s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

Serious S550 Mustang – This Ponycar Tears up the Racetrack

Todd has been tearing up racetracks and AutoCross courses in his S550 Mustang all over California for the past few years. Along the way, the car has changed inside and out to become quicker and meaner while retaining a factory-quality finish.

Nothing on this build is outlandish, it’s a perfect example of a tastefully modded modern muscle car that will certainly be a classic in generations to come. First off, it has the proper motor. The growling Coyote 5.0 sounds even better than when it came out of the factory mostly helped by an MBRP stainless cat-back setup. The new piping includes an H-pipe which gives the exhaust note a slightly more exotic feel and is something more owners of all modern V8s ought to look into.

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

Otherwise the drivetrain is relatively stock; a Ford Performance Power Pack II helps give the motor a bit more punch along with a beefy intake. The result is a much more responsive motor that manages a few more horses out back, exactly what you want for track or AutoCross abuse.

Also helpful at the circuit are the STEEDA chassis braces Todd selected for his S550 Mustang. An Extreme G K-Member, IRS braces, and jacking rails also from STEEDA ride along underneath the car to help stiffen things up. If you’ve never driven a car with a bit of extra bracing in the chassis, believe us when we say it goes a long way.

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

The wheels and tires have been upgraded from the OEM units — typically the first mods most owners will do. Todd only recently picked up these great-looking MRR Design M600 wheels after looking at fitment options for a long time. He settled with 20×10 +35 in the front and 20×11 +50 in the rear and the result is stunning. It’s another item on the car that should have come with it in the first place.

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

The MRR Design M600s wear Michelin Pilot Super Sport 275s and 295s which provide a healthy amount of grip under breaking and acceleration as well as in the corners. The suspension has also been improved with BMR SP080 Springs and some BMR Camber bolts to help with the adjustability.

Moving to the inside, you’ll immediately notice that Todd has spent a bit of time on improvements here as well. Carbon fiber pieces from HCM seem to slowly be taking over interior. The dash, steering wheel, shifter, coin tray, and interior trim has all been replaced with the lightweight material. Todd told us that more CF pieces might soon find their way onto the exterior as well. We’ll see!

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

He also assures us that more chassis bracing and brake improvements from BAER are coming soon. A project like this, especially one makes it to a few autocross events in addition to a full track event every month or two, is never really finished.

The long-term goal is to cage the car, install coilovers, full harnesses, and R-compound tires to make it truly unstoppable. In the interim, Todd’s just looking for as much seat time as he can squeeze in. On that note, we’re glad to see a late model muscle car that isn’t just stacking on the power. After all, the best mod is a driver mod — Todd is getting faster every time he goes to the track.

s550 mustang, Fuel Curve

Trevor Ryan is a track day photographer from Northern California. He has experience in many different areas of photography but always comes back to automotive work in the end. To him, nothing is more rewarding than creating an amazing image of a car. Having purchased a ’66 Mustang almost six years ago, he had no choice but to end up immersed in car culture sooner or later. He also owns a ’99 Miata that he takes to the track. He has love for every part of car culture and besides track days often makes it to drift events, Cars and Coffee, tuner shows, and anything else he can find.

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