VMPâ€™s Gen2 supercharger takes TVS technology a huge step beyond its rival
By Steve Turner
Anyone thatâ€™s a fan of Ford performance knows that 5.8-liter V-8 engine powering the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 carried the internal codename Trinity. This engine expounded and improved upon the vaunted 5.4-liter Condor engine that propelled the preceding 2007-2012 GT500s. Of course with the demands of a larger engine, Ford SVT also called for a larger more efficient supercharger to boost the Trinity engine.
Obviously fans of the reliable Eaton supercharger family, SVT engineers didnâ€™t just grab an off-the-shelf unit for this job. Proven as an aftermarket option from Ford Racing, the 2.3-liter Eaton Twin Vortices Series supercharger was the natural choice to top Trinityâ€™s more efficient intercooler core. While the proven 2.3 TVS rotor pack remained the heartbeat of this unit, the housing was refined for improved airflow to feed the 5.8.
A direct-replacement for the factory M122 Roots blowers on the earlier GT500s, the Trinity TVS became a popular starting point for aftermarket modders. It also became a clear competitor to VMP Tuningâ€™s own version of the original TVS, which featured a pre-ported housing to maximize the flow coming from VMPâ€™s bolt-on high-flow inlet elbow.
â€œâ€¦It seemed like the time to go back and re-tool the GT500 head unit with all that we learned over the years,â€ VMP main man Justin Starkey told us. â€œYou rarely get a chance to do something over, but it seemed like a no-brainer since the factory TVS on â€™13-â€™14 GT500s had raised the bar considerably…â€
Putting the Gen2 to the test required a worthy test subject, and that came in the form of the 2014 Shelby GT500 owned by NFL Tight End Tom Crabtree. He had played for the Green Bay Packers and most recently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While in Florida he became a VMP customer and modded his GT500 with several VMP upgrades and a JLT Performance Big Air CAI, making it a superb candidate for a blower upgrade.
â€œTom is a good customer and is always looking to be on the cutting edge,â€ Justin said. â€œHe already had our Stage 4 kit, but wanted more, so long-tubes, a 10-percent-overdriven lower pulley, and the new blower were natural steps forward for him.â€
We were on hand to watch the blower swap and initial testing of the VMP Gen2 on Tomâ€™s GT500. Much like Dexterâ€™s nemesis Arthur Mitchell, a.k.a. The Trinity Killer, the VMP Gen2 has indeed outdone its more conservative rival.
â€œThe TVS has always been known for torque but to gain horsepower and torque with the same pulley is just awesome. It shows the hard work we put into the design paid off,â€ Justin said. â€œWe expected great horsepower gains from the improved flow, we did not expect such great torque gains. However, the way the rotor tips are exposed and unshrouded in the new housing lets it make power everywhere.â€
While the pump gas gains were quite impressive, itâ€™s quite common for tuners to take TVS combos even farther. To see how the Gen2 responded with better fuel, Justin ramped up Tomâ€™s combo with Gulfâ€™s Mach 116 street fuel and E85 fed by Injector Dynamics ID1000 squirters (PN ID1000; $960). With better fuel and a more aggressive tune, the Gen2 combo responded with massive power.
â€œWe upgraded the injectors to support the 30- to 40-percent increase in fuel flow needed for E85 and used the latest ID1000 values. We added timing, changed the stoich point, and did a few other things to keep the car happy with its new fuel,â€ Justin explained. â€œA two-minute re-flash with the SCT tuner is required. However, with the widebands in â€™11 up vehicles, if you end up with E75 or have some pump gas left in the tank its going to automatically compensate.â€
The Gen2 TVS-boosted 5.8-liter combo definitely responded to the better fuel and more aggressive tuning. However, even on pump gas the gains were impressive. Keep reading to see how the Gen2 stacks up to the factory Trinity supercharger using all three fuels.