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Tech Review—Vortech V-15/17 Superchargers


By Miles Cook

Photography by Steve Turner

As scribes covering the automotive aftermarket and the well-established drag-racing sanctioning bodies that are the NMCA and NMRA, we have long followed the engineering efforts of Vortech Superchargers. The company’s blower are synonymous with adding big power and lowering quarter-mile e.t.’s

Established in the early 1990s, Vortech came to life at the exact right time to coexist with the pushrod 5.0-liter movement that caught fire with the production of those now classic EFI-equipped 1986-1993 Fox Mustangs. With Ford EEC-IV-based electronic fuel-injection, these cars were seemingly created to be ideally fitted with a centrifugal blower and Vortech was there from the start to take full advantage of this perfect match.

Vortech’s rugged, new V17 is built with a billet gear case, and a more robust bearing and shaft system. This unit and the more compact V15 will fit in existing Vortech brackets making for an easy upgrade.

Nearly 30 years down the road, Vortech offers supercharger options for not only all kinds of Ford cars and trucks, but also just about any GM or Mopar model you’d care to add boost to as well as a number of import applications too. That doesn’t mean the company is ready to rest on its laurels, however. Vortech keeps building better, more potent blowers.

What you see here is a recent upgrade that delivers big performance in a package that makes it easy to upgrade your current blower setup. This unit’s billet gear case is capable of supporting the four-digit horsepower numbers that racers and enthusiasts are making more common these days.

“The V-17/V-15 series is an all-billet-design gearcase that can handle around 1,000 to up to 2,500 horsepower,” said Jimmy Martz, Director of Global Sales at Vortech, said. “We wanted to offer this for racers as well as for those looking to build high-output street cars making levels into the four-digit range.”

“This billet case also bolts into and fits existing bracketry, which includes V1, V2, V3 and V7 bracket kits,” he added.

The V-17 offers impeller designs that range from a 94mm inducer up to a 128mm impeller. For the ultimate street supercharger setup, the V-17 line-up is clearly worth a look. The V-17 features the larger backing plate, while the V-15 is based on the smaller back plate similar to what is employed by the current YSi unit.

The more compact V15 billet case wears the YSi-style compressor and it will support 1,000 to 1,500 horsepower. The next step is the V17 gear case and it supports compressors from 102mm up to 128mm, which allow that unit to support up to 2,500hp.

With this design, Vortech wanted be sure to have more internal rigidity along the width of the impeller shaft. The longer the shaft and bearing stack, the more power it can handle. The setup is clearly more rigid in order to handle 1,000-1,500 horsepower and beyond.

Also in the mix is a revised impeller design for the upper echelon supercharger systems in the V-17 compressor and an 11-blade design is an upgrade over the eight-blade impellers. Advanced engineering software has shown considerable airflow increases with the 11-blade impeller.


Vortech Superchargers

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.