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2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang | Stepped-Up Styling and Power

Technological progression can be a wonderful thing. When the 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang debuted for the 2015 model year, it’s performance potential surprised quite a few people. The all-aluminum mill came packed with a forged crank, steel ring-land in the pistons, and was topped off with a twin-scroll turbo. With basic mods we had our EB Mustang making 340HP and 44TQ to the wheels. That car could certainly surprise the occasional 3V GT.

Not wanting to be left out of go-fast game, Ford worked up a High Performance package for its base 2.3L Pony Car. This package is much more than a revised ECU strategy and some badges. Team Mustang made the trip across town to the Ford Performance garage to raid the Focus RS parts bin. They essentially snatched the entire engine. The die-cast aluminum block and high flowing cylinder head were modified and turned 90-degrees in order to drive the rear wheels. That’s all boosted by a larger 63mm water cooled twin-scroll turbo. The upgraded snail gives the engine a broader powerband that tops out at 330 Horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Click Here to Continue Reading...
Quick Look | Tuned 2020 Shelby GT350R Heritage Edition

A few months back we posted up Ford’s press release for the Heritage Edition Package available on 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R models. For an additional $1,965 you got unique throwback livery with Wimbledon White paint and Guardsman Blue side and over-the-top racing stripes as a tribute to Carroll Shelby’s historic 1965 fastback coupe that helped establish the GT350 brand. So when I saw one sitting in 5 Star Tuning’s parking lot I had to grab the keys and take it for a spin.

Unique styling aside, it had been quite a while since I had some time behind the wheel of a GT350R. This particular one had a 5 Star Tune via HP Tuners and a basic CAI. Other than that, the owner wanted to leave it basically stock. Not a bad idea considering the limited production nature of the car. But what really got my gears turning was all small, incremental, changes Ford Performance has made to the GT350 platform over its production run. Click Here to Continue Reading...
DIY Economy Performance | 550+HP Capable 5-Star Tuned F-150

Few modern F-150 engines raise such a variety of strongly held beliefs as the 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Some detest the thought of any gas powered truck that features less than 8-cylinders, while others love the torquey yet frugal nature of Ford’s base turbo engine. Then there’s another far smaller crowd that you may not yet know, those who love transforming a minuscule 164 cubic-inch mill into a tire slaying insane-truck. The future owner of this particular truck is definitely going to fall into that latter category.

If you judge an engine only by its displacement, I here to tell you you’re in for a rude awakening if you tangle with the wrong 2.7L EB truck at your favorite red light. This particular truck has been thoroughly worked over by the Ford Loving crew at 5 Star Tuning. It’s part of a venture by Capitol Ford of Rocky Mount, NC to sell modded vehicles off the new car lot. The sent it to Florence, SC for the guys at 5 Star to work their magic. With a relatively short and non-invasive list of mods they were able to solidly crank this little truck up to 8. “Why not 11?”, you may ask. Click Here to Continue Reading...
S&B Super Duty Cab Mounts | Never Install OEM Junk Again

For over two decades the Ford Super Duty line of trucks have continued to raise the bar for heavy-duty work truck performance and comfort. And while there have been a few stumbling points along the way (6.0 cooling system and 6.4 flame thrower come to mind) the Duty has marched steadily towards higher levels of performance and quality throughout the years. Unfortunately, the issue that leads us to this review is one of those engineering quality missteps I mentioned. Thankfully, the guys at S&B have created the ultimate solution to this particular problem.

For the 2005 model year, Ford switch from using traditional rubber cab mounts to a new style made from urethane foam. The impetus from this change was the reduction of NVH, and while there may have been some nearly imperceptible benefits there were some seriously deleterious side-effects. The issue is these factory urethane foam bushings essentially disintegrate over time. I have heard that atmospheric ozone contributes to the deterioration, but no matter what they will fail over time. That was the situation I recently found myself in. Click Here to Continue Reading...
S550 Supercharger Shakeup | From Edlebrock 2650 TVS to Whipple Gen 5 3.0L

Hey everyone. It has been a minute since I have been on here so to everyone knew, good day! And to those who know me from before, hey hey. But I wanted to share my experience on something I did with my 2018. Recently made a swap from the Edlebrock E-force 2650 TVS to the Whipple Gen 5 3.0L Twin-Screw on my Mustang. And before I hear both sides of ‘why” or “good”, I want to give a real story behind this. This isn’t a bash or complaint. This was a honest change and being I have ran both systems I can offer honest feedback.

When I picked up the E-force, I went full-retard on it with options. Stage 2, larger throttle body and 8-rib upgrade with a 15% OD balancer. But the issue I ran into right away was that I only did injectors and a fuel pump swap as I wanted to keep it on 93. Because of this, and seeing about 13-14lbs, and I was running out of fuel around 6500rpms... Click Here to Continue Reading...
2020 Ford Explorer ST | Finally, a Real Performance SUV from Ford

I know that title may be a bit harsh, but if you read our review of the somewhat lackluster 2019 Edge ST you’ll understand its meaning. That version of the Edge was marketed as the first SUV from Ford Performance. Other than the nice styling, that car was a let-down. Ford really needed to do something special to redeem their efforts to produce a true performance SUV. Enter the 2020 Ford Explorer ST.

Let me get this out of the way right up front. I was extremely excited to see that the newest version of the venerable Ford Explorer was returning to a Rear-Wheel-Drive based architecture. In my humble opinion, RWD is simply superior from a driving dynamics standpoint than a FWD design. For the ST model, the Ford Performance engineers took advantage of this drivetrain change and produced what I consider the first real performance SUV from Ford. Click Here to Continue Reading...
5 Star 93 Octane Tuned | 2020 F-250 7.3L Tremor | Road Test

The 2020 Super Duty Tremor has certainly piqued the interest of the SVTP Community. Not since the introduction of the original SVT F-150 Raptor have we seen this much interest in a new Ford truck, and there’s good reason for it. The Tremor (a badge that Ford has been known to dust off from time to time) delivers on the desire for a more muscular and off-road capable package than the Super Duty has ever been equipped with. We’ll have a complete review of the Tremor package in the coming weeks, but today we wanted to focus on a very special truck.

What we have here is the very first 2020 F-250 Tremor 7.3L V8 with a 5 Star 93-Octane tune. It’s tuned with HP Tuners software and loaded in with an nGuage. The driveability of this tune is very similar to the 87 Octane 5 Star tuned truck we tested a couple weeks ago. This particular truck definitely felt stronger on the bottom end than the STX truck, but it’s difficult to parse the percentage of the gains that come from the bump in octane versus the difference from 3.55 to 4.30 gears. Then you have to take into account the fact that the Tremor has taller tires, which wipes out some of the advantage of the lower gearing. Click Here to Continue Reading...
2019+ Ford Ranger FX4 Review | Way Better Than Expected

If I had to distill my impressions of the new Ford Ranger pickup truck into a concise phrase it would have to be, it defies expectations. The latest iteration of Ford’s Iconic Ranger has been available for about a year now, and in that time I have seen review after review pan it. Most complain about the ride and styling. My only guess for reasoning behind those reviewer’s claims is they aren’t really truck guys.

In my humble opinion, as someone who has not been without at least one Ford Truck in his fleet for the last twenty years, our 2019 Ranger test truck is the best riding and handling non-specialty truck Ford currently builds. Ride quality is certainly subjective so your mileage may vary, but I came away very impressed. I like a truck to ride like a truck; firm but not kidney-bruisingly-harsh. The Ranger suspension engineers nailed that. Not only that, the Ranger also feels surprisingly connected to the pavement. When you combine all that with a properly stiff fully-boxed frame and what you’re left with is a truck that feels much more planted and capable than its relatively small size would lead you to be. Click Here to Continue Reading...
Time to Level Up | 2019 Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 Review

Have you ever had the feeling that a car company has been listening to your complaints, and finally builds a car to shut you up? Well that’s pretty much what just got dropped off on my doorstep. What we have here is a Need for Green 2019 Ford Mustang GT with a manual transmission, the Performance Pack Level 2 Suspension, Active Exhaust, Recaros, and not much else. No leather, no navigation, no 30 pounds of power seat motors, no bullshit, and no excuses. This car is what a Mustang is meant to be, simply and smile inducing.

If you guys caught my review of the 2019 Mustang Bullitt a few months ago, you probably remember how much I liked that car. It’s one of the first non-Ford Performance built S550 Mustangs that I’ve really liked. However, the Bullitt leaned a bit more towards ‘Show’ than it did ‘Go’. This PP2 GT is the opposite. It eschews the subtle styling and night-on-the-town class in favor of brashness and corner straightening performance. That’s right, subtlety is not its strong suit. You’ll get that as soon as you see it. Click Here to Continue Reading...
Supreme Capability – SVTP Reviews a 6.7L Powerstroke Equipped 2019 F-250 Limited

We are on the cusp of getting a very significant Mid-Model Refresh of the current Ford Super Duty trucks. Introduced for the 2017 model year, the Duty that we recently had the pleasure of driving represents a massive leap forward over the previous generation (whose cab design dated back to the Late-90s). It featured a fully-boxed frame, a brand-new aluminum body (now shared with the F-150), and some beefed up drivetrain components. Needless to say, this new generation of Super Duty is a is lightyears ahead of the previous models in terms of comfort and capability.

That's exactly the experience we recently had in our 2019 Ford F-250 Limited test truck. Ford sort of dropped this one on us out of nowhere. We weren't expecting this one to show up, so we didn't really have the chance to set up some proper towing tests (we'll be saving those for Godzilla and the Gen III 6.7L PSD). However, we did get to do a bit of driving and it's easy to see why Ford's F-Series trucks crush everything else out there. After a week behind the wheel of this 2019 F-250 I was considering trading in my still awesome 2009 Super Duty. The new truck is just that good. Here are a few of my favorite features. Click Here to Continue Reading...
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