Shy of a full-blown engine swap, supercharging is one way to get a whole lot more “Neigh!” in the engine bay. ProCharger‘s line of products has been expanding a great deal in recent years, branching out from the drag racing and street cars that make up the bulk of its business, and into the realm of off-road trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs. For example, we had the opportunity to see what a P-1SC-1 supercharger did to a Wrangler with Project Sgt. Rocker, a former project of ORX and masterful off-roader, and found the results to be very impressive for the amount of work involved.
With the advent of the eighth-generation F-150 (if you go by the 1975 introduction of the nameplate), the concept of forced induction is nothing new, as the tried and tested EcoBoost V6s – 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter – have opened up the hard hearts of diehard truck fans to less-than-V8 options. Still, the respected 5.0-liter V8 has carried over from the previous two generations. It is still alive and kicking, and to help it live and kick a little more, ProCharger offers the i-1 system. We spoke with Mark Bristow at ProCharger to get a better understanding of this system and its capabilities.
Why was this kit created?
Mark Bristow: For that supercharger model, the i-1, we’ve got five or six other models including the Mustang and Camaro. The Chevy Silverado was another model that we had success with. So putting the i-1 out there for the F-150 just made sense, because we’ve already had success with the other models and the i-1.
How long has the i-1 been around?
MB: I believe it was 2012 or 2013 after a couple of years in development.
What is unique about the i-1?
MB: Our other models had one fixed gear ratio. The i-1 has a variable ratio transmission like a CVT. So instead of a fixed gear ratio, the CVT has an infinite number of gear ratios. How it translates to a supercharger is that with a fixed ratio, you’re able to have one power curve. With a CVT, you can alter your power curve and you can change your boost level on the fly. You can have the boost come on sooner or later in the power band.
Inside the cabin, there’s a touchscreen device that you can make adjustments to on the fly. There’s also three preset modes for the i-1: Touring, Sport, and Competition. Touring is a lower boost mode designed for fuel economy and bad weather; it’s basically a reduced power mode, and it can be made password-protected like a Valet mode so that if you give it to a friend or relative, and it will be safe. Sport is full-performance. The ratio for Sport mode is quite a bit higher than Touring and makes it more responsive. Finally, there’s Competition mode. It’s the most aggressive and most responsive of the modes, with an even higher ratio than Sport.
Can you tell us what kind of numbers to expect from the i-1 in an F-150?
MB: Generally, we’ve seen about a 55% gain over stock in terms of horsepower, going by what we made on the 2015 Mustang. We don’t have finalized numbers on dyno numbers, however, as it’s still in R&D. We plan to wrap that up in the next two to three months and have the i-1 available for these 5.0-liter F-150s.
How can it benefit off-roaders?
MB: We currently have the i-1 for the 2010-14 Ford Raptor, and it’s been quite popular. Whether they’re trailing a trailer or off-roading, it gives a flatter torque curve and builds torque sooner. Our customers find it beneficial to have the torque and horsepower build up quickly at a lower RPM over stock, and having that carry over to the engine redline is cool too.
Any products that supplement the truck?
MB: We do have the standard gear ratio for the 5.0-liter V8. We offer a High Output kit (P/N 1FV211-SCI) and a Stage II kit (P/N 1FV311-SCI).
Supercharging the new fullsize Ford is just the sort of ambition that keeps ProCharger on the leading edge. To find out more, head to the company’s website and Facebook page.