The 2015 Mustang might finally be joining the 21st century with independent rear suspension, but, apparently, it can’t give up on its roots entirely. Rumor has it that the ‘body in white’ of the new Mustang will be sold with a solid rear axle.
So what’s the big deal? Well, independent suspension not only means better handling and ride, as the wheels can adapt independently to the road conditions and the extremity of the turn, it also makes for better traction. That’s because both wheels get maximum contact with the road.
So why, with all these advantages, would Ford want to sell a solid-rear-axle version? Two words: drag racing. Well, really it should be three words, because cheapness is also in there. A solid or ‘live’ rear axle is much better for drag racing because of the increased road contact it allows when trying to put massive power down in a straight line. It is, as I mentioned, also much cheaper to make.
All this might explain why a Ford Racing representative told Gas2 at the Performance Racing Industry Show that Ford is planning on releasing a special edition with a nine-inch SRA.
So is this good news? Well, it certainly is for people interested in drag racing. It means that they get a crack at using the new Mustang out on the strip. It also continues the Mustang’s heritage of being a capable dragster.
The downside of all of this is that, while the solid rear axle is now just a limited option, it means that Ford hasn’t quite given up on the idea of the Pony Car as an old-school American performance car. That sounds okay, but, really, if Ford wants the Mustang to compete with German and Japanese sports cars, it has to be focused on road and track performance. And those two goals conflict with each other.
Regardless, we will just have to wait and see what the future of this American classic holds. And solid rear axle or not, the 2015 Mustang is exciting.