While the Gen 3 5.0-liter engine in the 2018 Mustang GT is no slouch in stock form, we know that many enthusiasts will already have a list of bolt-on modifications planned to find out just how much naturally aspirated power they can squeeze out of this new dual-fuel Coyote. Justin Dugan from AmericanMuscle shows us just how easy it is to add usable power to your 2018 Mustang GT with just a few mods.
Damn, I’m gonna sell my 2014 and get one of these 2018s because they are the truth! — Justin Dugan, AmericanMuscle
“So the 2018 Mustang has been out for a little while now, and one thing we can all agree upon is that the newly pumped Gen 3 Coyote under the hood and it being completely badass,” Justin explained. “We want to see how far we can take our 2018 six-speed car using some basic bolt-ons and 93 octane, and then from there, we’re gonna drain that 93 octane, throw some E85 in this thing, and see if we can eclipse that 500 wheel horsepower mark naturally aspirated.”
If you happened to catch last month’s episode of Hot Lap, Stephanie Wood walked us through her first five modifications for 2015-2017 Mustang GTs. And as far as bolt-on power upgrades, the same rings true for the latest ponies.
By pairing an aftermarket cold air intake with a custom tune is a surefire way to increase your vehicle’s horsepower, torque, and overall performance. Justin shows us just how easy it is to install JLT’s CAI on your 2018 Mustang GT. Due to the refreshed hood design on the 2018 Mustang, the latest JLT intake is specific to this particular model year.
The kit features a large, 5-inch filter inlet with a radius’d end for smooth airflow across their massive 120-millimeter opening. The JLT tube also features a large 4.5-inch throttle body side leaving the door open for larger aftermarket upgrades down the road. It’s important to point out that because of the increase in the mass airflow opening, it goes without saying that the JLT cold air intake will require the use of a custom tune.
If you are looking to maximize the performance of your aftermarket exhaust system, adding a set of long-tube headers to your build is a smart investment. For the 2018 Mustang GT, Justin selected Corsa Performance’s new 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers. These pipes pair up with the company’s matching cat-back systems. The Mustang GT in the video above wears the Active Valve Performance Exhaust system, so Justin installed the Corsa’s Xtreme Cat-Back Exhaust specifically designed to work with the active system.
“Active exhausts are all the rage lately, especially when you have a long-tube header because things can get very, very loud. If you can have the ability to quiet things down with a push of a button, all the better, right?” Justin said.
He finished off the bolt-on mods with Rev-X Tuner by SCT Performance. This handheld was preloaded with a custom VMP Performance tune customized for the cold air intake. Once this tune was loaded, Justin strapped the 2018 Mustang GT on the dyno to see what the gains would be possible with 93-octane fuel.
The final test on AmercianMuscle’s bolt-on modifications was to replace the 93 octane fuel with E85. Once the vehicle was topped off, Justin loaded a custom E85 tune courtesy of VMP and headed back to the dyno.
Final numbers on AmericanMuscle’s 2018 Mustang GT bolt-on modifications came in at an impressive 509 horsepower and 451 lb-ft of torque. In the video above, you can see just how easy it is to take your 2018 Mustang GT into the 500 horsepower range with nothing more than a full aftermarket exhaust, cold air intake, and a tune.
“Damn I’m gonna sell my 2014 and get one of these 2018s because they are the truth!” Justin enthused. His reaction alone confirmed what we already know, that the Gen 3 Coyote 5.0-liter engine has plenty of untapped power just waiting for enthusiasts to unlock with the right mods.
For the complete line of bolt-on modifications from AmericanMuscle, visit the company’s site here.