Ford Mustang R Spec production has slowed as the Melbourne facility assembling the cars is also being used to make thousands of emergency medical masks to help health authorities battle the coronavirus.
However, Ford says customers in the queue should not experience any significant delays because its build schedule has changed to prioritise cars that already have deposits placed on them.
The Ford Mustang R Spec supercharged V8 limited edition is being assembled in a factory adjacent to the Broadmeadows production line that once built the Ford Falcon, but fell silent when manufacturing ended in October 2016.
The same facility where the Ford Mustang R Specs are being assembled has also been making medical masks since the start of April, with 51,000 produced so far. Current output from the site is 6000 medical masks per day.
Local Ford Performance guru Rob Herrod has been putting the finishing touches on the limited edition Mustang R Spec since January at a rate of 6 cars per day.
However, in recent weeks production has slowed to 4 cars per day while emergency medical masks are made under the same roof to help health professionals battle the coronavirus.
The Ford assembly area – where the Mustang R Spec supercharger kits, stickers, bodywork, exhaust and suspension are fitted – is scheduled to produce 500 cars from January to June this year.
It is one of the few Ford production facilities in the world still turning out cars during the global pandemic, although it is an assembly area rather than a mass-production line.
“There should be absolutely no delay in customer cars,” said Herrod. “We’ve gone from producing six cars a day to four cars a day because the same facility is being used to make medical masks, and we of course 100 per cent support those efforts.”
However, Herrod said, Ford was now prioritising its build schedule to ensure cars that already have a customer name on them are built first.
“At this stage we’re not building cars for dealer stock, we are building the cars that have a paid-up deposit on them. We want to get those cars to customers as quickly as possible,” said Herrod.
While all 500 examples of the Ford Mustang R Spec have been sold to dealers, a handful remain available after some customers backed out of their deal for financial reasons.
The 300th Ford Mustang R Spec was built in the past week, meaning the project is more than half way to being completed.
The cars have not been built in numerical order; for example Ford Australia has kept build numbers 1 and 500 so it can auction the vehicles at a later date.
At this stage there are no plans for an automatic version of the Ford Mustang R Spec – a six-speed manual transmission is the only option after initial testing found the 10-speed automatic experienced cooling issues when handling so much power.
The Ford Mustang R Spec is powered by a supercharged V8 with approximately 522kW/830Nm on tap. It is priced from $99,980 plus on-road costs.