For the 2018 model year, Ford reworked the lauded 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine in the Mustang GT into a dual-injected, 460-horsepower peach of a motor capable of delivering 0-to-60 acceleration in under four seconds (with the available 10-speed automatic). Still, there’s always more to be had from any volume-production factory motor, and the guys over at American Muscle were determined to eclipse the 500-wheel-horsepower mark while retaining the Coyote’s natural aspiration.
What they came up with in the process is a fairly easy, not-prohibitively-expensive guide to making Camaro-killing power with some straightforward bolt-ons and PCM software tuning.
Those bolt-ons consist of a large-aperture cold-air intake from JLT Performance, a pair of Corsa Off-Road Long-Tube Headers, and a Corsa Xtreme Cat-Back Exhaust. The Corsa Long-Tube Headers use a four-into-one design for excellent scavenging at high-rpm, but be warned: they don’t come equipped with catalytic converters, and are intended for off-road use only. If you live in a state with regular emissions inspections, you’ll likely have the book thrown at you for using these headers.
Using just those bolt-ons, plus an alternative PCM tune installed via SCT’s VMP Rev-X Tuner, American Muscle manages to squeeze 474 wheel-horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque out of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT using 93-octane pump gas. After a quick reflash to take advantage of E85, those numbers swell to 509 horsepower and 451 lb-ft at the wheels. Assuming the standard 15-percent parasitic loss through the drivetrain, that equals nearly 600 horsepower at the crank.
Bear in mind: E85 is much less energy-dense than gasoline, so if you were to replicate what American Muscle has done with its 2018 Ford Mustang GT, you can expect a decline in fuel economy.
The refreshed, 2018 Ford Mustang GT is available now, and in addition to the natural-aspiration performance parts offered by JLT Performance, Corsa Performance, and others, there is already at least one complete supercharger package available from Roush, capable of taking the pony car up to 700 horsepower. Be sure to set aside enough greenbacks for fresh tires.