5 times the Mustang has gone high-tech
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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.
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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.
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.
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.