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Ford Oz reprises R-Spec badge for 500kW Mustang

Mustang R-Spec coupe to pack more than 500kW and 800Nm – with Ford factory warranty

9 Oct 2019

FORD Australia has revived the R-Spec badge for a limited run of 500 supercharged Mustangs that are expected to send in excess of 500kW and 800Nm to the rear wheels when they rumble into showrooms early next year.


Available to pre-order from October 10, the R-Spec is the first time a Ford dealer network-backed, supercharged Mustang has been offered in Australia and will be available as a manual coupe only, priced at $99,980 plus on-road costs.


Ford Australia co-developed the Mustang R-Spec with Herrod Performance, the largest distributor of Ford Performance parts outside North America. Having undergone a factory testing and validation regime at Ford Australia’s You Yangs proving ground, it carries a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and the regular Blue Oval aftercare package.


Ford Australia is yet to publish official power and torque figures for the Mustang R-Spec but has confirmed to GoAuto that the supercharger used is the same as Herrod’s ‘2650’ kit that pumps 12 psi of boost into the 5.0-litre V8 to develop a hefty 522kW and 827Nm (up 179kW and 258Nm from standard).


As a reference point, the supercharged 5.2-litre Ford Shelby GT500 revealed at the Detroit motor show early this year also produces 522kW, enabling it to complete the 0-60mph (97km/h) sprint in 3.5 seconds and execute a quarter-mile (402m) pass in less than 11 seconds.


Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy told GoAuto the figure quoted by Herrod for its 2650 kit is based on the SAE measurement method rather than Australia’s adopted DIN standard.


That said, the final result will be far in excess of the 345kW and 556Nm produced by the special-edition Bullitt, which is the most powerful factory Mustang to be sold here to date.


Ford Performance partnered with Roush Performance to develop the 2.65-litre supercharger, which is claimed to “enable more power throughout the rev range with reduced noise and vibration for greater refinement and comfort”.


A lower front valance with larger intake is unique to the Mustang R-Spec, satisfying the increased airflow requirements of the supercharged engine’s aluminium intercooler and full-face radiator.


Herrod Performance has also supplied a sports exhaust with valve system to provide four intensity levels from ‘quiet’ to ‘racetrack’ selectable via buttons on the steering wheel.


The R-Spec rides 20mm lower on its firmer Ford Performance Springs than a regular Mustang GT, with a special software calibration for the standard adaptive dampers.


Adjustable Ford Performance stabiliser bars are fitted front and rear, respectively 5mm and 3mm chunkier than the standard items. Triple-compound Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres (265/35/19 front and 285/35/19 rear) are claimed to produce enhanced grip in the dry as well as reduced rolling resistance. Brakes remain unchanged from the naturally aspirated GT variant.


Herrod Performance managing director Rob Herrod said the two companies “worked together to ensure that we have a consistent product that delivers a driving experience that meets the expectations of a factory-delivered product”.


Styling touches exclusive to the R-Spec were penned at Ford Australia’s design studio in Broadmeadows, with the front valance mentioned above complemented by a bespoke gloss-black rear spoiler, with the same finish applied to the front grille and pony badge.


Matte black has been chosen for the wider 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels – 9.5 inches wide at the front and 10 inches at the back – and side stripes that reference the Falcon-based FPV R-Spec models of 2014. Matte-black stripe decals runs across the bonnet, roof and boot lid.


Ford designer Dave Dewitt, who led the exterior styling for the Mustang R-Spec, said he wanted the special edition to “stand out visually, even at a standstill”.


“That starts with the stance, and the unique 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels combined with the Ford Performance suspension package … the result is a meaner more aggressive attitude and more flattering silhouette, the car just looks ready to go.”


 “We’ve worked together to ensure that we have a consistent product that delivers a driving experience that meets the expectations of a factory-delivered product,” said Rob Herrod.


“The R-Spec has to be great to drive as well as delivering the added power and creaminess of the supercharger – it’s what customers expect, and what we have worked on as a team to deliver.”


As a 2020 model year Mustang, the R-Spec will include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring plus voice-activated satellite navigation and climate control. Audio is delivered via a nine-speaker B&O Play premium sound system with a sub-woofer and leather trim is applied to the sports seats and three-spoke sports steering wheel.


The 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster can be configured to reflect the selectable drive and steering modes or customised independently to suit the driver’s preferences.


Via this panel, the exhaust’s quiet mode can also be set to operate during certain time periods in order to avoid upsetting the neighbours. Conversely, it can also be used to engage launch control.


Standard active safety and driver-assist technologies include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist and self-levelling headlights.

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