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Ford Mustang gains Drag Strip mode

Dragging on: Despite plans for Ford’s new-look Mustang to land in Australian showrooms by mid-2018, the brand’s local arm is yet to divulge any local specification details, including if the new Drag Strip mode will be included.

Sub-four second zero-to-97km/h time for Ford’s updated 10-speed auto V8 Mustang

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Ford logo26 Jul 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

FORD has revealed its facelifted V8-powered Mustang will blitz the zero-to-60 miles per hour (97km/h) dash in under four seconds, thanks to a new Drag Strip launch control mode and 10-speed automatic transmission.

However, Ford Australia is yet to confirm if the new feature will make it on to Australian-spec vehicles due in Australia by mid-2018.

Unlike the Mustang’s line-lock burnout function that was deemed illegal in Australian road-going cars by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, a launch control function is already offered in the manual pony car and across other vehicles ranging from the Renault Megane to Nissan GT-R.

Therefore, the Drag Strip mode is expected to make its way into both the 5.0-litre V8 and 2.3-litre EcoBoost Australian Mustangs when they land in local showrooms around the middle of next year.

Drag Strip mode will be one of five selectable driving modes in the new Mustang and, according to Ford, “is primarily controlled by the transmission and delivers a significant acceleration boost, eliminate the lost time usually associated with automatic shifting”.

American-spec bent-eight Mustangs pump out 343kW of power and 569Nm of torque from the 5.0-litre engine.

When equipped with super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres found on the optional Performance Pack and new 10-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, the Mustang in Drag Strip mode will scare the likes of the BMW M4, Porsche 911 Carrera and HSV GTS-R W1 to the landmark triple digits.

Ford will also offer its new launch control function in the turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost Mustang, which now churns out 231kW/475Nm, for a 0-97km/h time under five seconds when the Performance Pack and 10-speed automatic are added.

By comparison, current Aussie-spec Mustangs – powered by either a 306kW/530Nm V8 or 233kW/432Nm EcoBoost four-cylinder – powers from zero to 100km/h in about 5.0 and 6.0 seconds respectively.

The Blue Oval has yet to divulge if its Drag Strip mode will be made available in three-pedal Mustangs as well – which already feature a launch control function – or if the feature is exclusive to 10-speed automatic versions.

The newly developed 10-speed auto replaces the outgoing six-speed unit and is designed for faster shift times and better low-end response, according to the brand.

Ford Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann said the new Drag Strip mode was the perfect complement to the new 10-speed unit.

“Typically, when you shift gears, you give up time,” he said.

“In Drag Strip mode, the engine torque doesn’t drop when you’re shifting. You get peak engine torque and horsepower straight through, thanks to our new Ford-built 10-speed transmission.

“Gearing matters, and in Drag Strip mode, this car launches better than ever off the line.”

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