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Ford’s new Mustang features a tricked-out drift brake feature for easier slides, but it might not come to Australia.

Australia could miss out on one of the headline items of the new, seventh-generation Mustang – the Electronic Drift Brake.

The new pony car was revealed in Detroit in September featuring a new track-ready trick, a rally-style handbrake that helps drivers slide the back of the car around. Ford hailed it as a “segment-first” and said it will be a key tool to attract a younger audience that aren’t just interested in the Mustang’s straight-line performance.

Unlike a traditional mechanical handbrake, the drift brake automatically returns to its standard position when you let go. Ford also said it provides significantly more force than a mechanical handbrake, allowing the driver to more easily slide the back of the car around.

It will also come with two different settings for drivers of differing abilities, with Ford’s press release stating the new brake has been “engineered for novice drivers to learn and improve their drift skills while also providing expert drivers with a competition-ready system”.

Ford even drafted in US drifting legend Vaughn Gittin Jr to help with the development of the drift brake. The two-time US drift champion put the Mustang’s drift brake through rigorous testing to ensure it was calibrated correctly for drivers of different skill levels.

 

In keeping with the theme of trying to attract a new generation of buyers who have grown up watching drifting – either in competition or movies – Ford proudly touted the drift brake will be customisable through third party specialists, so owners can have their own special handle to grab.

While critics might suggest the drift brake promotes ‘hoon’ driving on the streets, Ford said it only works in the ‘Track Mode’ and in all other settings works like a conventional electronic park brake.

The catch for the Australian market is the electronic drift brake is only available with the Performance Pack, an upgrade option in the US market that brings with it several key mechanical components that work in unison with the drift brake. These include, but aren’t limited to, a Torsen limited-slip differential, MagneRide active suspension and larger Brembo brakes.

ford mustang, ford mustang 2023, ford news, ford convertible range, ford coupe range, convertible, industry news, showroom news, sports cars
Ford drafted Vaughn Gittin Jr to help develop the drift brake.

The drift brake is available on both the 5.0-litre V8 powered GT or the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost model, as long as they have the Performance Pack fitted.

CarsGuide understands Ford Australia is still working through the final specification for locally bound Mustangs, and without the Performance Pack the drift brake won’t be available to customers.

Should Ford Australia offer the Performance Pack, either as an option or a standard feature on local Mustangs, there is a strong possibility the drift brake will be available to Australian owners.

ford mustang, ford mustang 2023, ford news, ford convertible range, ford coupe range, convertible, industry news, showroom news, sports cars
The drift brake is available on both V8 and four-cylinder models.

The situation is similar to the outgoing Mustang’s ‘Line Lock’ feature that was designed to allow the driver to perform a burn-out to warm the rear tyres before drag racing. The feature was available on US-spec Mustangs throughout much of its on-sale life, but only became available in the Australian market with the launch of the GT California Special; the final limited-edition variant that went on sale earlier in 2022.

A statement from the company to CarsGuide read: “The reveal of the seventh-generation Mustang at the North American International Auto Show was fantastic, and exciting for all of us in Australia as we confirmed that the All-New Mustang will come to Australia in late 2023. 

“We will announce Australian specification of the seventh-generation Mustang closer to local arrivals next year.”

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