Ford has revealed the first supercharged Mustang to officially hit Aussie shores, the homegrown R-Spec, which will start under six-digits and be offered with a full five-year warranty.

Developed by Ford Performance in conjunction with famed tuner Rob Herrod and his company Herrod Performance, the R-Spec model will fill the place of a hotted-up Shelby Mustang, due to the lack of an import program for such a thing, so that the blue oval has a car that can truly rival the feisty Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 which Drive Section just recently tested.

Just 500 R-Spec models are set to be produced on a tiny production line inside Ford’s Campbellfield facility where regular dime-a-dozen Mustang GTs will be transformed by a team of Herrod Performance staff who have been trained by Ford Australia to produce this thing to a true OEM standard.

Starting with the GT’s 339kW/556Nm 5.0-litre V8, a massive 2.65-litre Roush supercharger with a new lower intake manifold and water-to-air intercooler, a larger 87mm throttle body, new fuel rails, and a variant-specific Borla exhaust is all thrown at it to turn things up to a burly 522kW and 827Nm according to Ford’s preliminary figures, although it has noted that final power figures may change.

For comparison’s sake, that puts it 45kW ahead of – but 54Nm behind – the Camaro ZL1 which should make for an interesting competition between the two.

Worth noting is that the R-Spec will only be offered with a six-speed manual like the recent Bullitt special edition model – enthusiasts, rejoice! – with Ford Australia claiming that this is due to the traditional customer base for its limited-run cars preferring manuals to autos, although word does have it that applying similar modifications to a warrantable automatic Mustang proved too challenging.

Backing up the extra power, the R-Spec has also been fitted with adjustable roll-bars and progressive rate springs that dump it by 20mm with appropriately re-tuned MagneRide dampers.

New Ford Performance rims, the Shelby GT350’s rear wing, and some gloss-black accents above its belt-line and satin-black accents below add some visual changes too. Grabber Lime, as shown here, and Twister Orange are the only exterior colours currently confirmed for it, with the full range yet to be announced.

Where the Ford one ups its close Chev rival, as noted earlier, is in it offering a full five-year factory-backed warranty which Ford Australia is confident enough to offer due to its confidence in Ford Performance’s engine mapping.

Due to it starting life as a factory right-hand drive car, the Mustang R-Spec is also considerably cheaper than the right-hook-converted ZL1, with this ‘Stang priced at $99,980 before on-road costs.

The 500 examples of the Mustang R-Spec are set to hit showrooms sometime in early 2020, while the model will see its public debut when Dick Johnson takes it for a series of demo runs at Mount Panorama as part of the events surrounding this year’s Bathurst 1000.

Patrick Jackson
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