Ford Drafts Mustang Aftermarket Parts Strategy By Byron Pope Staff Reporter The all-new 2005 Ford Mustang isn’t even on the streets, but already the automaker’s Racing Performance Parts business is working on ways to enhance the pony car’s image and performance. Ford racing has been working on a development program to evaluate all areas of the vehicle for several performance upgrades. Those parts will be included in an expanded aftermarket catalog from Ford Racing Performance Parts. According to Ford Racing spokesman Kevin Kennedy, the Mustang has long been the most-modified Ford product. “Mustangs of all different kinds are the major core of Ford Racing Performance Parts business,” Kennedy said. “It’s the largest part of that business and having parts in development and in production for the 2005 model is key. The Mustang is the most modified vehicle that Ford sells overall, so it’s important to have parts and pieces.” Although Ford hasn’t revealed exactly what parts will be available, it did say that the initial target for parts will be bolt-on items that will provide more engine power, as well as parts that offer enthusiasts visual distinction from an “off-the-showroom floor” model. The full array of available parts will be announced at the 2004 SEMA convention this November in Las Vegas. While working on the development of 2005 Mustang aftermarket parts, the folks at Ford Racing started considering another opportunity for the new generation sports car. “As we built up a development prototype, we saw the opportunity to take Mustang to the most extreme level of modification, by turning it into a race car,” said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. “So, with the help of a team of motor sports specialists from Multimatic, we began to investigate the possibility of a turnkey racer based off the new Mustang.” Although there are no concrete plans for a race ready version of the 2005 Mustang, Kennedy said there’s plenty of interest in grassroots racing. “As the development of parts and pieces was going on that was an added bonus,” Kennedy said. “There might be a market there for that type of vehicle, and that’s being investigated. That could be a major racing project on a grassroots level, there might be a good market out there for people who want the new Mustang in those kinds of series. We have the Focus Midget program and what we’ve learned is people want to get involved with racing and if you can get them involved in an affordable, grassroots way there is a good market out there.” What makes the idea of a turn-key Mustang racer even more intriguing is Ford’s 5.0 liter v8 crate engine, which produces 420hp and 370 lb-ft of torque and is easily installed. The cammer engine was used in the development of a prototype Mustang racecar code-named “Boy Racer.” “The key factor in determining the future of this Mustang race program will be providing a competitive race car in a package that stresses value and durability,” Davis said. “Other considerations include low operating cost, especially when it comes to engines, and we believe the Cammer V8 will set a new level of expectation.” cliffnotes: i had to type that out manually. i picked this up from downstairs.