Ford has finally answered the call for supercharged power in its iconic Mustang muscle car – by developing a special R-Spec limited edition right here in Australia.
Just 500 examples will be made, priced from $99,980 plus on-road costs. They are due in showrooms in early 2020.
While there are no official performance claims, the same Ford Performance supercharger kit offered in the USA is rated at an epic 522kW of power and a staggering 830Nm of torque – up from the standard 5.0-litre V8's output of 339kW and 556Nm.
At 700 horsepower in the old money, it makes this car the most powerful vehicle Ford has ever sold in Australia.
The Ford Mustang R-Spec will be assembled inside one of Ford's old factories at Broadmeadows, not far from the Falcon production line that rolled to a stop in 2016.
All cars will be individually numbered from 1 to 500 and come with unique wheels, exhaust, suspension and decals.
Only a six-speed manual transmission will be available. The 10-speed automatic is not an option and the company says there are currently no plans to add one. "(Automatic transmission) is not impossible but there are no plans to develop one at this stage," said a Ford Australia spokesman.
The Mustang R-Spec meets all Australian Design Rule requirements and has been emissions tested locally, so it is able to be sold as a "full volume" model if Ford decides to build more. Its fuel rating label shows an average consumption figure of 14L/100km versus 13L/100km for the standard Mustang V8. The city cycle test is 21.2L/100km and the highway figure is 9.8L/100km.
For the tech heads, the Mustang R-Spec uses a Ford Performance roots-type positive displacement supercharger, which is said to deliver a smoother throttle response. According to Ford it is “a potent yet refined, comfortable daily-driver”.
“With a 2.65-litre capacity and 12psi of boost, it enables more power throughout the rev range with reduced noise and vibration for greater refinement and comfort,” the statement from Ford says.
The system includes an aluminium high efficiency intercooler and full-face radiator, fed by the larger front air intake unique to the R-Spec.
The supercharger was developed by Ford Performance in the USA in partnership with Roush Performance. However, local assembly will be done by Herrod Performance at a shared facility with Ford at Broadmeadows.
The Ford Performance springs are 20mm lower than standard and matched to magnetically controlled suspension which adjusts the damping rate 100 times per second.
Meanwhile, the Ford Performance adjustable stabilizer bars are 5mm bigger in diameter on the front (to 37mm) and 3 mm bigger in the rear (to 25.2mm).
The 19-inch wheels are staggered, as with the regular Mustang GT, but are half an inch wider to 9.5-inch on the front and 10-inches on the rear. However the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S are the same size as the standard car – 255/40/19 front and 275/40/19 rear – potentially creating a challenge to get all that power to the ground.
The President and CEO of Ford Australia, Kay Hart, said in a media statement: “Working with Herrod Performance, we’ve been able to bring this special edition Mustang to Australian customers through our extensive dealership network, and with the peace-of-mind of five-year, unlimited kilometre warranties backed by Ford and Herrod.”
While the standard Mustang V8 has service intervals of 12 months or 15,000km (whichever comes first) the Mustang R-Spec service intervals are six months or 10,000km.
The capped price service package remains $299 per visit, up to two years or 40,000km. And the car is covered by Ford's five-year warranty.