It has been nearly a year since Ford first showed us the GT350 in Los Angeles. With that reveal came all manner of questions, and we’ve been following this car with extreme interest ever since. The cars have just started hitting the hands of customers within the last week, and none other than Jon Lund II himself recently began working on the tune for Lund Racing‘s own GT350 development mule, a car recently purchased by Lund Racing.
If you’ve been living under a rock, let us fill you in quickly. The GT350 is the modern equivalent of the Cobra, with an R variant dubbed the GT350R that seems to take its queues from where the R program last appeared over 15 years ago. The GT350 is lighter, lower, and track-tuned to run with some of the baddest track cars on the planet. In fact it was recently named by a prominent print magazine as the top production track car of the year, beating out exotics that cost as much as five times what the GT350 stickers for.
The car features a high revving, high compression 5.2-liter flat plane crank engine, code-named Voodoo. While it shares some similarities to the Coyote, this engine is not just a reworked variant of our favorite 5.0. Everything about the Voodoo is different, and in naturally aspirated from its cranking out 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel. You can learn more about the engine right here.
Lund, of course, quickly put the GT350 on the dyno to find out what Ford is leaving on the table. Using his highly specialized tuning skills, Lund hasn’t disappointed, and admits he’s actually surprised at the engine’s potential.
Lund’s GT350 dyno’d at 442.0 horsepower and 373.7 lb-ft of torque at the rear tires in completely stock trim, with a fuel tank full of 93 octane. “After a little tweaking with the calibration we picked up 14.5 hp and around 10 ft/lbs of torque, for 456.6 horsepower and 384.1 lb-ft of torque at the tires,” says Lund Racing’s Ken Bjonnes.
Bjonnes tells us that the Lund crew then switched over to E85. With this engine running more compression than the Coyote, it only makes sense that the Voodoo would respond well to more octane, if the fuel system can handle the demands. To say the results were surprising would be an understatement. The car gained an additional 24.0 horsepower and 22.2 lb-ft of torque again at the rear wheels for a total output of 480.2 horsepower and 406.3 lb-ft of torque. That’s a total gain of 38.2 horsepower and 32.6 lb-ft of torque over the Ford OEM 93 octane calibration.
Lund II offers his own impressions of the car, “The car as whole feels very limber. It doesn’t feel like a Mustang. You’re expecting things to come unglued when you roll into the throttle and it doesn’t, but that’s not a bad thing. The car has a very linear power band, and when you get into the 5000+ RPM range you better be hanging on because the engine just wants to rev. It sounds insane and feels insane for an NA car.”
Lund says he focused a great deal on improving low end power, below the peak to improve the car’s response and drivability around town. “As always there’s room for improvement. One of the immediate things I noticed is that the low end is soft. This is probably something that Ford intended because it is a track car (road racing), but for putzing around on the street I’d like it to be a little more snappy down low so that was one of the first things I tried working on and you can see with our calibration on the graph around 2,500 to 3,200 rpm where we improved that some.”
Studying the dyno graphs you can see exactly what Lund is talking about, for around town cruising and even rolling into the throttle say on the interstate, the improvements in the lower RPM range will make the most noticeable difference to most GT350 owners. At around 3,500 rpm the engine is making around 40 more horsepower and nearly 80 lb-ft of torque more on E85 that it was at the same RPM with the stock OEM calibration on 93 octane. This is also valuable for those looking to run the GT350 through the corners on a track or autocross, since having some improved grunt down low means less shifting to keep the car in its sweet-spot and faster exits off the corners.
The real surprise so far for Lund has been the car’s response with E85 he says, “The OEM calibration otherwise is fairly refined and on 93 with our tweaks we got some decent gains. Now on E85, things become interesting. With it being high compression —higher than the GT Coyote counterpart, we know how limited we are on pump gas, so with high octane we knew we would have some more headroom to get a little more aggressive. What I didn’t expect was a 20-plus rear wheel horsepower and rear wheel torque gain. This engine LIKES octane and ethanol. And surprisingly enough the fuel system is handling it. It’s beefed up from the GT and it shows. “
Lund closed out his comments by saying he will continue to refine the GT350 tune and hopefully squeeze out some more power. We can only imagine that he already has a line of dedicated customers salivating to get their own Lund tune for Ford’s latest creation.
Bjonnes says the Lund crew is planning to put some sticky tires on the car and hit the drag strip for additional testing as early as this weekend. “If we can get a sticky tire on it and some seat time, we’re hoping for some pretty decent ET and MPH!”
We’re looking forward to bringing our readers those results as soon as Ken B and Jon Lund II are ready to share them.