According to the engineer in charge of development for the new 2016 Ford Mustang, the rabid demand for the vehicle in Australia has been noticed at Ford HQ in the states and will be taken into account when any future RHD development is entered into.
It means Australia will potentially have access to more potent performance variants of the Mustang when they are released in the States.
“We’re very aware of how popular the Mustang has been since it was launched in Australia,” says Mustang Chief Engineer Carl Widmann. “The US is very aware of how popular the initial launch of the Mustang has been in Australia.”
In town for the local launch of Ford Australia’s new hero car, Widmann has seen first hand the excitement for the Mustang, spoken to dealers desperate to get their hands on more stock and listened to the feedback from Ford Australia PR on just how short-stocked Australian Ford dealers will be.
“Australia is a very important market for us,” Widmann said. “In fact, we consider it our most significant RHD market and we also consider Australia to be right at the top in terms of markets overall.
“The excitement for the car, the understanding of the history and tradition and the way Australian fans have embraced it before it was even available, is significant.”
As such, Australia – and what Australian buyers want – will play a role in any future RHD Mustang development.
“That’s absolutely the case,” Widmann said. “A market with as much demand as Australia, that has the potential to grow the way Australia can, is very much worthy of being involved in development decisions.
“It’s a strong position to be in to influence global development for RHD vehicles.”
Australian buyers can see the beginnings of that process in the fact that all Mustangs sold here will get the performance suspension package as standard fitment. It’s something that is optional in the United States.
“That’s one example, but there will be more examples of where we can tailor things to Australian cars,” Widmann said.
Above: this one’s a no, but the next-generation Mustang GT350 could be a starter for Australia.
Unfortunately, given the timeline of development, Australia will miss out on the GT350 version of the current model, but, based on Widmann’s comments, the future will almost certainly be a different story.
If the price is right, you can force significant sales for performance variants of the Mustang in Australia.
CarAdvice presses Widmann further on why Australian delivered Mustangs will miss out on the coveted ‘Burnout Mode’ that the US cars get.
“Regulations, basically,” he says. “It’s just software though isn’t it? It’s not that hard to tweak, and I’m sure some clever local tuners will work their way around that pretty quickly!”