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Racetrack experience makes for a nimbler Mustang


Ford engineers drew on experience gained in motor racing and special models like the Bullitt Mustang to make the 2010 Mustang nimbler and more responsive

The solid rear axle is retained – Ford hasn’t gone the independent rear end route like rivals Dodge and Chevrolet did with their Challenger and Camaro pony cars.

All 2010 Mustangs get a three-link rear suspension with a panhard rod. AdvanceTrac traction control and ABS anti-lock brakes also are standard.

AdvanceTrac uses sensors to detect and measure yaw, or side-to-side skidding, by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle.

When AdvanceTrac senses wheel slippage, it reduces engine torque and applies the brakes as needed.

AdvanceTrac can be run on or off with the V6. In the V8-engined GT, it can be run in on, off or Sport mode, which allows drivers to push it more while still retaining control.

“We adjusted the springs, stabiliser bars and shocks to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models, which results in a more engaging driving experience,” says chassis engineer, Tom Barnes.

“The 2010 Mustangs feel more controlled for steering and handling, yet retain a good ride balance.”

Tyres and wheels go up an inch right across the range. V6s have 17-inch wheels as standard; the V8s get 18-inch. A 19-inch Pirelli Summer tyre is optional.

The chassis developed for the special edition Bullitt was used as the basis for the GT’s. A tower-to-tower brace gives additional torsional and lateral stiffness to improve cornering for buyers selecting the 19-inch tyre.

Design and engineering teams focused on honing the car’s aerodynamics to improve the drag and lift balance.

“We’ve reduced the drag coefficient, which measures the ability of the Mustang to slip through the air, by four percent in the V6 models and seven percent in the GT models,” says product design engineer Steve Parks.

“In addition, we reduced the front aerodynamic lift for the 2010 Mustang by 37 percent for V6 models and 23 percent for GT models, which significantly improves steering feedback and driver confidence at higher speeds.”

Two handling packages are available as optional extras.

A GT Track Package, available only on manual cars, includes performance front brake pads, a 3.73 axle ratio, and recalibrated AdvanceTrac.

The GT Track Package II, also only available with manual gearbox carts has performance front/rear brake pads, GT500 Sta-Bars and rear lower control arms, retuned struts and shocks, 19-inch Pirelli Summer tyres, 3.73 axle ratio with carbon plates in the differential, and recalibrated AdvanceTrac traction control and anti-lock brakes.


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