DiabloSport's inTune i3 Gave This S197 Mustang A Stronger Kick


DiabloSport's inTune i3 Gave This S197 Mustang A Stronger Kick


When searching for a budget daily driver it's hard to ignore fun all-around platforms like the '05-'10 4.6L-powered Ford Mustangs. Powered by the three-valve 4.6L V8 and good for about 300 horsepower, they aren't as wild as the Coyote-powered versions that followed. But prices reflects that, as most 100,000 mile examples can be picked up for around $8,000-$12,000, depending on condition. In addition to being inexpensive, they also are pretty quick, stylish, and get great fuel economy. What's not to like?

We picked up our 2008 Mustang GT from a buddy of ours, which featured a shaker hoodscoop, 3.31 rear gears, and a Tremec TR-3650 five-speed manual transmission. On paper, the car looked solid, and we checked off the basics by getting it weighed, and measuring 0-60 mph and quarter-mile times with a Dragy. We also backed these performances at the quarter-mile at Sacramento Raceway to see how it would do on an actual dragstrip.

DiabloSport Sands Mustang engine bay

Our Mustang was stock, except for the tune and a K&N drop-in air filter. The 4.6L engine is rated at 300 horsepower from the factory, a figure we were looking to bump up by about 10 percent. With a race weight of 3,840lb, we would need it!

The baseline numbers? Our 0-60 time checked in at 5.5 seconds, and the quarter went by in 14.26 at 98 mph with a 2.24 60-foot time. This seemed to be a little slower than some, and we found out why when we weighed it. The car included a stereo system and some 12-inch subwoofers, so we weren't that surprised when it came in at 3,580 pounds with a quarter tank, and 3,840lb with a fast-food consuming, 6ft 3in driver in the seat. Ouch.

Ok, so we needed some performance help and it had to be quick and easy, and it also had to be 50-state legal since we live in California. This is where we ran into the folks at DiabloSport, who indicated that their inTune i3 Tuner would give us the extra power and performance we needed, would come with a CARB EO number, and more importantly give us the power we needed. We selected a stock-airbox 91 octane baseline tune, which was advertised to give 18 horsepower and 23 lb-ft at the rear wheels.

DiabloSport Sands Mustang tuner and steering wheel

The inTune i3 is extremely easy to use. We were able to tune our Mustang in just a few minutes. We selected the 91 octane tune, as we wanted as much power as our 50-state legal tuner would give us.

The installation of the tune required flicking the key on and off a few times, and following the instructions on the i3's screen. In addition to adding power, the i3 can also remove the speed limiter, correct for tire and gear changes, read trouble codes, adapt to changes with a cold-air intake, and more. Since we wanted just the basics, we left everything "as is" other than the tune. The i3 went through the motions, and everything was programmed in about 5 minutes.

When we first drove the car after making the changes, we immediately noticed a difference in throttle response, especially when punching it from around 3,500-4,000rpm. With an extra 23 lb-ft of torque, we figured the Mustang could achieve a quicker launch, and boy were we right. Our 60-ft time dropped from a 2.24 to a 2.15, as did the 0-60mph time, from 5.5 seconds to 5.0! Through the quarter mile we were able to extend our lead over stock, as the Mustang ran a best of 13.69 @ 102 mph. When all was said and done, we had picked up over half a second in the quarter, along with an additional four MPH in the trap speed.

DiabloSport Sands Mustang inTune i3 2

In addition to more power, the i3 also allows you to correct the speedometer, allow for gearing changes, remove the speed limiter, and even scan the vehicle for trouble codes.

The impressive performance isn't quite the end of the story, however. We also were able to check out a trouble code on our car when it gave us a "check charging system" message, and our mileage was up, from 25 mpg at 65 mph to 27 mpg. The increase in mileage was nice, as it evened out the extra cost of 91 octane fuel. Overall we're very happy with the i3's performance, the fact that it's smog legal in every state, and the ability to tune other vehicles (with an additional license) is just awesome. Eventually we're planning on adding gears, drag radials and trying the 30hp "cold air" tune to our Mustang in an effort to get into the 12s, but as a "bang for the buck" modification, the DiabloSport inTune i3 was about the best start we could ask for.


1 Posts