Ford flies Mustang mods
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.