Supercharged Fox Body Mustang Battles LS-swapped E36 on Track
This track battle comes down to boost levels versus aero mods. Pure automotive mortal combat.
We always like seeing a good battle of speed, and while the drag strip is a popular place to see one of those battles, it’s refreshing to see one on a road course every now and then. In this video by DrivingLine, we see a pretty epic pairing of V8s. In the blue corner is an E36 BMW M3 with lots of aerodynamic aids and a LS swap under the hood. In the white corner is a Fox Body Ford Mustang. This car moves air as well, but instead of moving it over the car, a supercharger moves it right into the engine. It makes for two very different approaches to speed, and the winner is a total toss-up, especially with “driver mod” mixed in.
The battle ground takes place at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, in Desert Center, California. Also known as CVR, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway is a technical and flowing 2.68 mile course, but also has a number of straightaways that are nearly 1/4 mile long. From the looks of it, both power and agility are important, so let’s get to the cars and how they deploy their strengths.
The BMW’s LS engine is bumped up to 7.1 litres and has a total power output of about 550 to the wheels. However, coilovers, swaybars, a big front splitter and even bigger rear wing will help keep it planted in the corners.
Keeping things all American is the Fox Body, with a supercharged Small Block Ford with 12psi of boost from a centrifugal supercharger. There’s still a bit of aero on the mustang as well. A big front splitter is paired with a rear diffuser and duck-bill spoiler. Tires with a section width of 315 all around keep the mechanical grip high.
But as it turns out, driver mod is quite important. The BMW turned a lap time of 1:58.0 and the Mustang fell behind at 2:15.8. This just goes to show that if you’re thinking about upgrading parts for track use, seat time with an instructor is just as valuable as any part you can put on the car.