One of my close friends told me, “I’m more than aware I’m crazy and have a lot of ideas, and most of them are bad but sometimes I have some decent ones.” My particular idea this time around was to give away an extra turbo I had laying around. It was a pretty damn good idea if you ask me, but you could say the execution wasn’t the smoothest even so it gave me an excuse to fly out to Florida to meet Jonathan Abrantes and see his Candy Red 2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost.
Jon has a pretty awesome story to tell, his roots stem from Petropolis, Brazil. At a young age, he and his family moved to America where he and his dad became close over a shared love of cars. Jon had reached out to me via Instagram as he had heard I was giving away a turbo.
Jon had informed me that he would be drag racing his Mustang at an in-state event a few cities away from him, properly named FL2K. Intrigued by 2K, I knew it was going to be some sort of drag race but had no idea that the event would attract some of the fastest street cars in the United States.
Performing two seconds of research, I booked my flight out to Tampa and got to the track intake to see Jon offloading his Mustang and putting on a set of Forgestar F14 drag pack wheels wrapped in giant Mickey Thompson tires. This was Jons first time with the car on a race track and he was determined to make as many passes as he could.
Jon shared he got the bug for speed at a young age, and with the help of his father, Jon had purchased a 2001 Ford Focus, and his father and he installed a turbo kit. Fun times and many blown engines ensued before they graduated to a beat up, rod knockin 1993 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. They managed to rebuild the engine but the failure persisted with this vehicle.
One day Jon was walking through a grocery store and saw a photo of the new 2015 S550 Ford Mustang on a magazine cover. “Wow, that thing is sexy,” Jon said of the Mustang. He found out the S550 came with a 4-cylinder option which prompted him to dip into savings before making his way to eBay.
“After talking with Wendy, my Fiancee at the time, we agreed if the price went down $1,000 we could get the car,” Jon said of the car he had his eyes set on. He added that much to his disbelief the next morning the price had dropped $1,000. Jon immediately called the owner to arrange payment and pick up.
Jon was proud to tell me that he and his father built this car themselves and from my first impressions, it looks killer.
What caught my eye first was that Jon was using an air gun to remove his lug nuts. The hose it was hooked to was attached to the compressor tank in the trunk – the Ecoboost sitting on Air Lift Performance strut airbags.
The color caught my eye next. Call me bias, but the Candy Red Autoflex Dip looks wild when exposed to the sun. The color shifts from a deep red, to black and glaring bright orange with some sparkle flare.
At the front, Jon replaced the OEM bumper with a much more aggressive IKON GT350 replica. I appreciate that they went the extra mile with the fangs and canards, they are one solid piece and look genuine. Moving down to the headlights, Jon bravely opened up these extremely expensive OEM headlights and has replaced the OEM DRL’s with Starry Nights Tribal Boards. Not stopping there, he added their Demon Eyes and LED tubes that run below the headlight housing.
Jon mentioned “One of the most difficult/annoying mods was my headlights since I changed/modified them three times those three times were definitely times where I wanted to throw in the towel and let someone else do it for me. Many of my friends paid other people to do their headlights, and they came to me to do theirs (I refused) but they weren’t happy with their headlights after paying someone to do it but loved mine which brought some pride into it and showed how proud I was that I did them myself instead of being unhappy with a job I paid someone else to do.”
The stock hood has been swapped out for GT hood that adds a light flare with it’s added double gills on the side. Jon has installed a MAP Performance Turbo Kit that has boosted figures from a stock 256 wheel horsepower to over 457 WHEEL Horsepower. Jon states that he loves the power that has been added but the turbo lag is unreasonable.
To help combat that, I gave him the Turbonetics NX2 Drop-In turbocharger. The turbo features a billet wheel, a proprietary twin scroll turbine housing, and anti-surge compressor housing to help reduce lag. While reducing lag, the turbo is over 2.5x larger than the OEM turbo. This additional airflow dramatically increases power while nearly matching the spool time of the stock turbo. Jon will be doing a full install in the coming week so stay tuned.
With all that added power, the direct injection system just cannot supply fuel fast enough. To help save our environment while making power, a Radium Engineering fuel rail has been installed between the intake manifold and cylinder head. This allows Jon to run an additional 4 injectors to help the demand for extra fuel needed when running ethanol / E85. A Split Second Fuel Controller is used to help control the additional injectors. To better the package, a Bluetooth ethanol content sensor lets Jon know exactly what percentage of ethanol is flowing to the engine.
To evacuate the block with all that extra boost, a UPR catch can and check valve has been installed to help our 2.3L block breathe the pressurized gases. Jon has installed an obnoxiously loud Turbosmart Supersonic blow off valve for maximum PSH sounds and turbo protection. Let’s shut the hood and take a look at the side profile of this Mustang.
This Ecoboost is quite literally and figuratively on the ground thanks to a complete Airlift Performance Strut + Bag combo. In the trunk is Airlift Performance 3P management system + compressor tank. To keep this Mustang in motion, are a sponsored set of Vertini RF1.5 Wheels featuring a 5 split spoke design. 20×9 +32 up front and a 20×10.5 +45 in the rear. When in drag race mode, FF Performance has provided Jon a set of Forgestar F14 Drag Pack wheels measuring in at 17×10 +44 colored in Gunmetal. Mounted up to those Drag Packs are a very aggressive standing Mickey Thompson ET Street R Bias Tire, 28×11.50R17.
Under the side skirts lies a strip of underflow for the true tuner pop.
Wrapping up the rear of Jon’s car is an Ikon GT350R V2 fiberglass spoiler. I think this spoiler compliments the front very well especially with the low stance. A set of custom burnt quad tips completes his rear exhaust section.
Jon’s interior remains fairly stock with Carbon Fiber wrap accenting the dash and many other bits and pieces.
Jon prepared himself for his first time on slicks and his first time on a formal race track. With next to no experience he gave it all he could. Unfortunately, the tune was not our friend that day keep us on a 13.00 pass. With limited time, we were able to get 4 passes before we decided to park her and contact the tuner. By the time we were able to upload a new revision, a Subaru had broken a coolant pipe and laid coolant down the track. This forced a complete shutdown of the event and concluded my adventure.
Not to worry! Jon will be swapping out his MAP Performance kit for our Turbonetics NX2 Drop-In turbocharger.
- Engine: 2.3-liter Ecoboost
- Power Adder (If present): 5862 PTE, E85 With 4 extra injectors and fuel controller
- Transmission: Stock Manual
- Rear End: Stock 3.31
- Horsepower/Torque Numbers: 457/436
- Chassis/Suspension: Airlift 3P
- Brakes: Stock
- Tires/Wheels: Vertini RF1.5’s
- Exterior (Paint, wrap, aero, custom bodywork, etc.): Ikon GT350 Front Bumper, V2 Spoiler, Candy Red Autoflex Dip, CarbonFiber Wrapped Roof, Chasing Underglow, Starry Night Halo’s Demon eyes, Tribars and LED Tubes.
- Interior: Carbon Fiber Wrapped Dash
- Driveline parts (rear end, clutch, drive shaft, etc.): Stock