Amer­i­can Idol

All hail Aus­tralia’s fastest af­ter-mar­ket-en­hanced Mus­tang

Motor (Australia) - - WINNER -

WHEN A tuned car rocks up bear­ing a badge that in­cludes the num­bers 727, you can bet you’re not deal­ing with a trib­ute to a 1960s Boe­ing. Nope, that 727 would be a horse­power-based state­ment and, in the case of Mus­tang Mo­tor­sport’s (MM) GT, the procla­ma­tion is en­tirely be­liev­able. The MM-R727, to give it its full ti­tle, taps into the US-based Roush Per­for­mance well-spring of good­ness and emerges with a bunch of track-day in­spired en­hance­ments.

In fact, very lit­tle is left un­fid­dled, but the head­line act has to be that Roush Phase 2 blower kit. Com­bined with an ac­tive ex­haust sys­tem, the end re­sult is a beefy 543kW, which is enough to get it to 100 in less than 4.3sec and across 400m in a very low 12.

Equally mod­i­fied are the bouncy bits which, with in­put from lo­cal out­fit Shock­works, emerge with a fully ad­justable ar­range­ment that smells pretty track­o­ri­ented if the truth be told. But, hey, that’s what we’re here for, right? That im­pres­sion is backed up by the huge rub­ber on board with a 20 x 10-inch front rim that picks up where the rear tyres on most Mus­tangs leave off. That means MM can fit a mon­ster 295/30 Miche­lin on the front and with 20 x 11s out back, there’s an equally im­pres­sive 305/30 hoop fill­ing the guards.

Brakes? Yep, plenty of them, too; slot­ted, two-piece ro­tors fore and aft and six-pis­ton Brembo calipers at the pointy end. Op­tional on this par­tic­u­lar car were a trans­mis­sion cooler for the auto and up­graded rear cra­dle mounts to stop the thing axle tramp­ing. The rest of the deal is nice, but largely cos­metic or com­fort re­lated, and for less than $25K (if you don’t want the win­dow-dress­ing) the stuff we’ve just listed is what makes the 727 badge more than just a catchy name.

To be hon­est, this car was al­ways go­ing to shine on the track. And, in fact, had it not given ev­ery­thing else here a good puz­zling, there’d have been trou­ble, be­cause its su­perb track per­for­mance comes at a cost. That starts with the brakes, the pads in which, frankly, sound and feel hor­ri­ble. They grum­ble, they groan, they graunch and while that doesn’t mat­ter at the 100-me­tre marker with a full head of steam up, they are es­pe­cially un­pleas­ant in any other cir­cum­stance.

The tyres are a bit more of the same. Cold, they’re rub­bish, and your out-lap is likely to be a se­ries of small calami­ties. But then the Miche­lins re­ally start to come alive. I swear, I reckon I could feel them gain­ing grip in real-time. Not just cor­ner by cor­ner, but me­tre by me­tre. And when they are up to temp, hang on, be­cause they’ve got to be worth



at least a cou­ple of sec­onds a lap (though even at that rate, noth­ing much else would have caught the R727 around Win­ton). But while that whop­per of a front hoop clearly sticks like a back-bencher to a travel pass, the down­side is that it kind of blunts the steer­ing feel a bit. Throw in the heav­ier en­gine and the MM ’Stang can feel a tiny bit re­mote.

But one el­e­ment that re­fuses to lose its ra­zor-sharp edge is that mon­ster mo­tor. It not only sounds tough, but it cracks on like crazy. The power is fe­ro­cious, but only in terms of its sheer amount, be­cause in de­liv­ery terms, it’s very lin­ear and pre­dictable, not some­thing you can say of all blown en­gines which can have a ten­dency to come on strong just when you need it least. That sort of be­hav­iour, of course, is the trade­mark of some­thing a bit un­sorted, and that’s not a crit­i­cism you could ever level at the MM car be­cause, like the best of the rest, it feels al­most fac­tory in the way it op­er­ates at low speeds and smaller throt­tle in­puts.

As a road car, it would ben­e­fit from less ag­gres­sive pads and a set of tyres that didn’t de­mand a burnout to hook up ini­tially, but those are all choices for the in­di­vid­ual. Be­yond that, the R727 does ex­actly what it says on the box and also high­lights what a great start­ing point the Mus­tang plat­form rep­re­sents. Which is kind of the point here: the MM treat­ment is work­ing to en­hance what is good in the ba­sic Mus­tang pack­age, not try to pa­per over the flaws and gaps of a knack­ers-bound nag. And that’s got to be the smart way to ap­proach any kind of mod­i­fied car.


Luffy points out the MM-727’s place in the lap time peck­ing or­der; its 1:33.4 just twotenths be­hind the time Luffy set in the new 474kW HSV GTSR W1; such was the MM-727’s grip that do­ing ac­tion pho­tog­ra­phy (be­low) was a real challenge, as even while...

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