The Best Modification For A 5th Generation 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

The Best Modification For A 5th Generation 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic muscle cars ever made. Arguably, it was the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that launched the Mustang into its legendary status, but whether you find the vintage classics to be superior or the modern Mustangs, there is truly a lot to love across the board. There have been many generations of great Mustangs since the late ’60s, so chances are it’s pretty easy to snag a great Mustang. Admittedly, the attention has fallen on the newest Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 as of late, and it’s no surprise, they are truly amazing cars. While the latest Mustangs are truly incredible, going back just one generation can provide a variety of modern Mustangs that can be excellent modding platforms without breaking the bank.

So, let’s go back to the 2011-2014 S197 body style Ford Mustangs and see what the best modification is for them.

The Basics of The S197 Mustang

Mustang 12
Via: CarPixel

Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s just briefly overview the 5th generation S197 body Ford Mustangs.

The 5th generation of Mustangs were manufactured all the way from 2005 to 2014 at which point Ford transitioned to the 6th generation with the S550 body style. Admittedly, the S197 body style experienced various changes throughout its lifetime, as various special editions and limited runs all brought various levels of modifications to the barebones S197 chassis. In terms of powertrain, early engine options were a 4.0-Liter V6, 4.6-Liter V8 or a 5.4-Liter supercharged V8 mated to a five-speed manual, six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. In 2011, Ford introduced the 5.0-Liter Coyote V8 to replace the 4.6-Liter V8 and replaced the 4.0-Liter V6 with a 3.7-Liter Duratech engine. In 2013, Ford introduced a gigantic 5.8-Liter supercharged V8 as the biggest engine in their lineup. The transmissions were changed around the same time the engine changes were made and moved to 6-speed transmission in both manual and automatic versions.

There were countless aesthetic alterations made between the various 5th gen models, too many to list here, but the S197 body style remained consistent.

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Minor Modifications That Makes A Massive Difference

Modded Mustang
Via: Pinterest

With the various powertrains, features and mechanical differences between the various models, picking one single modification that is the best for all these cars is simply not possible.

So, for the sake of this article we are going to examine various modifications before we settle on the best modification for the 5th gen S197 Mustang. The most obvious type of modification for Mustangs, and all cars in general, is aesthetic alterations, especially exterior ones. It is no surprise that a lot of Mustang modifications are aesthetic, be it good or bad, as they are often the easiest and most visible way of making a car individualized. Common aesthetic modifications include things like hood cowls, racing stripes, window louvers and ducktail wings. However, as good as these modifications maybe they do not really make much of a difference in terms of performance.

Common mechanical modifications include things like cold air intakes, forced induction systems, namely superchargers, electronic tunes, exhaust systems, including performance cats, headers and muffler deletes. These modifications all increase the performance of the car in terms of power output and torque, mostly by allowing the car’s engine to breathe better. With more air inside the combustion chamber, the combustion process produces more energy and various exhaust upgrades ensure that the exhaust gases are not hindered on their way out and thus the car’s power is not restricted.

Other mechanical modifications that improve performance but not in terms of direct power and torque include things like brakes, adjustable coilovers, lowering springs and anti-roll sway bar kits. These modifications significantly improve the handling and the driving experience, allowing the driver to enjoy the existing performance level of the Mustang more comfortably.

The Best Modification To Turn Any Mustang Into A Beast

Corsa Catback
Via: Hypermotive

So with all that in mind, what is the best modification for a 5th gen S197 Mustang?

Whether we are looking at a true 5.0-Liter GT or a smaller V6, the best modification is an aftermarket exhaust. A nice pair of catback exhausts make it easier for the engine to push out exhaust gases and give your Mustang a deep, sporty growl. Again there are a wide range of aftermarket brands with each of them providing a variety of different exhaust options ranging from mild to wild. Corsa and Borla are two of the most prominent exhaust manufacturers for Mustangs and whichever one you decide to go with, the exhaust note is set to improve dramatically from the stock exhausts. Borla ATAK catback exhausts feature a special acoustic tuning in their exhausts to maximize the growl without creating drone. Corsa offers a similar tuned axle-back exhaust but with quad tips for a more aggressive look, also promising drone-free deep growls under heavy acceleration. While these two options were mainly aimed at the V8 Mustangs, there are also exhaust offerings for V6 Mustangs from various companies.

Exhaust modifications can also create a slight increase in power, especially if combined with a couple of other bolt-on modifications and a custom tune, making it the best modification to do on a 5th gen S197 Ford Mustang.

Sources: HotCars, CJPonyParts, Borla, Corsa and LiveAbout

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