MT Fans Mustang Suspension Flames

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • MBella MBella on Jun 24, 2009

    Well Bojack, not everything can be as exiting as cars turning left for several hours.

  • Volvo Volvo on Jun 24, 2009

    I have an 89 5.0 LX. The best part about it is that the LRA lets you have an exciting ride within the speed limit. :) Next best is the top goes down. Finally it is really inexpensive to maintain.

  • King Bojack King Bojack on Jun 24, 2009

    MBella: Even the Nascar road courses (they exist) are more exciting than F1. Every F1 race I've ever seen is bullshit dull because they have a field of what seems like 15 cars each one 2+ seconds apart on the track. They even manage to make the pit stops dull by having 40 guys and only one lug nut per wheel or something and cars so light you can jack them up with a hand truck. Indy is similar to F1 and still manages to be more entertaining. Tractor pulls are better than F1.

  • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Jun 26, 2009
    Indy is similar to F1 and still manages to be more entertaining. Tractor pulls are better than F1. It depends on what constitutes exciting. Nascar et al is exciting in the same way that Deal or no Deal is. Basically it's not really about driving any more than the cheap trills of pointing at a box and finding a possible prize. That said, modern F1 is about the worst display of driving talent ever. The few instances of real racing is brilliant, but the system is very risk averse.