MT Fans Mustang Suspension Flames
Motor Trend‘s Angus MacKenzie recently got some seat time in the new Shelby GT500, and calls it “a pretty impressive piece — fast, loud, and blessed with the best steering ever in an American Car.” “But,” writes MacKenzie, “the thing that annoys me most about the GT500 — about the whole 2010 Mustang range, for that matter — is the live rear axle. It’s the wrong technology, done for the wrong reasons; emblematic of the cynical ‘near enough is good enough’ attitude from Motown management that helped drive Detroit’s automakers into a ditch.” And thereby restarted a squabble that makes the global warming debate look like a lover’s spat.
MacKenzie claims that the Mustang was planned around the Autralian Ford Falcon’s independent rear suspension, but that “product development executive Phil Martens reportedly managed to convince Bill Ford Jr. he could save Ford $100 a car if the Mustang was switched to a live rear axle.” Plus, thanks to MacKenzie’s “well-placed sources” we learn “that once the noise, vibration and harshness, and driveline angle issues were solved, the S197’s live rear axle actually ended up costing Ford $98 per unit MORE than the low cost independent rear end originally developed for the car.” MacKenzie darns this boondoggle to heck, arguing that only “a tiny fraction” of Mustangs are drag raced regularly, thus justifying a solid rear axle. In the comments section, a horde of Mustang fanatics demurely dissent. And as embarassingly old-school as the live axle is, would the Falcon’s IRS really have improved the Mustang much?
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