THE supercharged Ford Mustang has come to Australia. From late April, you can order a Ford Performance-backed supercharged V8 Mustang packing 499kW that should destroy the sprint to 100km/h in less than 4.0sec.
Renowned Ford performance-car specialist Rob Herrod will supply uprated Mustangs as fully complied models through his Melbourne-based operation, only a few kilometres from Ford’s soon-to-close Broadmeadows factory.
The Herrod Performance Mustangs, as they will be officially known, will be fitted with factory Ford Performance parts – from the Eaton supercharger to suspension packages and more – shipped directly from Detroit, building on the 306kW peak currently offered by Ford in the Mustang GT.
Starting at around $75K, they land in the heart of Clubsport R8 territory, but with more grunt than HSV’s 430kW $90K GTS flagship.
Herrod is finalising details on at least two performance kits that involve plucking parts from the expansive Ford Performance catalogue to create Mustangs tailored for Australia. Herrod has also developed some parts locally where required.
“We’ve put packages together to suit the Australian market,” Herrod told Wheels. “Like the exhaust system – we worked on it with Ford and Borla; it’s not the American exhaust. The American exhausts won’t last here in Australia [due to stricter noise limits]; we’d get EPA letters within a week!”
Herrod’s hot Mustangs have been years in the making and come with the engineering nous of Ford’s US-based Performance division as well as Herrod’s extensive local muscle-car experience, which involved developing high-performance versions of turbocharged and V8-powered Falcons.
“We became a Ford Performance parts dealer around three years ago, with the intention of working with them towards Mustang … anything that’s in the Ford Performance catalogue, we sell.”
Key to the plan to sell high-performance Mustangs is the inclusion of a Ford Performance warranty. The warranty for vehicles with Ford Performance parts fitted by Herrod means owners will easily be able to register and insure these Mustangs – especially crucial as Ford’s own Shelby Mustang won’t make it to Australia.
The Shelby models – which feature a 392kW 5.2-litre V8 with a flat-plane crank for a ferocious roar – won’t be available through Ford Australia because they weren’t part of the Mustang’s ‘global’ program from their germination and are therefore not complied in right-hand drive.
“When we were doing the GT350, the Mustang was an unknown globally at the time,” Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi told Wheels when he visited Australia in October, “and I think it was the global marketing team that wanted to take it one step at a time.”
Offering high-performance components was something Ford Australia said it was pursuing when Hameedi visited Australia last year. But to date it has introduced only performance kits for Fiesta and Focus from British-based Mountune; it’s still working on getting Ford Performance products into local dealerships by the end of 2016.
“In its initial phases, it’s not going to be as large a catalogue as is available in the US,” said a Ford Australia spokesperson. “There are some key components that we’re working on for Australia. Different homologation standards, rules and laws … we’ve got to do our due diligence and get through the process.”
Herrod insists that his company is not in competition with Ford Australia and is keen to work with them. So what would happen if the local arm began importing and selling Ford Performance parts through its official Australian dealer network? “It doesn’t worry me,” Herrod said. “I will just keep doing what I’m doing … I have the answer.”
Now watch our Ford Mustang vs Holden Commodore SS-V Redline drag race video.