Ford Racing just introduced what they're calling a "new way to affordably race" with their reveal of the all-new 2008 Mustang FR500S. The Mustang variant will be the heart of an all-new Mustang spec series for the Miller Cup, which they'll be calling the
Take The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge which will make its debut on tracks around North America in 2008. Wait, Ford Racing on "tracks?" Maybe "tracks" is just a euphemism for "drag strips." Hit the jump for the full press release from Ford. Oh, why'd we use the Borat headline? Because we could.
FORD INTRODUCES ITS FIRST FACTORY-READY RACE CAR; FORD MUSTANG CARS AND ENGINES HIGHLIGHTED AT SEMA
* Mustang racing adds the all-new Mustang FR500S competing in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup.
* The Ford BOSS 500 is the first modern-day nitro drag racing engine. It was designed by Ford and John Force Racing and will be rolled out in 2008.
* Ford Racing Performance Group offers line of performance 4.6L aluminum crate engines called "Aluminator," available as both long and short blocks.
* An all-new Ford Mustang V-6 appearance package adds excitement and exclusivity to the 2008 Mustang V-6 coupe.
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 30 - Ford Racing proves once again that Mustang is meant for the track with the company's first factory-ready muscle car and a series of other actions announced today at the 2007 Specialty Equipment and Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show.
Building on Mustang's racing heritage, Ford Racing is introducing:
* A new Mustang FR500S race car and racing series
* The Ford BOSS 500 nitro drag racing engine, featured in NHRA Mustang Funny Cars
* A line of Ford Performance "Aluminator" crate engines; and
* A Mustang V-6 appearance package new for 2008.
The Mustang FR500S race car
Building on Mustang's rich and successful racing heritage, Ford Racing is offering customers a new way to affordably race with the all-new 2008 Mustang FR500S. This car will be the heart of the all-new Mustang spec series, the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, which will make its debut on tracks around North America in 2008.
The FR500S was built on the production line at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Mich. Interior work was completed at Watson Engineering in Taylor, Mich.; the 4.6-liter 3-valve V-8 production engine was produced by Ford in Romeo, Mich., and sealed and dyno'd at Roush Industries in Livonia, Mich. It will retail for $75,000 straight from the Ford Racing parts catalog.
"Few manufacturers can say that they build race cars right on the production line, and we're proud to be one of them," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. "The FR500S provides customers and racers a chance to get into a high-performing vehicle that is durable, reliable and competitive - straight from the factory."
With the addition of the Mustang FR500S to the current stable of Mustang race cars including the FR500C and FR500GT, Ford Racing now provides customers a ladder of car offerings to help them climb up the ranks of professional racing.
The Ford BOSS 500 Nitro Drag Racing Engine
Racing enthusiasts know that the true heart of a race car is its engine - and Davis wants to make sure that the "heart" that powers NHRA Funny Car Mustangs of John Force Racing is pumping "blue" blood in the future.
Davis and John Medlen of John Force Racing challenged themselves to develop the new Ford BOSS 500, the first modern nitro engine for drag racing. The BOSS 500 was tested on-track for the first time on Oct. 18 and was unveiled for media today.
"We wanted to be in NHRA Funny Car with an engine that we really could call all our own," David said. "I wanted people to see a Ford Mustang race car and know that it's winning races with true Ford power."
Davis and Medlen looked at the current nitro engine, discussed where they felt it had weaknesses, and decided to design and build a new engine to address them.
The BOSS 500 is the first nitro drag racing motor designed with analytical tools. It has a strengthened block for better durability and new cylinder heads developed by Ford and Force engineers. The basic design will favor areas such as the main caps register and the main webs in the block. Its engine block also is anodized blue after machining, helping ensure fans and competitors alike know when they're seeing a Ford nitro engine under the hood.
Most of the external surface areas on the new 500-cubic-inch engine have been redesigned; a new belly pan was designed for better sealing; and the valve covers purposely call back the old Ford BOSS motors. The engine also features Ford main bearings with actual parts numbers in the Ford performance catalog.
"We had three things in mind when we set out on this project," Davis said. "First, for marketing purposes, we wanted to say that we were putting reality behind the term 'Powered by Ford.'
"Second, on the technical side, we have always helped out with aero, chassis development and now safety, but we always stopped short of the engine. This project has been a technical exercise for our engineers and the Force team to take the current motor, redesign it and make it
"Finally, we want fans to associate this engine with Ford and Force, but we also know this provides a new revenue opportunity for us," Davis added. "In Funny Car, the plan is for this to be a John Force Racing-exclusive engine at the start, but we do want to be able to sell it to Top Fuel teams for competition in the near future."
Davis said that the current plan is for new Force Mustang driver Mike Neff to use the Ford BOSS 500 engine full-time in 2008 as it goes through its development phase. The other Force Mustang drivers - John Force, Ashley Force and Robert Hight - will use the engine after it has been further developed.
Ford and Force Racing also are investigating a team to be the first development operation in Top Fuel, with a measured, commercial rollout to more competitors after it has gone through a prove-out stage in that division.
Mustang FR500GT for Rolex Series GT
Ford Racing has added another rung to the top of the Mustang racing ladder - the Mustang FR500GT, which is being homologated for 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class competition, starting with the 24 Hours at Daytona in January.
The Mustang follows on the heels of the highly successful FR500C in Grand-Am KONI Challenge competition and is reminiscent of the Trans-Am Mustangs from the 1970s. Closely aligned with the FR500GT competing for the FIA GT3 European Championship, this vehicle boasts a 5.0-liter V-8 engine, which is part of the Ford Racing Cammer engine family.
If the FR500GT is homologated, Jim Click of Arizona and his race team plan to compete for the 2008 Rolex Series GT championship.
Ford Racing also is looking for additional racing series where the FR500GT could compete.
The "Aluminator" Crate Engine
With the all-new "Aluminator" line of crate engines, Ford Racing further strengthens its reputation for building performance engines that are factory-quality, easy-to-install and priced right.
The foundation of these engines is the 4.6-liter engine block used in the Mustang GT with its new block featuring strength unmatched by any previous production 4.6-liter aluminum block.
The new "Aluminator" crate engine line features high strength and quality but also is affordable because of its high volume production.
Because components have been used in production vehicle applications, parts cost is minimized as well. Short-block prices start at $4,500 MSRP, making the "Aluminator" engines with all-new components comparable in price to aftermarket remanufacturing programs.
New V-6 Mustang Appearance Package
An all-new appearance package from Ford adds excitement and a design exclusive to the 2008 Mustang V-6 Coupe. It can be paired with the Ford Racing power upgrade package, the Ford Racing handling package - or both.
The V-6 appearance package includes 18-inch, five—spoke, polished forged wheels, providing an aggressive stance that complements the '60s-inspired styling. Additional features, including chrome billet grille insert, scoops, spoilers and blackout treatments come together to deliver a distinctive and integrated look.
Also available and tuned for the 2008 V-6 Mustang are the Ford Racing power upgrade and handling packs that can be used alone or in combination. Add a Ford Racing short-throw shifter for manual transmissions, and the V-6 Mustang is transformed with added performance and excitement.
About Ford Racing Technology
Ford Racing Technology, based in Dearborn, Mich., is responsible for major racing operations in North America, including NASCAR (Nextel Cup, Busch Series, Craftsman Truck), Grand American sports car racing, NHRA drag racing and USAC midget car racing. Ford Racing also oversees development and marketing of Ford Racing performance parts, and the marketing of the Ford Racing brand through initiatives such as Team Ford Racing. For more information regarding Ford Racing's activities, please visit www.fordracing.com