5 times the Mustang has gone high-tech

You might be surprised…

1y ago

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The Ford Mustang might be many things to many people, but you may not have it filed on your mental list of high-tech cars. That list is probably reserved for your motorsport-inspired track outcasts, your autonomous pioneers and alternatively fuelled trailblazers. But don’t be too hasty to forget about the Mustang. There are times when the Pony vehicle has been a technological pioneer – or at least pushing the boundaries of what we consider normal for a road car. Here are five times the Mustang has gone high-tech.

Bugatti-rivalling brakes

Optional features shown

Optional features shown

It’s been true since the very first Ford Shelby Mustang back in 1965 that adding power has always gone hand-in-hand with beefing up brakes. Back then, Carroll Shelby’s tuning firm added disk brakes to the front axle when they upped the stock Mustang’s horsepower. Fast-forward to the 2020 model year range and you’ll find an equally thorough approach to stopping power. The new Mustang Shelby® GT500® has massive 420mm diameter steel front brake discs to rein in the ludicrous acceleration provided by its 760hp V8. That means it has the same size brakes as a Bugatti Chiron. Pretty impressive no?

World-first crash safety

The 1967 Shelby GT500 turned the already rapid GT350 into a proper monster. Out went the 350’s 4.7-litre V8 and in came a massive 7.0-litre unit with 355hp. But to enhance the car’s performance credentials, it was given a padded rollover bar behind the seats, used to mount the seatbelts.

Machine learning

From belts and braces to, erm, bytes and places. The infotainment screen in the Ford Mustang Mach-E runs software that uses machine learning to adapt itself to your daily life and use of the car. It’ll learn your regular journeys and automatically suggest setting the sat-nav. For example, if you regularly go to the gym on weekdays at lunchtime, when you hop in the car at 1pm on a Wednesday it’ll suggest directing you there.

Flat-plane crank engines

Oh boy. Another bit of straight-up race-car tech, the 2016-on Shelby Mustang GT350 features a 5.2-litre Ti-VCT V8 with a flat-plane crank, packing 526hp. For boring technical reasons we won’t go into, a flat-plane crank engine is a lot more ‘motorsport’ and emits a more exhilarating howl than a regular burbling cross-plane crank V8. The lack of counterweights in a flat-plane engine also means it spins up far faster, giving the GT350 a super-sharp throttle response.

High-tech entry

For decades we’ve been relying on keys to get into and out of our cars, which, when you think about it, is about as modern an idea as the wheel itself. The Mustang Mach-E shakes things up – it will let you use your phone as a key, with a Bluetooth(R)* connection to the car. Should the worst happen and your phone runs out of battery, you can still get into your Mustang Mach-E by tapping in a PIN on a digital touchpad on the B-pillar. It all looks very Knight Rider…

Have we missed something?

What do you think is the coolest bit of tech on a Mustang? Perhaps you think we should’ve included line lock – because who doesn’t love simple smokey burnouts? Let us know in the comments!

Shelby and GT500 are registered trademarks of Carroll Hall Shelby Trust.

*The Bluetooth word mark is a trademark of the Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

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Comments (26)

  • If this ugly new electric home appliance that has the same name as one of my favorite cars has a self-destructing mode, I'd appreciate that.

      1 year ago
  • Yes 1984-85.5 Mustang SVO. Koni adjustavle suspension. Intercooled Turbo, faster than GT.

      1 year ago
  • I don't see the point in using your phone to get in the car. Is it really that hard to press a button on a key fob or use a key?

      1 year ago
    • The way I imagine it working is it wouldn't even require you to pull out your phone. It would just detect the connection and unlock once you attempt to open the door.

        1 year ago
    • Yes but that is just a gimmick that would be very expensive to fix if it went wrong

        1 year ago
  • Ford must be paying you a pretty penny to keep trying to shove this appliance pos down everyone's throat so often.

      1 year ago
    • He's literally making me unsub the whole drivetribe by advertising that f#cking trash of an suv that someone in their wet dreams thought is gonna become an iconic car.

      Now to the author, in the name of all things holy, just stop this,...

      Read more
        1 year ago
    • People do write articles for the readership and those get promoted all the time. These sponsored articles are in retrospect few and far between. However, in order for this website to exist, Drivetribe needs to pay the bills by writing some...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • The brakes as big as the ones on the Chiron surprised me the most.

      1 year ago