Global demand for the new 2018 model has driven Ford Mustang to its third straight year as the best-selling sports coupe in the world, while its social media status as world's most hashtagged auto proves that passion for this motoring icon is stronger than ever with fans of all ages.
It now runs the Fusion in the top-tier Cup series and it is the oldest make on the grid after Chevrolet introduced its new Camaro for 2018, a year after Toyota brought an updated Camry. But instead of a four-door sedan, it's the two-door Mustang.
While other engine configurations are eligible under the Gen2 regulations, the Mustang will continue to use the current 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8.
Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman wouldn't be drawn on whether the arrangements with Penske and Tickford constituted a "factory effort", saying that it is a "partnership" but MOTOR understands Ford Performance is heavily involved with the development of the Mustang racer.
There are no such issues with the ST, which has been sourced from Europe previously and will find a home here under the newly launched Ford Performance brand, along with the Focus ST and RS, Mustang and Ranger Raptor.
While the new Ford Fiesta ST has been confirmed for our market, the core models of the next-generation light hatch are unlikely to come Down Under.
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Separately, Ford said it will bring the Mustang to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series for the first time, beginning at Daytona in February 2019. Last year Ford Australia backflipped on its plan to release an official 500kW Roush supercharger kit for the Mustang.
A close-up of the new 2018 Ford Mustang.
Both racing outfits are understood to have already undertaken exploratory mechanical and aerodynamic research on the Mustang, which will require significant body modifications to fit over the control Supercars platform.
"As racers, we just wanted to focus on one change for 2019". It can run on just two cylinders while coasting or cruising to save fuel. Don't expect to see him back behind the wheel, however.
Teams are required to hold a Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) for every entry they field, and there are only 26 in play at present.
It would be the car's first entrance in the top league of the racing competition, after several years of experience gained in the lower tier Xfinity Series.