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When we first drove the 2010 Mustang GT back in December, our test car included the optional Track Pack which includes an upgraded suspension and unique 19-inch Pirelli tires. Needless to say, we loved the track pack upgrades as we blasted through the canyons near Malibu. Unfortunately for early buyers of the 2010 'Stang, the Track Pack was a late availability option. Fortunately, buyers don't have to wait much longer as the Track Pack is slated to finally arrive this summer.

If there is one important lesson to be learned from the premium German automakers, it's that having lots of personalization options can be highly profitable. With that in mind, there are a seemingly infinite number of parts available from Ford Racing including both go-faster bits and visual accouterments. The gold 2010 that won the Ford Racing invitational this past weekend was equipped with a variety parts including a functional "shaker" hood scoop. Another offering from Ford Racing is the FR3 handling pack which includes an inch lower ride height, stiffer springs, stiffer sway bars and retuned dampers for $1,335. Thankfully, unlike most aftermarket parts, the official stuff from Ford Racing comes with a full warranty, and upgrades are also available for both V6 and GT models. Check out the official press release after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

ENTHUSIASTS CAN ADD NEW FACTORY TRACK PACK FOR 2010 MUSTANG, INSTALL FORD RACING PARTS

  • Factory-installed Track Pack option features upgraded suspension parts, unique tuning and special 19-inch Pirelli summer tires for enthusiasts seeking even more performance
  • Track Pack is available this summer on 2010 Mustang GT coupes with manual transmissions
  • Car and Driver magazine selects 2010 Mustang fit with Track Pack as best muscle car in comparison test versus Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger
  • Parts from Ford Racing's FR3 Handling Pack available for enthusiasts seeking even more - backed by warranty and available for self or dealer installation

DEARBORN, Mich., June 10, 2009 - The 2010 Ford Mustang, now in dealer showrooms, builds on a proud, unbroken 45-year heritage of Fast, Fun and Affordable with an all-new exterior design, available cutting-edge technology and performance enhancements pioneered on Ford's extensive racing and special programs.

One hallmark of Mustang's enduring popularity is the opportunity to customize this American icon. Enthusiasts who have personalized and customized Mustangs range from legends, such as Carroll Shelby, to professional drivers to hobbyists who enjoy a weekend at the track.

For those customers interested in more-aggressive performance, an optional factory-installed Track Pack is available this summer for 2010 Ford Mustang GT coupes with manual transmission. Ford Racing's FR3 Handling Package also is available for those enthusiasts who want even more aggressive suspension tuning and can be installed in their garage or at a Ford dealer. Car and Driver magazine recently declared a 2010 Mustang equipped with a Track Pack the winner in a comparison test against the new Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, calling the body control of the Mustang with the Track Pack "astounding."

For decades, the Mustang has been the preeminent car in many forms of racing compiling victories and championships on road courses all over the world. In just the last few years Ford Racing's Mustang FR500C captured the European GT4 drivers championship (2007, 2008) and the Grand-AM KONI Challenge championship (2005, 2008).

"At Ford, we always apply what we learn at the track to the street," said Fritz Wilke, Mustang Performance/Enthusiast Manager. "The Track Pack and Ford Racing FR3 Handling Pack continue that heritage and give our performance customers great ways to have an even sportier experience in the 2010 Mustang GT coupe."

Packaged aimed at performance enthusiasts
Both the 2010 V-6 and GT models feature improved handling, but Team Mustang wanted to create a distinctive option package aimed at performance enthusiasts. Starting with the 2010 GT manual coupe, the engineering team was able to create a package that hits the sweet spot.

The first ingredient was to add a high-performance summer tire, and the 19-inch Pirelli P Zero P255/40ZR-19 proved to be an inspired choice for improved grip. Ford's engineering team then went to work on the underpinnings of the 2010 Mustang GT coupe, using Ford's proven technology from the Shelby GT500 program.

The front and rear stabilizer bars from the 2009 Shelby GT500 complement the Pirelli tires and help balance the Track Pack 2010 Mustang GT coupe front to rear. The struts and shocks were retuned for the increased capability of the new tire and stabilizer bar changes. The engineering team also spent significant time at the track to ensure the Track Pack was rewarding on the track and offered a balance of spirited driving and track prowess.

The roll gradient (how much the car rolls while steering) was reduced nearly 13 percent compared with the base 2010 Mustang GT. Damping was increased by 23 percent in the front and 8 percent in the rear in the low- to mid-speed compared to the 2010 Mustang GT.

"By reducing the roll gradient, the car stays flatter in turns," said Tom Barnes, Vehicle Engineering Manager, 2010 Mustang. "And when the car is flatter, the driver is more in command and more confident in what the car's doing.

"Great handling comes from great control. A driver's control of the vehicle is facilitated by information. This Track Pack communicates to the driver through the tires and suspension so well that is it easy to drive very quickly. It rewards smooth driving, while offering great capacity to cover driver error."

Looking at all areas for improvement
In addition to the hardware changes and extensive tuning, the Ford team also took a more holistic approach to improving the Track Pack Mustang.

"Handling is not just chassis," Barnes said. "Vehicle dynamics - how the Mustang responds under acceleration and braking - is important as well."

The solution from the powertrain part of the equation was to use a 3.73 limited-slip axle with carbon-fiber clutch plates.

"The 3.73 axle allows for a more-responsive Mustang, especially at mid-range speeds," Barnes said. "The carbon-fiber plates allow a very robust architecture in terms of temperature and repeated hard driving on the track."

Performance® Friction brake pads, which better resist brake fade, are used front and rear. Both the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and AdvanceTrac were retuned to complement the advanced capabilities of the new tires and brakes. AdvanceTrac is standard on the 2010 GT coupe and can be operated in any of three modes: On, Off or Sport.

"The Track Pack covers all the bases," Barnes said. "The new tires give the Mustang more grip, we have a more-responsive acceleration, better brake linings that are more consistent over time and the car is tied down better because of the changes to the bars and the shock tuning."

"Track Pack has the grip, the handling and it has the 'go.' And it absolutely can be used as a daily driver. Track Pack offers the best of both worlds - great performance on the track or if you're cruising down the road."

Ford Racing's FR3 Handling Pack features components proven out on the racetrack. Included in the pack are dampers, lowering springs, sway bars and a strut tower brace.

"The FR3 Handling Pack is derived from our extensive experience with the Ford Mustang FR500C competing in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge and FIA GT4," said Andy Slankard, Engineering Supervisor, Ford Racing.

Enhancements from the FR3 Handling Pack include:

  • Ride height lowered by more than 1 inch
  • Increased spring rate by about 75 pounds to improve turn in and mid-corner performance
  • Front and rear sway bars stiffened to eliminate roll
  • Re-tuned dampers, increasing the compression and rebound

The Track Pack retails for $1,495 while the FR3 Handling Pack retails for $1,335.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it possible to make any more variations of the for Mustang. I swear I read about a new one every week.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't realize that announcing the availability of an option was making another 'variation.' It's simply saying that the car in all the reviews is finally available for sale.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is how they manage to sell so damn many. A Mustang for everyone.

        One for the secretary
        One for the freeway cruiser
        One for the road racer
        One for the drag racer
        One for the stop light racer

        Pretty smart don't you think?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mr.Oak:

        Three Mustangs for the office girls down in the town,
        Seven for the 'boomers in their homes of wood,
        Nine for Street racers doomed to die,
        One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
        In the Land of Motown where the Shadows lie.
        One Mustang to rule them all, One Mustang to find them,
        One Mustang to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
        In the Land of Motown where the Shadows lie.
        • 5 Years Ago
        See I always thought it made sense to have Ford (or dealers for that matter) offer custom parts on new vehicles. For the average consumer picking options out of a catalog is pretty simple and they get to finance the whole thing. Hey, what ever happened with that supercharger option from the factory they mentioned in the 2010 unveiling? Is that in the catalog?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The writer seems to forget or is too young to remember that it was the Mustang that started the endless options list profit margin sales in the first place. It was a brilliant move on Fords part, maybe one of the last good moves they made. 1974 was the year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Am I missing something, or did you mean 1964? 1974 was the year of the Mustang II, and that car's brilliancy is debatable...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Variations allow manufacturers to sell more..is that so hard to understand???


      The Germans do it with more frequency, with less hate.

      Good for you Ford! The car looks great in Gold!

      • 5 Years Ago
      You know, you wouldn't need all of this fancy track pack crap if Ford would just do it right and install IRS.

      The Camaro SS pulls just as many Gs as a Mustang with the track pack. And the Camaro is 300 pounds heavier.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah it performs better...with performance enhancements (not like the same one that Ford drivers use...).

        Tweak the Camaro's suspension and it will get better too.

        HOWEVER...if you compare a STANDARD SS (.90g) with a STANDARD Mustang GT (.85g), the properly done Camaro will walk all over the Mustang.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Glory:

        Shouldn't you be driving your "man" truck???

        Anyway, the Camaro pulls about .90-.91g on the skidpad. The Ford donkey with the silly track pack pulls about .92-.94g.

        *All stats taken from numerous car mags and web sites and the average noted.

        But I wouldn't expect a blind fanBOY to deal with the actual facts...just their own twisted facts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford tried to use an IRS in 99-04 I think, and the additional cost just wasn't something that the mass customer base of the Mustang would support. The bulk of Mustang buyers are interested in a car that has stop light to stop light capabilities rather than track ability.

        I have spent hours and thousands to maximize the capabilities of the IRS on my 99 Mustang and unless there was a speed bump every 2 feet in a 260 degree turn, a slightly tuned stick axel will give you the same or better results. I believe the car needs to be designed from the ground up with an IRS in order to make it worth while from a performance/capabilities stand point. The IRS in the Mustang Cobra was a half assed effort and didn't work out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wrong grasshopper.

        However, we will never let facts get in the way of hate.

        Most of the tests show a marked difference between the track pack Mustang, and the Camaro SS............... and it is rather dramatic. The average margin of difference is .07G' and 3mph in the slalom.

        Pretty good for a buggy axle. :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      someone plz ban this *ucker already
      • 5 Years Ago
      test
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am i the only one the noticed the white Raptor already on a dealer lot to the left of the stang? Are they for sale already?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll bet you could name that song in less than 3 notes. Good spotting Mike.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That was one of two raptors on hand, but not on any dealer lot. That was the Ford Racing Invitational at Milan Dragway. Raptor is not on sale till late summer.

      • 5 Years Ago
      My owner just got a Traxxas Slash RC with the F-150 Raptor body on it. In the orange color. Not for sale to the public yet. We already have 26 pre-orders, 10 of them are for the 5.4L. We get to see both Raptor and Raptor-R all the time as the owner is one of the racers. Wait till the Raptor movie in IMAX comes out this summer.

      This truck is going to be AWESOME.

      On the Mustang parts. To each his own. Some like the ride some don't. Also every one bitches about the live axle, yet the Mustang seems to always be close, and sometimes ever surpasses the ability of the Camaro & Challenger.

      @ Sandy;
      What generation Mustang was it you rode in? The 2005+ is made much better now with much less squeaking.

      • 5 Years Ago
      These packages (FR3) and similar are not for everyone. I bought a Mustang a couple years back with all of the firm suspension options and similiar to the Track Pac and I used the car daily. Our roads (New Jersey) are so full of pot holes, poorly repaired construction sites, site repaved that later sunk 2 inches or so, below the rest of the pavement, and old road in need of repair, making that Mustang THE most uncomfortable ride on earth! Bang bang bang down the road, which in turn created many squeeks and rattles within the car. My wife said it felt as though Ford had welded the wheels to the frame and left off anything even close to shock absorbers. She was correct.
      It turned an otherwise nice and very enjoyable Mustang, into what rode and sounded like a junk wagon.
      SOoooo, it you are gonna use the dar daily, just get a GT with the GT standard suspension. It's plenty stiff enough for the 25-55 mile per hour you'll be doing going to work, school, the lake, the shore, the hardware store, and anyplace else. Leave the super stiff stuff for the track cars. The tracks are smooth and no poorly fixed construction sites!
      • 5 Years Ago
      SO is the 'track pack' and FR3 package completely different? I ask because both kits include larger swaybars. If you order your Mustang with both packages do you now own 2 sets of swaybars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That one inch lower ride height really makes the car look good. I would definitely go for the FR3 option if the ride quality did not deteriorate too much.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Trying to post a photo of my lowered stang.

        http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=121876&id=1490452617
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Mike - looks good in green.

        You realize you're gonna end up with a bazillion facebook friend requests now, right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was once told by a ford engineer that worked on the Mustang that the ride hight was set to accommodate the ramps required to load and unload the car for either the trains or the car carriers. That was the reason for the 4x4 look. They must have a new way to load the car or they took another look because they couldn't believe that it was necessary to have a 2" gap between the top of the tire and the fender. The rear of the car could still use a little lower stance for my taste.

        Good work Ford.

        /Users/mikemoran/Desktop/IMG_0435.jpg
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been amazed at how well the Ford has been doing in tests against the other pony cars.
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