Around the time of the announcement of the 2015 Mustang, Ford said that there would be a feature of the new car that would be the first in a production car. Rumors started to swirl on whether the feature would be a form of burnout control. During a gathering of Mustangs for the 50th anniversary of the car at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ford confirmed the new car will have an electric line lock system that fits the description of burnout control. Ford wants this car to be serious.
Line lock systems perform a very simple function. They allow the driver of the car to only brake the front wheels. With no brake pressure on the rear wheels, they are free to spin unrestricted under power. This makes it easy to do a burnout in the burnout box on the drag strip to warm up the tires before a run.
To perform a burnout on a car without a line lock, the driver must use the brakes to hold the car in place. This applies brakes to the rear wheels. This means the wheels have to fight the rear brakes as well as the ground to break traction. This causes unwanted wear to the rear tires and makes it more difficult for them to break loose to build up heat.
Before the Ford implementation in the new Mustang, drag racers would have to install a mechanical line lock system to separate the front and rear brakes. The electronic system in the 2015 Mustang allows the driver to activate it at will through the track apps function. Giant smokey burnouts at will? We like that.
The electric line lock isn’t the only feature on the Mustang designed for the drag strip. All Mustang GTs with the manual transmission will also have launch control. This system takes over the traction control to allow just enough wheel spin to launch as fast as possible. On the dragstrip this system will help the driver achieve more consistent lap times than if they didn’t use the system at all.
Between both of these new systems, Ford has made it clear that it wants the new Mustang to be a weekend drag racer in classic muscle car fashion. They are also trying to stay one step ahead of the competition from Chevrolet and Dodge. Recently at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, Dodge unveiled a new Challenger that has launch control. The Camaro also has that feature.
Ford also intends on the 2015 Mustang to be able to dominate a road course. The independent rear suspension will improve handling and power delivery to the rear wheels. The previous generation Mustang was almost as quick around a racetrack as a BMW M3 for a lot less money.
Muscle cars have come a long way as sports car. In the past, the idea of taking a Mustang to a course like the Streets of Willow Springs and having it perform like a world class sports was just crazy. Chevy’s new Camaro Z/28 has proven that the Camaro can be a road course monster. These new muscle cars have technology in them that was once exclusive to supercars.
The Mustang should appeal to the classic muscle car buyer with the 5.0L engine, smokey burnouts and drag strip performance. They are also attempting to draw in a new type of muscle car buyer who appreciates technology and sophistication. It would not surprise us to see a rush of 2014 sales before the new car arrives, but on paper the new 2015 seems dressed to impress.