After five decades of utilizing solid rear axle (SRA), the 2015 Mustang will feature an independent rear suspension (IRS) system as standard equipment. And while the move away from a live rear to a more complex independent setup will undoubtedly make the new pony more attractive, composed, and compliant on uneven and badly-paved streets for most drivers, there is one subset of Mustang buyers who do not welcome the change: those who plan on seriously drag racing the new pony.
So to meet the needs of drag racers who are focused on making their ponies go as fast as possible in straight-line quarter-mile bursts, Ford Racing is developing a solid rear axle kit for the sixth-gen S550 Mustang, according to the folks at Road & Track.
To note, a solid rear axle kit to replace an independent rear suspension won’t be an industry first: when Chevrolet launched the drag racing-oriented COPO Camaro in 2011 as a rival to the successful Mustang Cobra Jet, one of the more prominent changes to the car was the removal of the highly-competent multi-link independent rear suspension seen on the street car and the installation of a solid rear axle in its place.
In fact, Ford did something similar in 1999 when it introduced the Mustang SVT Cobra. From the factory, the range-topping Mustang model featured an independent rear suspension that was engineered to be bolted in using the same attachment points as the live rear axle seen in lesser non-SVT Mustang models. This allowed owners of the 1999-2004 Mustang GT or V6 to swap their SRAs for a more street-friendly IRS using parts from the Ford Racing catalog (or from a scrap yard).
According to R&T, Ford Racing will offer a bolt-in SRA for the sixth-generation pony. The move makes sense given the wild success of the Mustang body-in-white, aka ready-for-the-drag strip Cobra Jet.
We expect Ford to unveil the all-new 2015 Cobra Jet, complete with a solid rear axle, at SEMA (November 2014) or the Performance Racing Industry show (December 2014). The very same axle will likely be available as a bolt-in Ford Racing part either before or after the reveal of the Cobra Jet.