New Ford Mustang to offer electronic drift brake

Mustangs already have a reputation under power; now it's time for the bar to get involved…

By Matt Bird / Monday, 3 April 2023 / Loading comments

Even the most mellow have their worst side brought out by a Ford Mustang. V8s and manual gearboxes tend to do that anyway, but there’s something about the Mustang’s aura that just encourages a bit of misbehaviour. That and the line lock, of course. Now, thanks to YouTube, we’ve all seen what happens when that misbehaviour goes wrong – this Mustang fail video has 9m views – and with the latest Mustang Ford is introducing a new feature that’ll surely only help the mayhem: a drift brake.     

We’ve been here before, of course, the old Focus RS getting a drift stick to help with owners pretending to be rally drivers. Now they have Vaughn Gittin Jr. involved, the drift brake having been revealed with his new Formula Drift Mustang. “Our goal was putting larger smiles on the faces of soon-to-be fellow seventh-generation Mustang owners.” Heaven help us all.

Designed by Ford and RTR, the drift brake can be optioned on any new Mustang (four-cyl or V8, manual or auto) in a Performance Pack. The Mustang uses an electronic parking brake, which presumably leaves the physical lever purely for oiking about in track mode.

‘The drift brake emulates with advanced electronics the hydraulic drift brake found in RTR’s Formula Drift Mustang, with more than three times the braking force of a conventional mechanical parking brake system.’ So you yank it, those rear wheels are going to lock – what happens next is up to the driver…

Funnily enough, Ford reckons the drift brake is a segment first. It’s also desperate to stress how this is a feature designed only for track use: there are disclaimers in the video, in the press release, everywhere. Which makes sense. But that was meant to be the case with line lock as well – we all know what happened there. The drift brake is going to be tremendous fun for those who get on a drift day somewhere, but it’s absolutely going to be used on the street as well. And filmed.

“Mustang has always stood for on-road freedom and track performance and its first-ever electronic drift brake adds a whole new dimension of on-track fun and capability that will enable almost anyone to drift like they’re a soon-to-be-Vaughn Gittin Jr”, said Jim Owens, Ford Mustang brand manager. The entertainment value is certainly not in doubt, because that’s what Mustangs are all about; expect to see many more preview videos ahead of sales commencing in the summer. Then will come the clips from real-life use…

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