Corn-Fed, Whipple-Blown, Bolt-On 2018 Mustang Runs Nines

The green bulb glows. The pedal hits the floor. The exhaust is growling. The Whipple Gen 5 screams as boost feeds the ravenous Gen 3 Coyote underhood. Lethal Performance’s Jared Rosen is behind the wheel. The tires hook and the 10R80 auto bangs through the gears in quick succession. Before he knew it, the company’s bolt-on 2018 Mustang GT put him in a special group — the 9-second club!

It’s unreal how well that car drives and made it so much easier get to where I had never been before. — Jared Rosen, Lethal Performance

“It feels great. It’s like I’m part a club now,” Jared joked. “I’m really hoping that someone will throw a ticker-tape parade for me or something. I was also very surprised that TMZ wasn’t in the pits waiting to interview me.”

After putting down some impressive numbers with an out-of-the-box, emissions-legal Whipple Gen 5 supercharger system under the hood of its stock-engine 2018 Mustang, Lethal Performance wanted to get more aggressive, so its project Goldmember received some upgrades.

While he had to settle for your friends at FordNXT, Jared was obviously pretty stoked about the accomplishment, from both a personal and project-car perspective.

“In all seriousness most people who know of us or myself know that I really haven’t driven any of our cars in the past,” Jared explained. “ I’ve always had longtime friend Jeremy Martorella drive for us. However, since this car is our first automatic, I felt a lot more comfortable driving it. You can get really used to a 2018 mustang with the 10-speed auto in it. It’s unreal how well that car drives and made it so much easier get to where I had never been before.”

Stepping It Up

Now, if you have been following along, we covered the installation of one of the first out-of-the-box, emissions-legal Whipple Gen 5 supercharger systems on Lethal’s project Goldmember. In this configuration, the 3.0-liter twin-screw blower delivered 755 rear-wheel horsepower and put down a 10.39 at 136.81 MPH at the drag strip. Those impressive numbers were achieved with the included, emissions-legal Whipple calibration.

We wanted to give e85 and a custom Lund Racing tune a shot. — Jared Rosen, Lethal Performance

To step things up, a custom calibration and more fuel would be needed to support the 11.65 pounds of boost from the smaller 3.625 blower pulley. As is protocol for Team Lethal, the company turned to Lund Racing for tuning.

“The Whipple Gen 5 3.0-liter supercharger works well because of how efficient it is in power delivery and temperature management,” Jon Lund Jr., of Lund Racing, explained. “The new design helps greatly with power output and the new intercooler design is very efficient in keeping temperatures under control.”

With a BMR Suspension planting its sticky rear tires until they wrinkled, the Lethal Performance 2018 Mustang, piloted by Jared Rosen, clicked off a 1.53-second 60-foot time and a best e.t. of 9.79 at 142 MPH. Not too shabby for a stock engine only running 11.6 pounds of boost, and we are assured this is just the beginning.

To really stretch the legs of Goldmember’s Whipple/Coyote combo, more fuel flow would be need to support the E85’s thirstier demands.

“After testing with the Whipple calibration getting some great results on gasoline we wanted to give e85 and a custom Lund Racing tune a shot. This would require a fuel system upgrade, which includes Injector Dynamics 1300x injectors and a JMS FuelMax pump voltage booster,” Jared explained. “After Power By The Hour did the swap for us they strapped it to the dyno and let Lund Racing do its thing by remote-tuning the car. A few datalogs and tune revisions later we got the thumbs-up from Grillmaster Jon Lund Jr. that the car was ready for the track.”

Tweaking The Tune

For Jon, the calibration was a simple update, as Lund Racing has its own Whipple-boosted development vehicle from which he could mine the basic programming.

“I took the calibration off our personal car and made injector data changes and they flashed it on the car and I made very minor tweaks to the fuel model,” Jon explained. “Other than that, it’s the identical calibration to our R&D vehicle.”

Of course, the engine calibration is only part of the equation on the latest auto-shifting ’Stangs, and boost brings with it some special requirements.

It won’t be long before this combo is back to the track with more boost seeking quicker e.t.’s.

“Yes, the 10R80 requires different trans pressures to handle the increased torque and it also requires some shift schedule changes to help with anticipating the shift due to added acceleration,” Jon explained.

In the end, the revised combination really delivered. With just minor hardware upgrades and the custom calibration onboard, Jared headed to Palm Beach International Raceway on July 1, 2018 for a private track rental. In only two passes, Goldmember put Jared in the 9-second club and one more hit set another personal best.

Oh What A Feeling

“The car was a lot more aggressive this time. It was smooth, but potent and it pulled though each gear shifting perfectly. My first pass off the trailer the car spun on the one-two shift and went a 10.02 at 141 MPH. The second pass yielded my first 9-second run with a 9.96 at 142. I sent a datalog to Jon Lund Jr. and he fired a revision back to me, which yielded a solid 9.79 at 144. As the rain started moving in I called it a day and packed it up.”

The beginning of a drag run is crucial, and the dividends of the latest changes really showed after the launch, which helped put Goldmember into the single-digit e.t.’s.

“The car was 60-footing real nice today too with my best of a 1.53,” Jared added. “Before when the car just had bolt-ons or with the Whipple Stage 2 kit the best 60 I could get out of it was a 1.70.”

Lethal Performance 2018 Mustang Mods

• 3.0-liter Gen 5 Whipple supercharger

• 3.625-inch blower pulley (11.6 psi)

• E85 fuel

• 132mm Whipple throttle body

BMR Suspension Bread & Butter upgrades

• BMR Suspension MagneRide springs

• Boundary Oil pump and crank sprocket gears

DeatschWerks DW400 fuel pump

• Driveshaft Shop carbon fiber driveshaft

• Hoosier rear slicks

• Injector Dynamics ID1300X fuel injectors

• JMS FuelMax fuel pump voltage booster

• Kooks long-tube headers and midpipe

• Lethal Performance resonator delete

• Lethal Performance axle-back exhaust

• Lund Racing nGauge tuner and custom calibration

• M&H front tires

• Race Star 95 Recluse wheels

• Reische 170-degree thermostat

Now that the gloves are off, you can expect Team Lethal to keep pushing this combo to see what that stock Gen 3 Coyote will do with even more twin-screw boost.

“We’ll most likely be turning the boost up and switching over to the Whipple 10-rib kit,” Jared teased. “Then it’s about how deep in the nines we can go. Would it be too crazy for me to even have the number eight running around in my head?”

Article Sources

About the author

Steve Turner

As Executive Editor of FordNXT and Ford Muscle, Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge to Power Automedia. He has covered the world of Ford performance for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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