Ford claims its upcoming V8-powered 2018 Ford Mustang GT will belt from zero to 60mph in “less than” four seconds, courtesy of an enhanced launch control system dubbed ‘Drag Strip mode’.
The updated Mustang was revealed in January, debuting some pretty significant styling tweaks and more than a few mechanical enhancements – including a power boost, although the company hadn’t revealed numbers at the time.
Ford has since revealed buyers in the US can expect can the 5.0-litre V8 GT hero model to deliver 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, marking a handy step up from the outgoing model’s 435hp and 400lb-ft.
In straight numbers, those new figures convert to 343kW and 570Nm – but, as Ford has noted previously, North America’s SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) power rating system differs significantly from the DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung, or German Institute for Standardization) system used in Europe and here.
And so it is that that the current Mustang lists 306kW and 525Nm in Australia – rather than 324kW/542Nm if converted from the US market’s 435hp/400lb-ft numbers – despite the engines and tunes being largely identical.
So, with the 2018 Mustang listing a jump of 25hp and 20lb-ft in the US, we can likely expect a similar boost for the local model – but a DIN-measured 343kW and 570Nm will not be on the cards.
Ford Australia isn’t saying what we can expect, or even that it will offer the so-called Drag Strip system here – although we do get the current model’s launch control system. The company has promised only that it will “let you know when we reveal details of the Australian-spec model”.
We miss out on the hoonerific line-locking ‘Smokey Burnout’ system, though, so anything with a name so wicked as ‘Drag Strip’ might also be left on the shelf…
Still, even if our 2018 Mustang won’t break below 4.0 seconds, the current GT is already well quick. Ford Australia won’t talk specific numbers, but Ford of Europe has confirmed 4.8 seconds for the manual, which compares with the US model’s 4.5-second 0-60mph claim – and our own testing delivered a 5.3-second run.
Of course, the times above are for the manual, but Ford’s press release today suggests the new acceleration number is thanks not only to Drag Strip mode, but also the newly introduced “quicker and smoother-shifting” 10-speed SelectShift automatic, which will replace the six-speed auto used by the current Mustang.
Ford hasn’t actually specified if Drag Strip mode will be available with the manual transmission, offering only: “Drag Strip mode is primarily controlled by the transmission and delivers a significant acceleration boost, eliminating the lost time usually associated with automatic shifting”.
Oh, and, incidentally… if you prefer the price or fuel economy of the four-cylinder turbocharged 2.3-litre EcoBoost model, that too will offer more power and Drag Strip mode.
Again in North American figures only, Ford confirms 310hp and 350lb-ft for the EcoBoost, marking a 30lb-ft increase. This, combined with Drag Strip mode and the 10-speed auto, promises a 0-60mph time “under five seconds”.
How all of this converts for Australia, exactly, will be revealed closer to the updated Mustang’s 2018 launch. We’ll just have to twiddle our thumbs until then.