Go-Fast GT-P

A FPV GT-P with civilised supercharger boost

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • FPV GT-P
  • Vortech supercharger
  • Water-to-air intercooler
  • Easy 480+kW
  • A great all-round street weapon

When Jack X of Queensland says his supercharged FPV GT-P is a terrific all-round performance car, his comments carry some weight. You see, Jack has owned a wide range of performance cars spanning back to the ‘80s – everything from custom turbocharged Ford Lasers (which were outrageously quick in their time) to HSVs and Subaru STis.

Front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, V8 or turbocharged – Jack doesn’t have any hang-ups on what’s best. He just loves a fast car.

And that’s just what you’re lookin’ at.

But when Jack purchased this GT-P new in early 2005 he wasn’t particularly bowled over by the performance of the Boss 290-spec V8. In Jack’s words, it felt a bit flat. And, rather than suck-it-and-see with hoards of bolt-on bits and pieces, Jack decided to go for the one-stop you-know-what-your-getting performance upgrade – a supercharger kit.

Jack opted for the latest Vortech V2 blower which is incorporated in the Centrifugal Air Pumps Australia (CAPA) Stage Three kit. In Stage Three guise, the CAPA blower kit includes an intercooler in addition to all necessary brackets, pulleys, belts, a conical air filter and associated hardware. The engine management is modified and a water injection system is optional – and Jack decided he might as well tick the box. Interestingly, he also opted for a water-to-air intercooler in place of the usual air-to-air unit. This provides a slightly shorter induction route compared to the front-mount air core.

With around AUD$15,000 invested in go-fast gear, Jack enlisted ChipTorque on the Gold Coast to install the system. The team there also tuned the factory engine management system using X-Flash software. A Bosch high-flow fuel pump was also added to maintain an adequate flow of high-octane juice.

With 9 psi of boost measured in the intake manifold, Jack’s GT-P has punched out some healthy numbers. On the ChipTorque Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno the car has no worries churning out 383kW at the treads – more than 480kW at the flywheel. And, amazingly, this is achieved with the original exhaust in place – the only change is a pair of Di Filippo headers. This set-up ensures there’s no unwanted attention from the authorities.

So far, there has been no need to upgrade any of the driveline – but, at the time of writing, Jack says the clutch is showing early signs of deterioration. The standard Dana wet multi-plate clutch LSD remains at the rear, though Jack did consider switching to a shorter ratio – but why bother when there’s so much torque on tap and the engine is happy to purr along at low rpm? Interestingly, Jack says installation of the blower kit has improved fuel economy in normal driving conditions – he previously averaged about 20 litres per 100km but he now sees 18 litres per 100km. Not exactly sipping fuel, but nobody would turn down a ten percent fuel consumption improvement...

The FPV GT-P comes with uprated Control Blade suspension to provide the standard car with balanced, controllable handling. Jack’s example sits flatter through the corners and rides firmer thanks to Bilstein dampers teamed with lowered King springs. The rest of the suspension remains untouched.

Brakes? Well, the FPV GT-P already comes with brakes that’d look at home on a race car. At the front are 355mm drilled discs and Brembo four-pot callipers while the rear uses 330mm drilled discs and more four-potters from Brembo. Jack tells us he’s never found the limit of the brakes on the street, but on a racetrack – where the supercharged donk can whip the 1825kg FPV up to warp speed – he expects there would be some fade. A set of bigger-again Alcon brakes might be installed in the future.

Like the brakes, FPV went all-out on the styling of the GT-P. The base Falcon body is oiled up with a ‘power bulge’ bonnet, XR-round headlights, sports bumpers, skirts and a high-mount rear wing. Jack bought his example in high-impact Blood Orange paint and he’s removed the stock 18s to fit a set of 20 inch AMG alloys. These wear 245/35 rubbers at the rear and slightly narrower tyres at the front (due to clearance issues with the lowered stance and altered wheel offset).

And check out Jack’s custom-made stickers – there’s a Boss 480kW sticker in place of the standard Boss 290 sticker and a 480kW Supercharged sticker has been added to the boot lid. Nothing over the top – just a fitting final touch to a car that’s a truly magnificent street weapon.

Inside, the cabin is all standard GT-P fare which means there’s Ford’s top-line centre dash display, a high-output sound system, a race-style starter button, pod-mounted oil pressure and temperature gauges (which were added to later-model GT-Ps) and FPV sports trim. Jack has also indulged in a custom leather trim with contrasting colours. Those big leather-lined seats are oh so comfy.

The GT-P’s luxury is a big part of what makes this car so damn pleasant for all the time you can’t drive like a lunatic (which, let’s face it, is 99 percent of the time). It’s quiet, refined, relatively economical and, when you want, it gets down an’ goes. And it’s also reliable – a trait that Jack values highly after a total of five engine rebuilds in his previous HSV...

As far as Jack’s concerned, his supercharged GT-P is a tough act to follow. And that’s why his next car will be another FPV – with mods, of course...


ChipTorque +61 7 5596 4204


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