TICKFORD 360 Power Pack

More than the sum of its after­mar­ket parts

Motor (Australia) - - MUSTANG - – DM

NEVER take a knife to a gun fight? Yeah, well, on the sur­face that might seem to be the case here. See, the Tickford 360 is one of the least mod­i­fied of all the cars at Win­ton for this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, so you can imag­ine that it’s gonna have its back­side handed to it.

Where many of the other Mus­tang GT-based con­tenders have blow­ers mak­ing boost, the Tickford ap­proach is rather more re­strained. The Coy­ote is treated to a cold-air in­take, a three-inch full ex­haust sys­tem and a spe­cific ECU tune to bump power from the stocker’s 306kW to the 360 as seen on the badge. Like the Tickford EcoBoost model, you can also add 20-inch wheels and tyres, firmer sus­pen­sion pack­ages and a bunch of in­te­rior glitz, but it’s those mod­est en­gine tweaks that set the mood for this car.

And when you break down the num­bers, the thing ac­quits it­self pretty well. Okay, the stock brak­ing hard­ware means it’s noth­ing spe­cial in that par­tic­u­lar sphere of en­deav­our, but even a Mus­tang on the stan­dard stop­pers hauls up bet­ter than some of the mod­ded cars with­out enough heat in the ro­tors. And when it comes down to lap-times, well, the Tickford 360 ac­tu­ally holds its own pretty con­vinc­ingly. True, it doesn’t have the zap (or the front rub­ber and com­pe­ti­tion pads) to be right up there with the track­i­est of them all, but it was ab­so­lutely right amongst the money to fin­ish fourth fastest around the Win­ton lay­out. And its apex speeds? Er, on the third step of the podium as it turns out.

What this all proves is that pro­vided you’re start­ing with a good ba­sic plat­form (which the Mus­tang un­doubt­edly is) you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to spend up huge to make the thing a con­tender. What you need to do is spend that lim­ited money in the right places, and that’s what’s go­ing on here. Oh, and put a ma­niac like Luffy in the right-hand seat; a bloke who doesn’t need much help from the car it­self to be rapid.

To be hon­est, even though the Tickford was fast around the track, it wasn’t as nice to drive quickly. That’s sim­ply a func­tion of less body con­trol and that lack of taut­ness also meant that it wasn’t as ac­cu­rate to point at each apex. Again, when it’s Luffy at the con­trols, that prob­a­bly doesn’t mat­ter so much, and I’d be pre­pared to say that the gap be­tween the re­ally fast cars here and the Tickford would be greater with you or I do­ing the driv­ing. Then again, the Tickford isn’t as con­fronting on a brute power ba­sis, so who knows?

The bot­tom line is that the Tickford 360 is first and fore­most a road-go­ing car, so drive­abil­ity is the key. Which means the tweaked en­gine makes loads of sense, but it’s also true that the lo­cally de­vel­oped ex­haust sys­tem soaked up a lot of Tickford’s time and money to get right. The big prob­lem, ap­par­ently, was get­ting rid of the drone at high­way speeds and light throt­tle set­tings.

And if the 360 pack­age isn’t enough for you, fear not; the op­er­a­tion has a Ford Per­for­mance/Roush blower kit in the works which prom­ises no less than 500kW of power and 739Nm of torque. Frankly, I re­ally liked the sound and feel of this here atmo tune and, for me – and for most other folks if they’re be­ing hon­est – this would be plenty. Although maybe I’d tidy the chas­sis up a bit with a dash of ex­tra firm­ness, but be­yond that, this is very happy days.

Tickford’s 360 Power Pack might be milder than some of the other cars present but rep­re­sents the level to which many own­ers will mod­ify their car. On track it could use a lit­tle ex­tra sharp­ness but its friend­li­ness and ease of use are a bonus on road

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