The Mustang’s engine power at the engine is 420 hp, about 373-376 at the wheels. The Shelby mufflers, surprisingly, turn out to add about 9 hp at the wheels, nice bonus besides sounding better.

At some point I’d be looking to add CAI (cold air induction). By itself, maybe 11 hp more at the wheels. This is basically updating the air filter and tubing so that it’s sucking in cold air away from the engine while also using a state of the art filter with less air restriction and better filtration. It also can be washed instead of being tossed every 15-20,ooo miles. Probably good for 80,000 or better.

So now that takes us to 393 hp at the wheels, or maybe an engine rating of 440-450 hp. That’s the same as the Boss 302 version of the Mustang.

Now let’s add a custom tune. This is reprogramming the chip that runs everything. Typically this will add at least another 20 hp overall to the peak hp and torque, and maybe as much as 40 more to the very low end torque in some cases.

You buy a programmer that plugs into a port under your dashboard. A company emails custom tunes to you and you load them into the chip. As you’d expect, it changes the engine setup, but since I have an automatic, it can also change how hard and quick the transmission shifts, from a little more than stock, to very strong for racing.

These overall tunes are typically rated as Street, Performance, and Racing. Some people report BETTER gas mileage in Racing mode, probably because of optimization of power from the fuel to air ratio. The programmer also stores the original factory tune in case you want to put that back in. I expect I’d want to use the Performance mode, but I’d try all three.

Mufflers: $310 plus 100-200 to install by a dealer if I want to have a warranty.

CAI: $300 (more if you get it separately from the programmer, package savings here)

Programmer: $379

Tune: 3 tunes for free when you buy programmer. They also have a program where you can get additional tunes for life for free.

This is what they look like together:

After much research it appears the Bama company knows what they’re doing better than anyone else.

I want to do this sometime when I can get up money for it. $1009 to take the car from 420 to 460-470 hp. That’s mufflers, CAI and tuner. I can load in different tunes whenever, takes less  than 15 minutes the first time and even less after that.

The car starts out being able to use any gas, but the tunes optimize it to take only 91 or 93 octane to get more power. I’d do 93. More importantly, shifting for the automatic would be more crisp and firm and would make for better acceleration. At that point no manual shift car could touch this, even if it had the same engine tune.

If I wanted even quicker acceleration with a loss of high end speed, I could install 4:10 rear gears for about $250 including labor. Not likely for me, but remotely possible.

I could do the tune or the CAI by themselves, but it makes more sense to do them together.

I should also point out that the car comes from the factory with the top speed limited to 147 mph. With reprogramming, I can remove that. I can also fine tune the red line RPM limit, which I’d adjust for safety. Hey, it already revs to 7,000!

Without speed limiting, the car would probably be good for 160, maybe more but not sure. I’ve noticed that it pulls really strong up to 135, rather impressively from 135-150. So likely 160, and with more power added, possibly 165. The Shelby at 662 hp makes about 202 mph. You need a LOT more power to get from 165 to 200!

However here in New England I’m not likely to find a stretch of, um, private pavement to bury the speedometer at 160. Though there is a speedway nearby.

Here I am without the car being delivered yet, and I’m already researching ways to make it punchier!