Car Feature: Mickey Thompson’s SEMA Mustang 5.0 Breaks New Ground

It’s not every week that we get the chance to take one of the hottest SEMA cars around out in the SoCal sunshine to shoot some photos. And it’s definitely not every week that said car – Mickey Thompson Tires‘ 2013 Mustang GT – gets to spend a day at the Power Automedia facility while all of our visitors drool over its “Mickey Thompson Red” hue – a color that was selected specifically by the folks at PPG to draw in the onlooker’s eye to the 2013 Mustang GT’s muscular flanks.

The big story here is the addition of the SC-5 wheel and Street Comp tires to the Mustang’s undercarriage. The Street Comp tire is Mickey Thompson’s newest addition to their lineup and is billed as “The Ultimate Ultra High Performance Tire For American Muscle”. The asymmetric tread design delivers superior wet and dry performance, and the solid center rib helps to provide a tight steering feel. One thing these tires aren’t designed for, though, is performance in the snow, and after all, shouldn’t your Pony be in the garage in the winter months?

The custom wing was designed and installed by Anvil Auto, who handled the design of the project for the M/T team. PPG's custom Mickey Thompson Red hue was applied to the panels on the formerly-black car, and you'd never know the car was originally a different color without looking underhood.

M/T’s New Street Wheel and Tire Line

The car itself was built for one reason – to show off the cornering capabilities of Mickey Thompson’s all-new Street Comp ultra-high-performance tires and SC-5 wheels – what Mickey Thompson calls their Enhanced Stance System. The Street Comp SC-5 wheel is built to complement the tire’s construction, and provides the foundation for the Enhanced Stance System. According to Mickey Thompson’s Don Sneddon, “ESS is a tire and wheel combo with a wider footprint and stance than stock. The M/T SC-5 wheel offset pushes the wheel flush with the fenders, and the combination of the wider track and ultra-high-performance Street Comp tire provides better handling and faster braking, mainly attributed to the increased contact patch of the wider tire. It also fills up the fenderwells better for a tighter look, especially when combined with the lowering kit that’s on this car.”

This car wears Street Comp tires in 255/35/20 and 275/35/20 designations, while the SC-5 wheels are outfitted in 20×9 front and 20×10.5-inch rear dimensions. The SC-5 wheel’s mirror-machined lip really helps these to stand out from the crowd, without being obnoxiously flashy – just what a typical Mustang owner is looking for.

The lowering kit is a new product will help Mickey Thompson branch out into the suspension business once it is released, and as of this writing, is still in the research and development phase. Sneddon continued, “The suspension system on the Mustang is only a concept/prototype and is not yet available for sale at this time. We hope to have a new suspension system for American muscle cars available later this year under our Mickey Thompson M/T Metal Series branding.” The suspension system has been designed to help this sweet Mustang excel no matter the task; road racing, autocrossing, drag racing, or just a long weekend drive on your favorite network of twisties somewhere far away from the city.

As with any car that shows its countenance at SEMA, this 2013 GT carries some of the aftermarket’s finest additions, all selected in an effort to keep the car usable, while boosting the power level and increasing the overall driving experience.

An Edelbrock E-Force supercharger was utilized along with custom tuning from SCT. Anvil Auto put together lots of unique touches, from the carbon-fiber console overlay to the custom-badged hood pins.

Go Fast Goodies

What kind of cool aftermarket parts does a SEMA car wear? Well, when it came time to put the tricks of the trade underhood, Mickey Thompson turned to the team at Edelbrock for one of their E-Force Supercharger systems, which helps to pump the 5.0L Coyote engine up over 550 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque, a substantial gain over the factory advertised 2013 Mustang GT rating of 420 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds; that’s a huge difference that’s immediately felt in the seat of the pants, from just off-idle all the way to the 7000 rpm redline.


Katzkin seat leather incorporates the Street Comp logo and looks good doing it.

SCT sent along a custom hand-held tuner with tunes to work with the E-Force’s boost levels – currently spec’d out at 5 psi to work with the ’13 GT’s 11.0:1 compression ratio. But the power boost didn’t stop there – AIRAID provided a cold-air intake system to work with the E-Force supercharger, while a complete 3-inch Borla stainless-steel catback and X-pipe were installed for a sound transformation. A XS Power S-Series battery was installed to help the juices flow when the key is turned, and M/T added the XS Power billet battery hold-down to spice up the look.

The rest of the driveline also received upgrades. AmericanMuscle supplied the one-piece aluminum driveshaft, while a Hurst Billet Plus 2 shifter and Centerforce dual-disc DYAD clutch system were all installed in the interest of improving the car’s performance under pressure. A BMR Fabrication bolt-in front driveshaft loop was installed for safety purposes, while Mishimoto provided one of their performance aluminum radiators to help keep the engine temperature consistent in the SoCal summertime heat. One of Moroso Performance Products‘ aluminum coolant tanks was also put in place to add that extra little bit of underhood zing.

On the Inside

The interior has been completely revamped with a full leather interior from the fine folks at Katzkin; the seats include red suede inserts and custom stitching sporting the Street Comp logo on the upper back section. Lloyd Mats stitched up a fresh set of custom floor and trunk mats, because no SEMA car would be caught wearing the factory floor coverings. Anvil Auto installed some of their very own carbon-fiber dash and console overlays to finish up the look on the inside, before turning to the outside of the car.

Suspension and Brakes

The aforementioned Mickey Thompson Metal Series suspension system was installed underneath the car, and consists of everything to bring the ride height down and the performance up. A set of new lowering springs, sway bars, end links, a strut-tower bar, and chassis cross-brace were all installed, and the complete system has been undergoing rigorous testing since the car was built. Meanwhile, a complete set of SSBC Big Bite cross-drilled brake rotors and Force 10 Tri-Power billet-aluminum 3-piston front brake kits was installed up front, while the rear of the car received the Big Bite rotors with the Sport R1 Plus caliper system, custom-coated in the same red finish as the front binders.

Unique Exterior Refinements

Anvil Auto handled the design of the entire project down to the custom body panels along with many of the exterior additions. Sneddon explained, “Anvil Auto designed the car with the help of SEMA’s Rapid Development program. The program provides CAD drawings from manufacturers like Ford so the aftermarket companies like Mickey Thompson can bring new products to market quickly.

The Street Comp logo was applied to the grille, while the wheel-and-tire package combined with the M/T Metal Series suspension system gives the car that perfect stance.

Anvil designed and installed the hood, hood pins, the grill surrounds, front and side splitters, rear spoiler, custom badging, brake cooling ducts, and carbon fiber dash trim. The paint was provided by PPG and sprayed by H&H Auto Body in Santa Monica, CA. We also have to thank Ghost Motorsports in West L.A. and Sean Goude at Power Automedia for much of the install work.”

If you’ve never had the opportunity to go to SEMA and someone offers it to you – jump at the chance. It is a gearhead’s nirvana, and a trip we look forward to every year. It provides a chance to check out some of the wildest cars and trucks in the world, and an opportunity you won’t get anywhere else to see all of them in one place at one time. We want to thank the folks at Mickey Thompson for allowing us some private time with their awesome machine.

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About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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