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Grab Your Driving Gloves | 2020 Bullitt Mustang | Still the Classiest S550

It’s been a bit over a year since we got to spend some time in a 2019 Bullitt Mustang. That particular car restored my faith in the S550 platform. To put it simply, that was my favorite iteration of a factory S550 Mustang built to that point. We tested that car at a time before the Shelby GT350 received its quiet round of mid- model upgrades that substantially work it up in comparison to the early run versions. The Bullitt benefited from the GT350’s intake tract, but managed to crank out greater low end grunt while not requiring 50 pounds of mass dampers to prevent shaking itself to pieces.

As it stands, the Bullitt is still my favorite non-Ford Performance S550. Its combination of styling, performance, and upgrade potential is simply tough to beat. But there’s definitely some room for improvement in certain categories. One such area that could use a little attention is the Getrag sourced MT-82 manual transmission. Though it has been updated over the past decade, it still pales in comparison to some of the offerings from Tremec. Click Here to Continue Reading...
This Thing Just Keeps Getting Better | 2020 Ford Ranger FX4 Review

I have to admit, the more I drive the Ford Ranger the more I like it. The Ranger is currently Ford’s smallest pickup truck (keep an eye out for the upcoming Maverick), and it excellently combines throwback style ride and handling with modern safety and convenience. A bit over a year ago we had the opportunity to spend a week with a Sport Appearance Pack equipped Ranger Lariat, and we really enjoyed our time with it. Fast forward ~13 months and we were once again placed behind the wheel of 2020 Ranger FX4, but this time we got to let it flex its off road abilities quite a bit more.

First, I have to say that every positive aspect we noted in our previous Ranger review has only improved. The Ranger is one of those vehicles where the more time you’re given to appreciate it, the more you will like it. It is highly maneuverable, gets respectable mileage, and is supremely useful. The interior is comfortable, with all the basic creature comforts one would expect, and this little truck has to have the hottest seat heaters I have ever experienced. If you were looking for a light duty truck to perform daily driver duties while still being able to do respectable levels of work, the Ranger is something you should consider. Click Here to Continue Reading...
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...
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