Ford Mustang buyers can now fit a range of Licensed Ford performance parts to enhance the look and feel of Australia’s best-selling sports car. Offered through Ford dealerships, buyers can order a brand-new Ford Mustang complete with track-ready handling, exhaust and visual upgrades for an even more aggressive Mustang.
“The Ford Mustang is one of the world’s most customized sports cars, and we’re paying homage to both the rich heritage of Mustang as well as answering massive demand for factory-approved, fully-warranted performance parts for Australian Mustang owners,” said Graeme Whickman, President and CEO, Ford Australia.
Mustang buyers can pick and choose from a new range of parts that have been painstakingly designed and engineered to work with the Mustang’s factory components underneath its iconic silhouette, ensuring seamless integration into the Mustang’s already performance-focussed set-up to work as a complete package.
“This is the first time in Mustang’s five-decade history that an Australian consumer can take delivery of this iconic performance car with a full suite of upgrades straight off the showroom floor,” said Whickman. “Even better, the benefit of these upgrades not only gives new Mustang buyers a chance to customize their own vehicle, but also extends to existing owners, who can have their local dealer fit any or all of these components to their own taste and desires.”
Developed using the full resources of Ford Performance’s design and engineering teams, with access to sophisticated modelling and testing protocols, the upgrade parts are easily fitted to the Mustang, and ensures that they work in harmony with the Mustang’s existing engine and chassis, for seamless integration into the driving experience. These accessories have undergone extensive local testing and engineering assessments for compatibilty with the Australian Mustang specification and compliance with Australian Design.
A full three-year, 100,000km Ford Express Warranty is offered if the parts are ordered with the purchase of a new Mustang and fitted at an authorised Ford dealership. This matches the Mustang’s three-year 100,000km new-vehicle warranty. Existing owners can also have their Mustang upgraded at their Ford dealer, and enjoy the peace-of-mind and security of a 12-month 20,000km warranty on the factory-approved parts fitted.
The parts include a mandrel-bent stainless steel 2.5-inch exhaust system that’s cleverly integrated to the Mustang’s factory exhaust from the catalytic-converter back to unleash the famous V8 burble of the 5.0-litre Coyote V8. For added visual drama, consumers can choose from 4.0-inch tips finished in classic chrome, or take a sinister black-tipped system to match Mustangs rear ‘diffuser’.
A track-ready handling package also joins the suite of performance upgrades to take advantage of the Mustang’s performance-focussed chassis. The FR3-M9 Track Handling Pack includes lowering coil-springs, assembled front struts, upper strut mounts, rear shocks, sway bars, rear toe links and toe-to-knuckle bearings. The pack was developed by Ford Performance, whose latest work includes the multi award-winning Ford Focus RS, and is designed for high-performance driving.
The development process for FR3 was similar to what’s used for a production car, or for a race car, but partway between the two, both in terms of the process itself and the resulting performance. In these processes, the components have been developed specifically for the application; nothing is chosen from a selection of existing off-the-shelf products.
We wanted to make a product that would be completely unique and special for this car,” says Ford Performance testing engineer Andy Vrenko. “So we used production processes and production suppliers, and we developed parts that are engineered and tuned for this car and our performance goals. This kit is unique, and none of the parts are available anywhere else.”
The Ford Performance engineers set out to design the package for someone who might want to go to a race track fairly frequently for High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), but who also drives the car on the street daily. They wanted the kind of performance that would make track use enjoyable, rewarding and faster, but also would leave the car reasonably comfortable for street and highway driving.
“I think some of the reasons why this FR3-M8 kit does what it does is because it’s more narrowly focused,” says Vrenko. “The universe of people we want to please is so much smaller than any mainstream car’s, and their performance wants and expectations are much more closely aligned.”
The team started by doing some computer modeling to find out what would be most appropriate for this application, using Ford engineering tools that are not available to aftermarket developers.
That process narrows the selection of springs, sway bars, shock absorbers and struts down to a smaller set of specifications. With the resulting hardware, testing could begin on a kinematics and compliance (K&C) rig, a shock dyno, and at Ford proving grounds, including Ford Australia’s You Yangs facility, and race tracks.
“We find that enthusiast-level drivers will benefit from a suspension package like this because it gives the driver the kind of precise and immediate feedback that enhances confidence and provides a more enjoyable experience,” says Vrenko.
Customers who are looking for a mild handling upgrade can choose the street lowering springs, which reduces the Mustang’s standard ride-height by a full inch. As well as the more aggressive stance, the springs are offered in striking blue or a gloss black finish, with covers in matching colours to provide a visual clue of the changes in the Mustang’s engine bay.
While the Mustang interior is already focused on the driving experience, a short-throw shift-kit for the six-speed manual Mustang is the icing in the cake for driving enthusiasts. With a Ford Performance gear knob, the kit reduces throw distance by 19 percent for swifter gear changes.
The upgrades are part of the Mustang’s raison d’être of high performance driving enjoyment, building on the strengthened performance offerings for Australian consumers already delivered by the Mountune Performance packages available to Ford Focus ST and Ford Fiesta ST buyers.
Ford Performance is responsible for the Ford GT, the fastest production Ford in the company’s history, as well as the Focus RS, winner of Drive Best Performance Car Under $60K for 2016.