Do You Need 1,000 HP At The Wheels? No, You Don’t, But You Know You Want It Anyway, And John Urist’s Hellion Power Systems Has A Bolt-On Kit To Do It, Plus Make Big Power With The GT500.
Article from HOT ROD Magazine -By Rob Kinnan
On the DynoJet at Motiva Performance Engineering, the Hellion turbo kit made 1,032 hp and 976 lb-ft on pump gas.Driving a car with a legitimate 1,000 hp on the street is nearly impossible without killing yourself and every innocent bystander around, but oh boy is it a lot of fun. Fifteen years ago, making that kind of power meant a 2,000-rpm idle, horrible street manners, and 4-mpg fuel economy. Thanks to the wonders of turbochargers and EFI technology, it’s now fairly easy to make four-digit power–but you still have to use expensive race gas to get there, right?
Not anymore. John Urist, the three-time consecutive NMRA Super Street Outlaw champion, has a company called Hellion Power Systems that specializes in turbo kits for late-model Mustangs. Hellion has systems from mild, everyday street drivers to full-on 7-second race cars, but the ones that piqued our interest are his two new kits that bolt on to stock engines and make ridiculous power on pump gas and with near-stock drive-ability. Urist had been telling us for some time that he had an ‘03 Cobra kit called the Hellraiser that makes more than 1,000 hp at the tires on pump gas, so we flew to the shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to call his bluff…
More… The secret is compound boost and water/methanol injection. The Hellraiser kit uses two 61mm Turbonetics turbos that blow into the stock Cobra supercharger. The turbos send 13 psi of boost through an air-to-air intercooler and then to the blower, which compounds the boost to 24.4 psi and pushes it through the stock intercooler (which is mounted directly under the blower) and into the engine. To allow that kind of boost and power safely on pump gas requires a Snow Performance water/methanol injection system, which Hellion set up with six nozzles firing into the induction tube just before the blower, and they are fed by three pumps and an 8-gallon fuel cell mounted in the trunk. Without the methanol injection, the system can still make nearly 1,000 hp, but the engine is on the ragged edge of destruction.
Note that it made the same peak power but with far less area under the curve than the kit with the supercharger.The best thing about the arrangement is it makes that power with a bone-stock engine. The factory ‘03/’04 Cobra DOHC engine has been proven many times over to be robust enough to handle 1,000 hp, so it doesn’t need better pistons, rods, or anything. If you want 1,000 hp, the only requirement is 75 lb/hr injectors, which are optional in the kit. This same kit will also fit all ‘96 to ‘04 V-8 Mustangs but obviously won’t make the same power curve on those cars that didn’t come with a supercharger from the factory.The Hellraiser kit retails for $7,495 and requires but does not come with an aftermarket UPR tubular K-member to clear the turbo plumbing, a better clutch to handle the power (this car uses an ACT twin-disc clutch), and a fuel system that can support 1,000 hp (Weldon pump, filter, and regulator used here). The water-injection system is also optional. That stuff all adds up, so expect several thousand more dollars on top of the kit price if you really want 1,000 hp.The Hellraiser Cobra kit is the big power deal, but Urist has also developed a system for the GT500 that puts an incredible 712 hp and 718 lb-ft to the tires but requires fewer parts and is even more civil on the street. We drove that one, too, and the car is an animal. But the best part is it bolts on in a day and uses the stock exhaust, fuel system, and clutch. At $5,999.95, the price is also competitive with the popular supercharger kits on the market, but the horsepower and torque curves are far better.
OK, so what’s it like to drive a 1,000hp car? It’s surprisingly easy, but only to a point. One thousand horsepower is the new “gotta have it” war cry. Thanks to dyno shootouts and magazine stories covering big-power cars, engine builders are constantly getting phone calls from customers wanting to make 1,000 hp on the street. The problem is, 95 percent of those people have no idea what a legit 600 hp is, let alone 1,000. The usual result is they get the engine, scare the hell out of themselves, then call the builder back asking how to detune it to a more sane power level. We’ve heard the story 100 times.We had a chance to drive both of the cars in this story, and on the street you can’t tell a whole lot of difference since they both blow the tires into clouds of smoke as soon as you jump on the throttle. Both cars are shockingly driveable, however. The red car is louder, since it has a full 3-inch Bassani exhaust system, a big Weldon fuel pump that makes some noise, and a pretty stout clutch pedal, but honestly it’s no louder than many typical street Mustangs with performance mufflers. You’d never in a million years realize how much power was under the hood . . . until you nail it. At that point, it’s “Katie bar the door, this mother is on a roll!” Even with tires at full blaze, it pulls like a Pro Stocker and doesn’t quit until you lift, at which point comes the beautiful music from the wastegates. And since it’s still a stock suspension car, it drives like a typical Mustang with stiffer springs.
The GT500 is even better. The sensation of speed is similar, but other than the turbochargers and a pair of Bassani mufflers bolted to the stock 2.5-inch exhaust, this car is all stock. You cannot tell that anything has been done to it; it drives exactly like a new GT500 and you could literally hand the keys to your 80-year-old grandmother to drive to the store–it’s that nice. Problem is, if Granny hits the gas too hard, it’s game over.And that’s the problem with having so much power in a street car. It’s exceptionally easy to light the tires at speed and lose control, causing bad things to happen if you don’t understand how to drive it. Someone who has never driven a truly fast car honestly has no idea what this is all about and can hurt themselves. You have to sneak up on full-throttle in small increments to get used to the car, but even then you’d better know how to pedal it. But once you do, man, it’s a ton of fun.Neither car has a rollcage and both are riding on street tires, so they’ll never see a dragstrip–which is good, since if they ever did, they’d be forcibly removed from the property after the first pass. If you were serious about going fast, a set of sticky tires and some aftermarket rear suspension parts will make them hook. With enough tuning, that would put the GT500 very close to the 9s and the red car in the 8s. But these are not race cars–they’re street sleepers. They’re meant to scare your friends and annihilate anything that pulls up next to you. Your neighbor have a Ferrari Enzo? He’s toast.The author can remember the days, and not too long ago, either, when a real 500 hp was a big deal on the street. My how far we’ve come.
For all the details and pictures go to the on-line version of the article at Hot Rod Magazine. – http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/hrdp_0904_ford_mustang_turbo_kits/index.html