WHEN FORD BROUGHT the Mustang to Australia, it was an instant success – the flagship for a new age of V8 muscle cars after our home-grown heroes bowed out.
With the bowtie-clad Camaro soon to arrive on our shores, punters are now spoiled for choice in terms of platforms; and there appears to be no shortage of horsepower-hungry Aussies out there.
Aftermarket tuners are well aware of the demand, with many in high-gear developing and engineering high-end solutions for those wanting more stink out of their pride and joys.
Melbourne’s Mustang Motorsports are at the forefront of this new breed of V8 muscle cars, and have showcased their prowess with this flagship demo car.
Named the ‘Jackhammer’, this car started out life as an Orange Fury 2018 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 fastback.
However it has been transformed into a ballistic 710hp (530kW) monster thanks to Mustang Motorsport’s complete drive-in/ drive-out Roush Jackhammer package.
And it is so easy to do! All you have to do is rock up with a standard 2018 Mustang, select some customisable options on top of the broad standard equipment and the good folks at Mustang Motorsport will handle the rest.
It’s a compelling package, with factory quality fit and finish and a three year warranty to boot!
What else are you gonna get for that much money with that much power?
You buy a Mustang for say $70,000 on road, and toss in another, say, $40-ish [thousand]… call it a hair over $110 [thousand] and you get a new car with 700hp and a warranty!
Think about it this way; this is closest thing you can get to a Dodge Challenger Hellcat in Australia, let alone anything with that much gusto that’s covered by a warranty.
BODY: 2-door coupe
ENGINE: 5.0 litre supercharged V8
POWER AND TORQUE: 529kW 827Nm
PERFORMANCE: 0-100km/h 4.54sec
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
SUSPENSION: Double ball-joint independent MacPherson strut (f) Integral-link, independent, coil spring (r) WHEELS: 20 inch alloys
BRAKES: 380mm steel discs, Brembo six-piston calipers (f) 330mm steel discs, single-piston calipers (r)
PRICE: $108,415 as tested
To put that into perspective, you couldn’t even get a BMW M4 or a C63 AMG for that price – and the Jackhammer will both outgun and outrun either of them from a standstill.
So what do you get in the Roush Jackhammer package?
Well it starts at $41,800 without further options. And in that you get: a 710hp Roush TVS2650 Supercharger kit that’s completely ADR compliant in all seven states, and a driveline warranty from Mustang Motorsports valid for three years/60,000kms.
You also get extreme-duty half shafts, 20-inch black rims shod in 265/35R20 (front) and 285/35R20 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres; one-way base-height adjustable coilover suspension: and a slew of exterior aero additions including front bar, splitter, bonnet vents, side scoops; as well as various Roush badges, emblems and interior trim including an interior plaque bearing the Jackhammer name and serialisation and a serialised engine bay plaque.
There are further options too, if you fear ever parking your own Roush Jackhammer next to another that turns out to have been built to the identical tech-spec.
Various stripes and graphic options are available plus a choice of seating upholstery including a tempting Recaro seat base option, billet performance foot pedals, and quarter window vents as possible customisations. You can even spec up three-way adjustable ‘TrakPak’ coilovers for a further $2000 and Michelin Cup 2 performance tyres for $300 if you seek further racetrack capabilities.
Those Michelin Cup 2s may have been a welcome addition when we tossed JB the keys on a damp day up at Mount Dandenong.
It’s got an absolute god-like amount of power, and it certainly kept JB on his toes as he tasted its potential.
“Anywhere you are in the rev-range, it will pick up and go”, with just a flex of your big toe.
Giving it the full beans requires diligent forethought regarding the road ahead, as the horizon quickly rushes up to meet you at full tilt.
It’s reassuring though that the massive six-pot Brembos up front adequately keep your licence on you, and prevent you from ending up in the back of a divvy van.
While the price of the package may divide some, there’s definitely a place for firms like Mustang Motorsports in Australia. We’re a nation of power-hungry rev-heads and they’ve put together a top to bottom package that is simply unrivalled in terms of highperformance new-car capabilities.
If you’re after a recreational sports coupe and have a bit saved in the kitty to spend, Mustang Motorsport’s Roush Jackhammer offers new car sensibility and versatility, a well thought out interior with satnav and a fully digital cluster all with modern day muscle car appeal.
It’s got a three-year warranty, and is ADR compliant so you need not fear getting slapped with a canary in this modern day hot rod.
And best of all, it’s got enough oomph to spin the earth backwards at the first signal from your right foot.
BOASTING ALIEN AESTHETICS AND SPACESHIP PERFORMANCE, MCLAREN’S FLAGSHIP IS OUT OF THIS WORLD
WORDS & PHOTOS * ALEX AFFAT
SUPERCARS ARE usually bought with the heart, not the head.
And that’s long put McLaren on the back foot, with a back catalogue such as the original MP4-12C, and its facelifted sibling, the 650S. McLaren has always done things differently to the Italians.
Though brilliant engineering masterpieces, consumers found them lacking the theatre and pizazz – the emotion – that makes someone drop property prices on a car in this segment.
It’s a perceived lack of loin-stirring that had long seen the Woking marque trail in sales behind its competitors from Maranello and Sant’Agata – even though it consistently outperformed them on both paper and on track.
The arrival of the McLaren 720S in 2017 was a page turned anew however – an evolution of every innovation of its predecessors; it is far and away the most ballistic McLaren you can buy from a dealer, but it’s also the first that truly makes you want to.
The basic formula remains: a carbon tub – whose basic architecture underpins McLaren’s ‘cheapest’ (comparatively speaking) 911-rival to their million-dollar hypercars – and a mid-mounted twin-turbo V8.
The carbon monocoque now extends up the pillars, windscreen surround and the roof whereas in the previous 650S, the lightweight composite never extended above the waistline. While the more comprehensive carbon cabin adds cost; it also improves structural rigidity immensely, trims vital kilos of mass – and the butterfly doors are now hinged from the roof allowing for a much wider aperture for entry and egress as well as adding some much needed style points.
A further development of the 650S V8, the 720S engine has swelled in displacement to a 4.0lt capacity. New too are turbos, pistons, crankshaft as well as re-designed cylinder heads. Peak power output now stands at 530kW, massively outshining the preceding model’s 478kW – and heavily outgunning the Ferrari 488’s 493kW output and even the former Nurburgring-recordholder, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and its 471kW V10.
Haydn Baker, McLaren’s 720S Program Manager told our friends at Wheels magazine that the 720S is faster than the road-going racer 675LT, and would even beat the mega-exclusive and mega-expensive McLaren P1 around most circuits.
Such is the magic of the McLaren 720S’ splitpersonality, it will lap circuits faster than damn near anything on four-wheels that doesn’t have an extra zero attached to its pricetag, but also a car that can feasibly be used on the road and every day.
Visiting Lorbek Luxury Cars in Melbourne, we were immediately taken by this 2017 McLaren 720S.
On offer for $599,800 brand new with just 180 delivery kilometres on the odo; they tell us the car features over $50,000 in options and extras. The car is finished in special order Azores Orange, with carbon fibre exterior package. The interior is dipped in black alcantara, with a full suite of carbon accents and orange trim.
Further optioned extras include forged diamond cut alloy wheels with carbon ceramic brakes, and orange calipers with MSO (McLaren Special Operations) decals, glass roof, reverse camera, Satnav, active aero package, and a factory front suspension lift kit.
Yes, this McLaren has a stratospheric price tag, but everything about the car – the looks, the performance, the presence – is every bit as otherworldly.
ENGINE: 3994cc V8, DOHC, twin turbocharged
POWER: 530kW @ 7250rpm
TORQUE: 770Nm @ 5500rpm
GEARBOX: 7-speed twin-clutch
BRAKES: 390mm ventilated/ drilled carbon-ceramic discs, 6-piston calipers (f); 380mm ventilated/drilled carbon-ceramic discs, 4-piston calipers (r)
SUSPENSION: double wishbones, hydraulicallylinked adaptive dampers