We explore 10 of the fastest Mustangs offered in recent memory.
- shares

As one of the most prolific muscle cars ever made, the Ford Mustang has a long and significant history.

In this list we will focus on the most recent shape of the pony car, the FN and FM models, looking at some of the most iconic models to ever wear the Mustang badge.

While not all of the variants listed here are available in Australia, we're still spoiled for choice, with options for buyers who want a performance Ford with a bit of heritage, a proper driver's car, or just a coupe offering big horsepower.

Here are the Top 10 fast Ford Mustangs.


10. Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

Engine: 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8
Performance: 393kW/582Nm
Price: US$61,635

While we never got it in Australia, the Shelby GT350R was widely touted by those who know, as being the driving enthusiast's choice from the entire Mustang line-up. Designed as a track version of the highly-praised GT350, the R lost its rear seats, gained Recaros up front, and had worked suspension to get the most grip from the ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres fitted to carbon-fibre wheels (made by Aussie company, Carbon Revolution, no less).

But the car's centrepiece was its 5.2-litre V8 engine. The flat-plane crank – a feature normally associated with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren – provided a soundtrack which elevated the GT350 to cult status among enthusiasts in the US.


9. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Engine: 5.2-litre supercharged V8
Performance: 567kW/847Nm
Price: US$74,095

This is the most powerful production vehicle Ford has ever made – which is saying something for an American car company with a strong history of making muscle cars. The Shelby GT500 is the only Mustang to use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, sending power to the rear wheels via a limited-speed differential, which gets its own oil cooler to keep temperatures down.

A launch control system helps the driver get all 567kW to the ground, resulting in a claimed 0-96km/h (0-60mph) time of 3.3 seconds, and 10.7 seconds down the 400 metre (quarter mile) drag.


8. Ford Mustang Shelby Hertz GT350-H

Engine: 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8
Performance: 306kW/530Nm
Price: US$399 per day in 2016

One of the most desirable Mustangs ever made was the 1966 Shelby GT350-H – with the H meaning Hertz. The vehicle was designed and built just for the rental car company, giving people the opportunity to experience a proper muscle car for a weekend. Jump forward to 2016, and Ford produced a new GT350-H to celebrate the model's 50th anniversary.

While the newer version used the same powertrain as the regular Mustang GT, it did get the black and gold livery made famous by the Hertz Mustang, as well as a few other styling enhancements. It also helped introduced the V8 Mustang to a whole new generation.


7. Ford Mustang Bullitt

Engine: 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8
Performance: 358kW/569Nm
Price: $73,688 plus on-road costs

As an homage to one of the most famous movie cars of all time, the Mustang Bullitt came with Dark Highland Green paint, retro 19-inch wheels, special badging, and a few other styling changes.

Mechanically, the Bullitt also received some tweaks, with the 5.0-litre V8 from the Mustang GT massaged to around 358kW, with the only transmission option a six-speed manual featuring a white cue-ball gear knob – just like Steve McQueen's car in the film. Seven hundred examples of the special Mustang Bullitt made it to Australia with a price tag of $73,688 plus on-road costs.


6. Ford Mustang R-Spec

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Performance: Estimated 522kW/830Nm
Price: From $99,980 plus on-road costs

What do you do if you're Ford Australia and you really want a supercharged Mustang? You make one yourself. The Mustang R-Spec was our answer to the GT500, using a 2.65-litre supercharger kit from Ford Performance/Roush in the US and putting out north of 500kW.

Power is only estimated, as Ford never officially provided performance figures, curiously. Working with local tuning house Herrod, the R-Spec was limited to just 500 examples, and featured upgrades front-to-rear, with engine, suspension, and styling changes delivering a truly unique high-performance Mustang to the Australian market.


5. Ford Mustang Mach 1

Engine: 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8
Performance: 345kW/556Nm
Price: From $83,365 plus on-road costs

In reviving a long lost nameplate, the recently-announced Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a bit of a parts-bin special – but to dismiss it as such does the car a disservice. The Mach 1 borrows some of the best bits from a wide variety of models across the Mustang line-up, with the powertrain from the Bullitt, an intake manifold and oil cooler from the Shelby GT350, and aerodynamic bits borrowed from the Shelby GT500.

Suspension components have also been donated from the Shelby Mustangs to give the Mach 1 the sharpest steering response on an Australian pony car, according to Ford. Unlike the Bullitt and the R-Spec, the Mach 1 is available with a choice of either automatic or manual transmissions.


4. Ford Mustang Tickford Trans-Am

Engine: 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8
Performance: 400kW/620Nm
Price: From $32,995, plus a car

The Tickford Trans-Am pays its respects to legendary racing car driver, Canadian Allan Moffat. Moffat's Australian Touring Car Championship career blossomed in a Ford Mustang Boss 302, given to him by Ford management in the US. The Tickford Trans-Am features livery replicating the Boss racing car, and comes with upgraded suspension, a 400kW engine tune, and wide 20-inch Minilite-inspired alloy wheels, as well as a number of interior enhancements. The biggest difference with the Trans-Am is you'll have to purchase a red Mustang beforehand, and organise delivery of the vehicle to Tickford's workshop in Melbourne.


3. Ford Mustang Harrop S550 GT TVS2300

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Performance: 550kW/800Nm
Price: Approximately $112,066

One of the oldest performance Mustangs in this list, Harrop's supercharger kit pushes power close to the Shelby GT500, offering a claimed 550kW and 800Nm. Plenty of attention has been given to the Harrop Mustang, with a more subdued exterior styling package, premium Alcantara interior, and plenty of suspension and mechanical upgrades added for the money. Among those, Harrop's own differential replaces the unit from Ford, while Shockworks improves things in the suspension department.


2. Ford Mustang SM17 by Herrod

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Performance: 578kW/810Nm
Price: Approximately $125,000

Another tribute to a racing car legend we've adopted as our own, Herrod recently announced its own special edition Mustang, the SM17 – named after Supercar champion Scott McLaughlin, with 17 denoting the number on the door of his Mustang race car. Using a 3.0-litre supercharger kit, the SM17 gets a healthy 578kW from its 5.0-litre V8 – the second most powerful Mustang in this list – as well as lowered suspension, adjustable anti-roll bars, and 20-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres. It's expected approximately 100 will be available locally, with around 30 heading to McLaughlin's home country of New Zealand.


1. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Hennessey Venom 1200

Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V8
Performance: 895kW/1356Nm
Price: US$100,000+ estimated

Hennessey decided its Venom 1000 kit (with 746kW) wasn't quite enough, so it created the Venom 1200. Arguably the most wild road-going Mustang available to buy, the supercharger is swapped out for a pair of turbochargers, helping to crank the power to 895kW and torque to 1356Nm when running on E85 or race fuel. To handle the extra power, the clutch pack is upgraded. Hennessey doesn't do much for the brakes or suspension on the GT500, instead focusing its attention on extracting as much power from the V8 as possible.