TICKFORD Mus­tang EcoBoost

Breath­ing life into Ford’s four-pot­ter

Motor (Australia) - - MUSTANG -

IF THE whole Tickford thing is con­fus­ing you with mem­o­ries of AU Fal­cons and stroked Wind­sor V8s, here’s the skinny: Tickford has been re­born as a brand and is es­sen­tially the road-car divi­sion of Prodrive Rac­ing Aus­tralia. PRA, you will re­call, runs the Mega, Su­per Cheap, Bot­tle-O and Mon­ster En­ergy Fal­cons in the Su­per­car cham­pi­onship, so mod­i­fy­ing a Ford road car for more poke shouldn’t be a prob­lem.

The Tickford road-car range kicks off with a vari­a­tion on the Mus­tang EcoBoost theme which, in the form you see it here, is re­named the 270 Power Pack in cel­e­bra­tion of the new out­put of 270kW (up from 233). Torque is up, too, from 432Nm to 520 and that’s all down to a new cold-air in­take, two-and-a-half-inch ex­haust and a re­flash of the ECU to al­low for more boost and to tie it all to­gether.

Tickford has ar­ranged its road-car wares ac­cord­ing to dis­tinct pack­ages, so you can pick and choose what bits you want, and it’s all sold as after­mar­ket gear, mean­ing you have to buy the car first and then take it to a Tickford fit­ter for the trans­for­ma­tion. So along with the Power Pack deal, there’s a sus­pen­sion pack­age which gets you a set of coilovers that lower things by 25mm and firm it up. Then there’s the wheel and tyre pack­age that gets you on to 20-inch forged al­loys with 9.5-inch fronts and 11-inch rears with 265/35s

and 295/30s re­spec­tively. There’s also an in­te­rior trim pack­age that adds leather and Tickford lo­gos where there weren’t any and a unique cen­tre con­sole, again in leather.

Although the Tickford turbo is not as in-your-face as the Mus­tang Mo­tor­sport EcoBoost, it turned out to be a frac­tion quicker to 100km/h with a 5.81sec, but a tad slower over the quar­ter with a 14.08sec. That said, it didn’t have the Mus­tang Mo­tor­sport’s flat-shift­ing fa­cil­ity or launch con­trol, so maybe that’s where those tenths went at the top end of the strip.

Lap time? De­cid­edly slower than the rest, ac­tu­ally, but that’s re­ally all down to the road-bi­ased set-up of the sus­pen­sion. While the after­mar­ket coilovers do take some of the slack out of the stan­dard ar­range­ment, they are in no way as track fo­cused as some of the other cars here. That will doubt­less make it a nicer long-dis­tance tourer, but it doesn’t do squat for the thing’s chances at a punch-up like this one.

How­ever, that rel­a­tive soft­ness did make the thing quite throt­tle-steer­able on the limit. Which was kind of just as well, be­cause as com­mit­ment lev­els rose, the ac­cu­racy of the steer­ing started to dis­ap­pear. Again, the road­able tune of the springs and dampers is the root cause of its on-track weak­nesses.

But the gearshift was lovely and the Tickford 270 ce­ments an­other the­ory into place: that the stan­dard turbo Ford fits to the Mus­tang EcoBoost is right at the limit of its abil­i­ties in this state of tune. In fact, the line has ac­tu­ally been crossed be­cause, like the Mus­tang Mo­tor­sport car, the Tickford turbo sim­ply fell over at the top end of the tacho, gasp­ing for air. By about 5000rpm, the snail has given all it can at that boost level, and asthma sets in.

And even though the brakes were the stock­ers, they did a darn fine job of pulling her up in a com­pet­i­tive dis­tance. Maybe lap af­ter lap would be­gin to high­light the dif­fer­ence in some of the after­mar­ket set-ups on the other cars, but, again, that’s clearly not the role of this car in this tune.

TICKFORD IS ES­SEN­TIALLY THE ROAD CAR ARM OF PRODRIVE RAC­ING … SO GIV­ING A ROAD CAR MORE POKE SHOULDN’T BE A PROB­LEM

Tickford pack­age looks great and while its num­bers trailed the pre­dom­i­nantly V8 op­po­si­tion, on the road the strong mid-range torque makes it feel roughly as strong as a stan­dard bent eight, with added turbo whis­tles and sneezes “The one thing I re­ally like about this car, and it’s the phi­los­o­phy I like to see in tuner cars, is that it’s not about be­ing able to pick the one thing that has or hasn’t been done on the car. It’s do­ing ev­ery­thing well and it feels how it should have come from the fac­tory. The Tickford EcoBoost doesn’t have the most power, but it does ev­ery­thing right and makes you think it’s how it should have come stan­dard from Ford.” WAR­REN LUFF

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.