(Darren Dugan) #1
44 march 2015

GT350R breed so early in the sixth-
gen’s lifecycle perhaps suggests some
crucial changes afoot for the pony car
in the mid-term future. Indeed, the GT’s
naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 must
surely be on borrowed timed in the face
of ever-tightening emissions and fuel
consumption legislation.
If Mustang is to continue as a
global product meeting European-
lead restriction while packing proper
performance credentials, a new
powerplant must surely be on the cards.
Or perhaps right in front of our faces.
That both the GT hypercar and F-150

Raptor premiered at Detroit with 3.5
litres of twin-turbocharged power
is a bold indicator of where Ford
Performance’s head is at with future
powertrain technology. Ford even went
to pains at the January show to point out
the format’s motorsport pedigree, stating
that: “the 3.5-litre Ecoboost engine...
powers a record-setting (IMSA Tudor
Championship) Daytona racing prototype
sports car as well as Ford cars, trucks
and utilities.”
With the vast majority of Europe’s
serious performance cars moving to
downsized forced-induction engines,

it’s perhaps a case of ‘when’ rather
than ‘if’ high-spec Mustangs move to
a more-powerful yet greener turbo-six
powerplant than the current eight. It’s
certainly feasible that ‘when’ could be
well within the six-year 2020 target,
offering the Ford Performance arm the
ideal forum with which to leverage its
expertise across numerous variants.
While most of Ford Performance’s
future output is wrapped in speculation,
what’s certain is Australia’s first taste
of the brand will be the updated Focus
ST in May, followed by the much
anticipated local launch of the Mustang.
Following in early 2016 will be the
red-hot Focus RS, which has been
confirmed for Australia. While details
of the successor to 2009’s bespoke
limited-edition hatch are thin on the
ground – rumours that front-drive may
be ditched in favour of all-paw traction
are as yet unconfirmed – the revamped
RS set for world-wide release is expected
to produce in excess of 240kW from its
2.3-litre four-cylinder engine shared
with the entry-level Mustang. M

After the Mustang,
it’s the turn of
the Focus RS to
bolster Ford’s local
fast car lineup –
the second-gen
RS sold up a storm
here in 2010


Artist’s impression



44 march 2 015

Or perhaps right in front of our faces.
That both the GT hypercar and F-15 0

serious performance cars moving to
downsized forced-induction engines,

Artist’s impression
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