Ford Mustang R-Spec Arrives As Supercharged Pony Car For Folks Down Under

A revised suspension and active exhaust are also part of the package.

The Ford Mustang R-Spec packs a supercharged version of the pony car’s 5.0-liter V8 and is an official product from the Blue Oval’s Australian division. Don’t get too excited, though, because it’s only available for folks Down Under, and the model has a limited run of 500 units. Prices start at $99,980 AUD ($67,471 USD at current exchange rates) and deliveries begin in early 2020.

Gallery: Ford Mustang R-Spec

Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec
Ford Mustang R-Spec

Oddly, Ford of Australia doesn’t offer specifics about the engine’s horsepower output. The supercharger is a Roots-type unit that displaces 2.65 liters and runs at 12 psi of boost. Judging by these figures, this unit might be Ford Performance supercharger from earlier this year. The Blue Oval touted it as increasing the 5.0-liter V8’s muscle to 700 horsepower (522 kilowatts) and 610 pound-feet (827 Newton-meters) of torque. For additional cooling, there’s an aluminum intercooler and full-face radiator. The R-Spec only comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Ford of Australia builds the R-Spec as a collaboration with Herrod Performance, which is the largest distributor of Ford Performance Parts outside of North America. The firm supplies the vehicle’s active exhaust that has Quiet, Normal, Sport and Race Track settings.

The R-Spec rides on Ford Performance springs that make the car sit 0.787 inches (20 millimeters) lower than a stock Mustang GT. and there are MagneRide adaptive dampers. Adjustable stabilizer bars are 5 millimeters bigger in front and 3 millimeters larger in the back. It sits on 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. 

Aesthetically, the R-Spec gets a new front fascia with larger intakes and black surrounds around the daytime running lights. There are stripes over the hood, rear deck, and sides of the body. The rear spoiler and mirror caps get a gloss black finish.

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Australian-Exclusive Supercharged Ford Mustang R-SPEC To Arrive In Local Showrooms In Early 2020

The first Mustang to be sold through Ford dealerships with a supercharger, the Mustang R-SPEC offers a 5.0L V8 upgraded with Ford Performance powertrain components, suspension upgrades and specific Active Exhaust system

Developed through a collaboration with Herrod Performance as a second-stage manufacturer, the Ford Mustang R-SPEC is a special edition Fastback using genuine Ford Performance Parts

Herrod Performance is the largest distributor of Ford Performance Parts outside of North America, and has a strong track record of supply, fitment, testing and validation of Ford vehicles and componentry with high performance applications
Mustang R-SPEC includes a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty backed by Ford and Herrod, together with Ford Service Benefits, which include Service Loan Car Program, Auto Club Membership including roadside assistance, and SYNC 3 sat-nav map updates
SYDNEY, 9 October, 2019 – Ford Mustang enthusiasts in Australia can look forward to the latest local edition of the world’s best-selling sport coupe, as Ford introduces the Mustang R-SPEC to dealerships across Australia from early 2020. The special-edition model, with a strictly limited run of 500 units, is the result of a collaboration between Ford Australia and Herrod Performance, and brings Australian customers a Ford dealer network-backed, supercharged Mustang for the first time in history. Distinguished by a series of exterior design and interior elements, each Mustang R-SPEC will be individually numbered and badged. The model will be available for pre-order from October 10, with a Recommended Manufacturer List Price (MLP) of $99,9801.

“We have been working hard with Herrod Performance to deliver a supercharged Mustang to Australian customers,” said Kay Hart, President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “Now, working with Herrod Performance, we’ve been able to bring this special edition Mustang to Australian customers through our extensive dealership network, and with the peace-of-mind of five-year, unlimited kilometre warranties backed by Ford and Herrod.”

Available exclusively in the Fastback body with a 6-speed manual, the Mustang R-SPEC will be available nationally at Ford dealerships, and will deliver customers an individually-numbered, special edition Mustang with unique exterior treatments as well as a mechanical package that puts driving at the heart of its mantra. The supercharged R-SPEC was developed through a collaboration with Herrod Performance as a second-stage manufacturer. It will be added to the Ford Mustang line-up going in to 2020, bringing more choice, more power and more Mustang to Australian buyers. Completing the Mustang 2020 line-up are the turbocharged Mustang 2.3L High Performance and naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre GT model.

“Herrod Performance is so proud to be able to work with Ford on this special collaboration, bringing a unique Mustang R-SPEC equipped with genuine Ford Performance Parts, and honed with the expertise of both Ford Australia and Herrod Performance teams,” said Rob Herrod, Managing Director, Herrod Performance.

The R-SPEC customer will benefit from Ford’s Australia-wide dealer network, along with Ford Service Benefits that includes the Service Loan Car Program, Auto Club Membership, including Roadside Assistance, SYNC 32 infotainment system, including sat-nav map updates. Ford is also offering the $299* maximum service price payable for a standard A scheduled service for up to 24 months or 40,000kms (whichever comes first) at participating Ford Dealers.3 

“The Mustang R-SPEC is a vehicle that we’re immensely proud to deliver to enthusiasts,” said Ford’s R-SPEC program lead, Anna Hercan. “We’re even happier to deliver an ownership experience that brings the peace-of-mind and assurance of our dealer network, so that they can customise, own and enjoy this special edition Mustang with confidence.”

Mustang R-SPEC: A Collaboration with Herrod Performance

The 2020 Mustang R-SPEC is a collaboration between Herrod Performance and Ford in Australia. The development work and program has seen considerable testing and validation at Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground, with exterior design work carried out at the Broadmeadows-based design studio.

“The R-SPEC has to stand out visually, even at a standstill,” said Ford designer Dave Dewitt, who led the exterior enhancement package. “That starts with the stance, and the unique 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels combined with the Ford Performance suspension package. When we combine these functional upgrades with the unique design cues, the result is a meaner more aggressive attitude and more flattering silhouette, the car just looks ready to go!”

“The MY2020 colour palette lends itself superbly to the black treatment, but the details go beyond this. While the alloys and side-stripes – which hark back to the previous R-SPEC offered here in 2014 – are matte finished, the off-set striping, mirror caps and the rear spoiler have been given a gloss treatment to add more visual impact to the changes.” The exclusive rear spoiler is balanced at the front of the car, where a black Pony badge spearheads the R-SPEC’s impact. A unique lower front valence with larger air intake and black surrounds for the LED daytime running lights lead into the Over-The-Top stripes.

The cockpit of the Mustang R-SPEC features the full-suite of MY2020 Mustang conveniences and innovations. Sitting in the standard leather-trimmed Mustang sports seats behind the classic three-spoke sports steering wheel, the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster is fully customisable, and can be set to change in tandem or independently of the Mustang R-SPEC’s selectable drive and separate steering modes.

The digital instrumentation can also be used to set the Active Exhaust, which has been upgraded over the standard Mustang GT’s quad-tipped unit for greater performance and a distinct version of that signature Mustang V8 rumble. In addition, the standard Launch Control function can be accessed via the digital display, enabling a rev-point to be set and marked on the digital tachometer.

All MY2020 Mustangs include SYNC 32 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility4 as standard, including voice-activated sat-nav and climate control functions. In addition, the 8.0-inch full-colour touchscreen also hosts compatible smartphone apps such as Spotify, which enables owners to take full advantage of the B&O Play nine-speaker audio system, which includes a sub-woofer.

Standard Driver Assist Technology on the Mustang R-SPEC includes Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, as well as Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and self-levelling headlights5. 

LOCAL HERO: The Supercharged Mustang for Australia

The Mustang R-SPEC is the most powerful Mustang to be offered through Ford dealerships in Australia, and is tailored to the local enthusiast market. The supercharged model now complements the line-up, which offers customers a full range of turbocharged, naturally-aspirated and supercharged models, each with unique treatments and identities.

The Mustang R-SPEC uses a Ford Performance roots-type positive displacement supercharger, which provides greater, smoother throttle response, drivability and engagement for a potent yet refined, comfortable daily-driver characteristics.

With a 2.65-litre capacity and 12PSI of boost, it enables more power throughout the rev range with reduced noise and vibration for greater refinement and comfort. The system includes an aluminium high efficiency intercooler and full-face radiator, fed by the larger front air intake specific to R-SPEC.

Adding to the experience, a unique Herrod Performance exhaust has been fitted, ensuring the Mustang’s V8 soundtrack can be deployed through the Active Exhaust settings, with Quiet, Normal, Sport and Race Track modes selectable via the steering wheel mounted buttons. Like the Mustang GT, the Quiet mode on R-SPEC can be set for specific times of day via the digital instrument cluster.

“We’ve worked together to ensure that we have a consistent product that delivers a driving experience that meets the expectations of a factory-delivered product,” said Rob Herrod. “The R-SPEC has to be great to drive, as well as delivering the added power and creaminess of the supercharger – it’s what customers expect, and what we have worked on as a team to deliver.”

Power from the third-generation Coyote V8 has increased beyond the standard Mustang GT’s 339kW, and will surpass the 345kW output of the Mustang BULLITT to take the crown as the most potent Mustang offered by Ford in Australia. Despite this, the R-SPEC provides a greater power delivery yet maintains the user-friendliness and liveability of Mustang.

The supercharger has been subjected to Ford Performance’s punishing durability and testing regimes, which have enabled it to be fully supported by a five-year unlimited kilometre Herrod Performance warranty. This complements Ford’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the base vehicle, for customer confidence and ownership peace-of-mind.

The Mustang R-SPEC has been developed to take full advantage of the increased capability with Ford Performance components. New firmer Ford Performance springs lower the R-SPEC by 20mm compared to the regular Mustang GT, are teamed with MagneRide suspension as standard. The MagneRide system has a unique software calibration for the Vehicle Dynamics Module (VDM), which adjusts the damping rate 100 times a second, and is intelligent enough know that the R-SPEC sits lower to the road.

The handling package also sees Ford Performance adjustable stabilizer bars fitted: 37mm (+5mm) front and 25.2mm (+3mm) rear, for greater control and agility. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres as standard provide three different compounds across the treadface for greater dry grip and reduced rolling resistance. The black 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels measure 9.5-inches at the front, and 10-inches at the rear, an increase of 0.5mm for both.

The Mustang R-SPEC will be available through Ford dealerships in early 2020. 

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