Ford flies Mus­tang mods

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Ford Aus­tralia has fi­nally ad­dressed the in­ex­pli­ca­ble lack of of­fi­cial fac­tory-backed, deal­er­fit per­for­mance up­grades for its Mus­tang mus­cle car.

Avail­able tweaks com­prise a per­for­mance ex­haust sys­tem for the V8pow­ered GT, sus­pen­sion mod­i­fi­ca­tions de­vel­oped by Ford Per­for­mance for all coupe vari­ants and a quick-shift kit for man­ual cars.

Th­ese cus­tomi­sa­tions can be ap­plied to new Mus­tangs with­out af­fect­ing the stan­dard three-year, 100,000km war­ranty, provided they are or­dered and fit­ted be­fore de­liv­ery.

Ex­ist­ing own­ers of 2016 and 2017 model year Mus­tangs can also have their cars retro­fit­ted with any of the ac­ces­sories with­out af­fect­ing the bal­ance of their fac­tory war­ranty, while the parts them­selves are sep­a­rately cov­ered for 12 months and 20,000km.

Hav­ing given Aus­tralian aftermarke­t tuners such as the re-born, Pro­drive­owned Tick­ford op­er­a­tion a free kick since the Mus­tang was launched Down Un­der in late 2015 with the pop­u­lar V8 at­tract­ing crit­i­cism for its muted note, Ford is now of­fer­ing a 2.5-inch man­drel bent sys­tem that re­places all plumb­ing rear of the cat­alytic con­verter for $3584 in­clud­ing fit­ting and GST.

It is fin­ished off by a pair of big-bore 4.0-inch tailpipe tips in a choice of chrome or dif­fuser-match­ing black.

Tick­ford of­fers cat-back stain­less steel per­for­mance ex­haust sys­tems in 3.0-inch di­am­e­ter for V8 Mus­tangs and 2.5-inch di­am­e­ter for Ecoboost vari­ants, both with quad car­bon-fi­bre tailpipe trims, at a cost of $3990 in­clud­ing GST and in­stal­la­tion.

Ford’s full track han­dling sus­pen­sion pack, avail­able for both V8 and Ecoboost four-cylin­der coupes but not con­vert­ibles, costs $4130 and com­prises low­ered springs, plus re­place­ments for the stan­dard front struts, up­per strut mounts, rear shock ab­sorbers, sway bars, rear tow links and toe-to-knuckle bear­ings.

As a com­par­i­son, the Tick­ford sus­pen­sion pack re­leased last month costs $3990 fit­ted and in­cludes low­ered springs, front mono­tube coil-over struts and rear mono­tube dampers.

But Ford Per­for­mance en­gi­neer Andy Vrenko said the sus­pen­sion kit was made up of a unique com­bi­na­tion of parts, none of which were avail­able any­where else.

“We wanted to make a prod­uct that would be com­pletely unique and spe­cial for this car,” he said.

Af­ter com­puter mod­el­ling us­ing Ford’s exclusive in-house engi­neer­ing tools and phys­i­cal hon­ing us­ing kine­mat­ics and com­pli­ance rigs and shock dyno equip­ment, the set-up’s fi­nal de­vel­op­ment and val­i­da­tion process took place on race­tracks and prov­ing grounds, in­clud­ing Ford Aus­tralia’s You Yangs fa­cil­ity in Vic­to­ria.

Ford de­scribes its engi­neer­ing goal of the track han­dling pack­age as de­liv­er­ing ‘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’.

“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,” Mr Vrenko said.

Cus­tomers with­out the need or bud­get for this full-house sus­pen­sion up­grade can go for a set of street low­er­ing springs that drop the ride height by 25mm, priced at $1260. The springs can be op­tioned in blue or black, with colour-matched coil cov­ers cost­ing an ex­tra $222.

Fi­nally, the short-throw shifter up­grade for any man­ual Mus­tang costs $805 in­clud­ing a Ford Per­for­mance gear knob, and re­duces gear­lever throw by 19 per­cent.

Ford Aus­tralia says the dealer-fit ac­ces­sories have un­der­gone ex­ten­sive lo­cal test­ing and engi­neer­ing as­sess­ments for com­pat­i­bil­ity with the Aus­tralian mar­ket Mus­tang spec­i­fi­ca­tion, plus com­pli­ance with Aus­tralian de­sign rules.

LOUD AND LOW: Ford has fi­nally weighed into the mas­sive Mus­tang mod­i­fi­ca­tion mar­ket with a hand­ful of of­fi­cial dealer-fit per­for­mance ac­ces­sories.

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