrics), run 9s in the quarter and over 175 in the half mile,” Jay added. “The next modifications are the Magnum trans and triple-disc Mantic clutch as well as a breather system for the ProCharger!”
HP Tuners put together a ProCharged 2015 Mustang as a showcase and test bed for its tuning and video datalogging software.
Want to refine the tuning of a power-adder Mustang, then add a couple of power adders. ProCharger boosted the performance of its new-school Coyote with a ProCharger intercooled supercharger and a direct-port nitrous system from Nitrous Works.
So far HP Tuners have only run the Mustang on boost and street tires, but more traction via drag radials will allow for adding the spray into the mix for its straight-line antics.
So far the HP Tuners’ 2015 Mustang has put down over 821 horsepower and 680 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
At the Optima Search For the Ultimate Street Car event at New Jersey Motorsports Park the HP Tuners S550 finishes third in the GT class, including a fourth place finish in the Speed Stop Challenge.
With over 800 horsepower on tap, this is a familiar view for cars that line up against the HP S550.
The Mod List
Block: Stock aluminum
Rods: Livernois Motorsports
Pistons: Livernois Motorsports, 10.2:1 compression
Cylinder Heads: Stock
Power Adder: ProCharger D-1SC Stage 2 supercharger w/ 4.75-inch pulley
Exhaust: American Racing Headers long-tube headers, mid-pipe and cat-back
Struts: MCS double-adjustable w/ Vorshlag camber plates
Wheels: Forgestar, 18x11-inch
Tires: BFGoodrich Rival S, 315/30-18
Shocks: Motion Control Suspension double-adjustable
Wheels: Forgestar, 18x11-inch
Tires: BFGoodrich Rival S, 315/30-18