posted on March 07, 2017 14:01
Project S550 Part 3: Looking Better with Wide Project6gr Seven Wheels, Cervinis Ram Air Hood, AirDesign Front Fascia & More!
In our last update, we focused on improving the stock handling of Project S550. While we still have some suspension work to do (and we have some big plans in mind), we’re going to pause on that while we turn our attention to the car’s appearance. The 2015 Mustang has become extremely popular and they look great right out of the box but, given that popularity, we need to do something to make this project stand out from every other Mustang on the street. We’re not looking to do anything extreme or over the top, so we’ll concentrate on making subtle changes that accentuate Ford’s already stellar design.
Let’s jump right in and work from front to back. For the front fascia, we reached out to a company by the name of AirDesign. They offer a sharp, urethane aftermarket bumper that looks fairly similar to the stock fascia, but it is quite a bit more aggressive upon closer inspection. The lower chin sticks our several inches further and is also several inches lower than the stock unit. The AirDesign fascia is a direct “bolt-on” replacement and comes complete with all the needed hardware. While we had the fascia off, we also went ahead and customized the stock grille. With only a handful of aftermarket options available, we decided the best solution for us would be to simply modify the stock grille to fit our vision. We cut out the stock grille shell and installed mesh instead. We’re big fans of the GT350, so we also added a plastic shroud to the back of the grille as a small tip-of-the-cap. As an added benefit, the shroud helps finish off the overall look of the grille and makes it look less DIY.
Before: the OEM bumper.
After: the changes are subtle but that’s what we like. The lower chin is much larger and extends several inches lower and further out than the stock fascia. The black chin piece is integrated into the bumper, as opposed to a separate component on the stock unit. This puts it in the danger zone for curbs, so we now need to be even more careful pulling into parking spaces. But, the lower profile gives the car a much more menacing look.
In addition to updating the grille, having the fascia off also provided the perfect opportunity to change up our headlights. With all the other chrome now removed from the car, those headlights were sticking out like two sore thumbs. Unfortunately, the only way to permanently rectify the issue is to open the lamps. This seemingly small change has proven to be our most intimidating modification to date, as the replacement cost is around $1,000 each. But, as they say, no risk, no reward! Throwing caution to the wind, we threw the lamps into the oven and opened them up. After several hours of burning our fingers, and a few expletives we’ll refrain from sharing here, the lamps were open and the chrome was painted black. Not wanting to let any of that hard-won effort go to waste, we also installed a set of Diode Dynamics RGBW DRL lights. With the lamps sealed back up, the new front end was ready to be reassembled. Unfortunately, the grille looked a little plain with no badge. So again, paying homage to the GT350, we got in touch with our friends at SpaceCitySpy and picked up one of their GT 5.0 Coyote Badges, which really helps finish off the front of the car.
Our lamps just barely fit in the oven.