All hail Australia’s fastest after-market-enhanced Mustang
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
THE END RESULT IS A BEEFY 543KW, WHICH IS ENOUGH TO GET IT TO 100 IN LESS THAN 4.3SEC
THE R727 HIGHLIGHTS WHAT A GREAT STARTING POINT THE MUSTANG PLATFORM REPRESENTS
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.
MUSTANG MOTORSPORT MM-R727
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 sideways it would gather speed at a tremendous rate