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Mustang line-lock locked out

Burnout function outlawed by ADR but Mustang specialists could reactivate: Ford

21 Jan 2016

FORD'S freshly launched Mustang GT will not be given the track-focused line-lock function that allows for the perfect burnout when sold in Australia, but the feature could be reinstated by automotive electronics specialists says the company.

A popular feature on drag racing cars, the line-lock is a system that allows the application of front brakes independently of the driven rear wheels, allowing a controlled wheel spin prior to a run, but the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has deemed such systems illegal in road cars.

However, speaking at the local launch of the new Mustang, Ford Mustang project chief engineer Carl Widman told GoAuto that the system depended on software alone, and could potentially be reactivated by companies with specialised equipment.

“It’s in software, we just turn it off,” he said. “I’m sure there are really smart people out there who will figure it out if there is a market just like anything else.”

Mr Widman said that he had communicated directly with the local authorities regarding the feature but explained that it had been hard to justify a system that was effectively designed to perform an illegal act if used on public roads.

“It's regulation. Australia and New Zealand have the hooligan law and to sell it here, it could not have that feature.

“I empathise with the regulation having talked to them directly, but it is a feature that is intended to do smokey burnouts, so it’s hard to explain that feature if they read our literature on it or watch the video on it that we created as a press release.”

Mr Widman said that compared with infinitely more complex engine remapping processes that are also available by independent companies in the US, turning on the line-lock would be a relatively simple operation.

“You go online in the US and you can buy calibrations for the 2.3 (Mustang EcoBoost) that will over boost it, you can buy calibrations for the 5.0-litre.

Those are full engine software but this is a case of someone with simple software.”

The line-lock feature is part of the Track Apps options menu which also offers a Launch Control function for maximum acceleration from a standing start, but the Launch feature is unaffected by ADR.

While the Mustang has arrived in Australian and other right-hand drive markets largely unmolested, a number of changes have been made to conform to local Australian Design Regulations (ADR).

The slender and more elegant US-spec door mirrors have been fattened up for a larger field of view and are now electric to allow them to fold out of harm's way when the vehicle is locked.

Cooling-boosting and tougher-looking bonnet vents that are fitted to V8-powered GT Mustangs in the US have been removed for our market as they contact the engine beneath in the event of a pedestrian collision and impair a potentially life-saving crumple zone.

United States road regulations state that the tail-light lenses must be coloured red even when the light is not illuminated, but the absence of such local stipulation means Australian Mustangs have a cool white rear light cluster instead.

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