VMP Performance Apex Predator Lid & Race/Street Intercooler Cores | A Detailed Look

SID297

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VMP Performance Apex Predator Lid & Race/Street Intercooler Cores | A Detailed Look

VMP_Intercoolers_015.jpg



I know you’ve heard the saying; “work smarter, not harder.” That’s exactly the mantra VMP Performance has been pursuing with their latest round of mods for 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustangs. The 5.2L Predator V8 mills those cars are blessed with from the factory are potent, but there’s always room for improvement. Throwing more boost at it may be the simple solution, but what if I told you that you could get more power without increasing stress on the engine? What if it works even better when pulley down and add some boost? Do I have your attention now?


Justin Starkey and the crew at VMP have spent the better part of a year working on intercooler modifications for the Predator engine; and it looks like they have struck pay-dirt. VMP has finally released their long awaited Apex Predator intercooler lid, which features a host of benefits over the stock unit. To take advantage of the gains found in the lid they also have a couple intercooler core options to help keep the air charge at the optimum temperature for maximum power production. Check out this video for the full run-down:



The production version of the Apex Predator lid is the culmination of over a year of development work and several hundred test passes on a number of billet prototypes. The pain staking R&D work led to a production that not only performs better than stock, even at factory boost levels, it also weighs less. Ford actually added weight to the factory piece to reduce noise from the supercharger. Don’t ask us who thought that was a good idea, but cutting weight and adding blower whine sounds like a good idea to me. On an otherwise stock engine the Apex Predator lid will show gains of 19 RWH and 3 RWTQ, and that figure only grows as you increase boost.

VMP_Intercoolers_007.jpg


Natural Finish | Black Finished | Cut Display Unit Compared to OEM

So how does it work? Well for starters it is slightly larger than stock, so it increases plenum volume. That alone is a time honored recipe for more power. However, after playing with several different designs for the roof of the lid VMP found one that optimized the airflow into the runners. Reduced turbulence and greater laminar flow leads to less restriction, which means more power. Again, the more boost you throw at it, the better it gets. But wait, there’s more!!!

VMP_Intercoolers_009.jpg


It's a game of millimeters. Innumerable hours of prototyping and testing went into the design of the optimized Apex Predator lid.

We’ve shown you guys some of VMP’s intercooler offerings in the past, but they’ve developed a couple for the Predator supercharger setup that are beyond world-class. Everyone in the Ford Performance community knows of the inherent heat-soak issues that 2020+ GT500 owners deal with. A large contributor to that power-production bottleneck is the factory intercooler core. While it is robust; it is old-school technology, somewhat restrictive, and slightly undersized. Luckily, VMP has you covered and their intercooler bricks come in two flavors.

VMP_Intercoolers_002.jpg


From left-to-right :: Race Core | Street Core | OEM - When closely inspected, the differences are stark.

VMP’s Street Intercooler Core for the 5.2L V8 lowers intake air temps while decreasing pressure drop across the core. There’s an entire field of study built around the compromises that must be made in terms of airflow restriction vs heat rejection, but VMP scienced that all out for you. The water inlets are larger than the factory piece, and the physical differences are readily apparent. It’s not just a bigger version of the same old thing, the core materials for VMP’s intercoolers are unique.


VMP_Intercoolers_003.jpg


A look inside tells the real story. This is the restricted OEM Intercooler core.

VMP_Intercoolers_005.jpg


The VMP Street core is less restrictive in terms of both water and air flow.
VMP_Intercoolers_004.jpg


The VMP Race Intercooler Core pushes the limits of cooling technology.

However, for just $500 more you can step up to the VMP Race intercooler core (which is what I’d do if I were in the market). The race core is, once again, an entirely unique design that essentially takes a no compromises approach. It is as physically large as possible, maximizes airflow across the core, and manages even greater heat rejection than the street unit. Its unique core material is more efficient in every regard than the factory equipment, which is the result of a more complicated and expensive design. That’s why you don’t see this type of material used in most OEM applications.

As a combination VMP’s race intercooler core and their Apex Predator lid produced gains of 40+RWHP and 20+RWTQ versus the factory components when step up to a 2.4 inch blower pulley. That’s safe horsepower that’s nearly undetectable to the untrained eye. If you start throwing more boost at this combo the gains are even more impressive. I don’t even want to imagine what the difference would be during a July track day at Road Atlanta or an August 40-120 pull in Mexico. If you want to stick with the factory 2650 TVS, this combo from VMP is a no-brainer.

VMP_Intercoolers_006.jpg


This is one of several billet prototype lids VMP produced. I think it would make a great piece of garage art.
VMP_Intercoolers_012.jpg


VMP's billet water manifold allows for you run much larger water lines when you're ready to upgrade your coolant flow.
VMP_Intercoolers_014.jpg


The VMP Apex Predator Lid is 100% bolt-on, and fits under the factory strut tower brace without any cutting or grinding.

-SID297
 

SID297

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Great Information!!!…. For sure getting the Race Brick & Upgraded LID. Currently building a 1967 Mustang Fastback with a 2022 Predator Engine & T-56 Magnum Level 6 Transmission…

That sounds fun. Def start a build thread about it here on SVTP so we can follow along.
 

SdFoxbody

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Will do …. Where do I place i?, I can start it now…


Sent from my iPhone using svtperformance.com
 

Tezz500

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VMP Performance Apex Predator Lid & Race/Street Intercooler Cores | A Detailed Look

View attachment 1784027



I know you’ve heard the saying; “work smarter, not harder.” That’s exactly the mantra VMP Performance has been pursuing with their latest round of mods for 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustangs. The 5.2L Predator V8 mills those cars are blessed with from the factory are potent, but there’s always room for improvement. Throwing more boost at it may be the simple solution, but what if I told you that you could get more power without increasing stress on the engine? What if it works even better when pulley down and add some boost? Do I have your attention now?


Justin Starkey and the crew at VMP have spent the better part of a year working on intercooler modifications for the Predator engine; and it looks like they have struck pay-dirt. VMP has finally released their long awaited Apex Predator intercooler lid, which features a host of benefits over the stock unit. To take advantage of the gains found in the lid they also have a couple intercooler core options to help keep the air charge at the optimum temperature for maximum power production. Check out this video for the full run-down:



The production version of the Apex Predator lid is the culmination of over a year of development work and several hundred test passes on a number of billet prototypes. The pain staking R&D work led to a production that not only performs better than stock, even at factory boost levels, it also weighs less. Ford actually added weight to the factory piece to reduce noise from the supercharger. Don’t ask us who thought that was a good idea, but cutting weight and adding blower whine sounds like a good idea to me. On an otherwise stock engine the Apex Predator lid will show gains of 19 RWH and 3 RWTQ, and that figure only grows as you increase boost.

View attachment 1784023

Natural Finish | Black Finished | Cut Display Unit Compared to OEM

So how does it work? Well for starters it is slightly larger than stock, so it increases plenum volume. That alone is a time honored recipe for more power. However, after playing with several different designs for the roof of the lid VMP found one that optimized the airflow into the runners. Reduced turbulence and greater laminar flow leads to less restriction, which means more power. Again, the more boost you throw at it, the better it gets. But wait, there’s more!!!

View attachment 1784024

It's a game of millimeters. Innumerable hours of prototyping and testing went into the design of the optimized Apex Predator lid.

We’ve shown you guys some of VMP’s intercooler offerings in the past, but they’ve developed a couple for the Predator supercharger setup that are beyond world-class. Everyone in the Ford Performance community knows of the inherent heat-soak issues that 2020+ GT500 owners deal with. A large contributor to that power-production bottleneck is the factory intercooler core. While it is robust; it is old-school technology, somewhat restrictive, and slightly undersized. Luckily, VMP has you covered and their intercooler bricks come in two flavors.

View attachment 1784018

From left-to-right :: Race Core | Street Core | OEM - When closely inspected, the differences are stark.

VMP’s Street Intercooler Core for the 5.2L V8 lowers intake air temps while decreasing pressure drop across the core. There’s an entire field of study built around the compromises that must be made in terms of airflow restriction vs heat rejection, but VMP scienced that all out for you. The water inlets are larger than the factory piece, and the physical differences are readily apparent. It’s not just a bigger version of the same old thing, the core materials for VMP’s intercoolers are unique.


View attachment 1784019

A look inside tells the real story. This is the restricted OEM Intercooler core.

View attachment 1784021

The VMP Street core is less restrictive in terms of both water and air flow.
View attachment 1784020

The VMP Race Intercooler Core pushes the limits of cooling technology.

However, for just $500 more you can step up to the VMP Race intercooler core (which is what I’d do if I were in the market). The race core is, once again, an entirely unique design that essentially takes a no compromises approach. It is as physically large as possible, maximizes airflow across the core, and manages even greater heat rejection than the street unit. Its unique core material is more efficient in every regard than the factory equipment, which is the result of a more complicated and expensive design. That’s why you don’t see this type of material used in most OEM applications.

As a combination VMP’s race intercooler core and their Apex Predator lid produced gains of 40+RWHP and 20+RWTQ versus the factory components when step up to a 2.4 inch blower pulley. That’s safe horsepower that’s nearly undetectable to the untrained eye. If you start throwing more boost at this combo the gains are even more impressive. I don’t even want to imagine what the difference would be during a July track day at Road Atlanta or an August 40-120 pull in Mexico. If you want to stick with the factory 2650 TVS, this combo from VMP is a no-brainer.

View attachment 1784022

This is one of several billet prototype lids VMP produced. I think it would make a great piece of garage art.
View attachment 1784025

VMP's billet water manifold allows for you run much larger water lines when you're ready to upgrade your coolant flow.
View attachment 1784026

The VMP Apex Predator Lid is 100% bolt-on, and fits under the factory strut tower brace without any cutting or grinding.

-SID297
Id really like to see a side by side, same day comparison of VMPs lid and intercooler vs PBDs lid and Whipples Intercooler.

The Prices on the VMP are phenomenal compared to the latter.
 

Catmonkey

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Id really like to see a side by side, same day comparison of VMPs lid and intercooler vs PBDs lid and Whipples Intercooler.

The Prices on the VMP are phenomenal compared to the latter.
PBD's is machined from a solid block of billet aluminum. VMP uses a cast process. The latter should be cheaper to produce. Both are doing the same thing by adding space between the intercooler and the roof of the lid to improve air flow. PBD's will need some modification for the thicker bricks. I would not expect that big a difference in power increases, but you never know.
 

Justin@VMP

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I have a ton of respect for what PBD and LMT did with their billet lid, and I don't want to take anything away from that. I do not see any reason to test their lid or the Whipple intercooler against ours.

On the intercooler side, we have been testing and developing cores since 2019, we've discontinued older designs as newer and better ones have become available. We've engineered a street line that is under $1000, and a race line which offers all-out performance and cooling.

On the lid side we are our own best benchmark. I've never seen an LMT lid in person and don't need to. We designed and built enough prototypes and worked with enough superchargers to know exactly what we wanted out of our lid for this application. The patent-pending technology we developed will be rolled into our older product lines as time allows.

At VMP we took a totally different approach to our lid design, and I believe it shows in our results. We are able to produce gains on a stock engine and the gains continue to scale up with more mods.

My approach to the lid design was multi-faceted. It has to fit under the STB, it had to work with a future blower upgrade, it had to fit larger cores, and it had to increase horsepower while doing it. With all those boxes checked we got them made in the USA at a reputable foundry and brought them to market in record time. The Raptor R adds a new dynamic to the market, it will be interesting to see how people use our lids and cores on these trucks now that they come with the GT500 engine.
 

SID297

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I have a ton of respect for what PBD and LMT did with their billet lid, and I don't want to take anything away from that. I do not see any reason to test their lid or the Whipple intercooler against ours.

On the intercooler side, we have been testing and developing cores since 2019, we've discontinued older designs as newer and better ones have become available. We've engineered a street line that is under $1000, and a race line which offers all-out performance and cooling.

On the lid side we are our own best benchmark. I've never seen an LMT lid in person and don't need to. We designed and built enough prototypes and worked with enough superchargers to know exactly what we wanted out of our lid for this application. The patent-pending technology we developed will be rolled into our older product lines as time allows.

At VMP we took a totally different approach to our lid design, and I believe it shows in our results. We are able to produce gains on a stock engine and the gains continue to scale up with more mods.

My approach to the lid design was multi-faceted. It has to fit under the STB, it had to work with a future blower upgrade, it had to fit larger cores, and it had to increase horsepower while doing it. With all those boxes checked we got them made in the USA at a reputable foundry and brought them to market in record time. The Raptor R adds a new dynamic to the market, it will be interesting to see how people use our lids and cores on these trucks now that they come with the GT500 engine.

I think the scalability of power gains is one of the best features of the lid and cores. Shows gains on a bone stock engine, and continues to increasing gains as more boost is added.
 

Tezz500

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Who will be the first to use the direct port bungs we put onto the lid??

View attachment 1787117

I purchased the VMP Lid and street core for several reasons.

1. Results looked good and comparable to PBD/LMT.
2. Prices are good as usual with VMP.
3. I’ve always had a decent experience with VMP products.
4. Very helpful install vids.

I did have a minor issue with the VMP street core.

Image1679953801.758743.jpg

Image1679953830.703196.jpg

Image1679953886.131053.jpg


VMP did offer to exchange it. I opted to make the repairs rather than wait for lethal to get the release done and sent over to VMP and then ship this back and then wait for VMP to ship it out.

Image1679953908.998743.jpg

Image1679953932.763132.jpg
Image1679953942.301239.jpg


Overall happy with the price, happy with the ease of install and fitment even with the minor core baseplate issue.

Called VMP earlier today to get moving on a tune for the set up.

Image1679954123.131446.jpg
Image1679954140.312628.jpg

Image1679954161.326618.jpg

Image1679954228.059809.jpg
 

Justin@VMP

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Sorry that happened. I will have them look into packaging them better to prevent that kind of damage, we'll make it a little more "UPS proof". Your field repair looks great and will hold up.
 

Justin@VMP

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Tezz posting the street core made me think about this shot. Our race and street core dwarf the factory core in shear volume. For those that did not watch the video here is a shot of them.
 

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