With all the attention that the 2020 Shelby GT500 Mustang is getting, it can be easy to forget that sometimes the international market can sometimes produce an equally compelling piece of candy that is just out of reach of U.S. customers. In this instance, Ford’s Australia division has just unveiled an all new Mustang variant that is sure to draw heads, and comes with enough horsepower to lay down some rubber on Australian backroads.
Dubbed the R-Spec, the idea of a Mustang being on the same performance spectrum as the GT500 may make alarm bells ring at first. But once you look at the finer details, you realize that this is a uniquely different animal. Starting out life as a Mustang GT, the R-Spec is a collaboration between Ford Performance and longtime Australian tuner Herrod Performance, with the car featuring a mixture of parts from the two firms. Herrod in particular is one of the biggest tuning firms in the country, and made a name for itself tuning and modifying the long departed Ford Falcon. But back to the Mustang, where the 5.0 liter Coyote V8 carries over but comes equipped with a Ford Performance Rousch supercharger that helps boost output to 700 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque. These figures apply to a U.S. spec car that is equipped with the same supercharger, so we will not be shocked if the R-Spec is matching these figures digit for digit. An active exhaust system helps the R-Spec loudly broadcast its performance intentions, while Ford Performance magnetic dampers, lowered springs, adjustable stabilizer bars, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires all play a part in keeping the car firmly planted to the road during spirited riving, or the track during weekend race events.
The exterior styling also undergoes a whole suite of changes, and while the car Ford Australia featured in its press release is adorned with Grabber Lime green paint, orange, white, and even blue will also be available for those that prefer to explore the rest of the color range. Black accents and equally distinctive stripes help add a bit of visual contrast, while a tidy yet subtle R-Spec badge is found on the trunk lid where one would normally see a GT or Shelby badge. While the R-Spec is not coming to the U.S. market anytime soon, buyers looking to replicate some of the R-Spec’s charms can achieve a similar result by spending some quality time on the Ford Performance Parts website. A key advantage for Australian buyers though is that they will be able to buy these models straight from the dealer with a full warranty.
Ordering for the R-Spec is currently open for Australian buyers, with pricing starting at $67,450 in U.S. dollars. Ford and Herrod are limiting production to a mere 500 units, and as mentioned earlier, this model is an Australia only special with no other country getting added to the R-Spec allocation list.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.