Ford adds ‘burnout’ feature to all 2018 Mustangs

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

New 2018 Mustangs will come standard with a feature that makes it easier to smoke the rear tires off the line.

It’s called a line lock, and it locks the front brakes only so the rear wheels can burn rubber. Because “burnouts just never get old,” says Vaughn Gittin Jr., Ford’s Formula Drift Champion.

The feature announced Thursday by Ford will be accessible through a menu on the Mustang’s instrument cluster. Once turned on, the system builds pressure on the front brakes, which can be held for up to 15 seconds. In that time, the driver can hit the gas pedal and peel out.

That feature was previously only available on the V-8 Mustang GT. Now, all Mustangs — even those powered by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine — can heat up the tires.

“We introduced line-lock on EcoBoost Mustangs because we didn’t want those customers to miss out,” said Mark Schaller, Ford Mustang marketing manager, in a statement. “The number of people choosing EcoBoost power continues to grow globally, and with the increased torque and new features coming on the new Mustang, customers will not be disappointed.”

Ford announced in January it would drop a V-6 engine option on the refreshed 2018 Mustang for the first time since 1994.

The 310-horsepower, turbocharged Ecoboost 2.3-liter inline-4 — introduced in 2015 — now makes up 40 percent of Mustang’s global sales and will replace the outgoing 3.7-liter V-6 as the base engine. Ford says the V-6 has been the choice of 15-20 percent of customers.

To help wean V-6 fans, the turbo-4’s sound will be electronically enhanced. The muscle car’s signature 5.0-liter V-8 will also be offered, its prehistoric growl enhanced by an active exhaust option.

Engines will be mated to a quick-shifting, 10-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual with twin-disc clutch is also available

The updated pony car gets standard LED headlights and new front and rear fascias, accentuating its aggressive looks with a lower, vented hood.

The 2018 model gets digital novelties like automatic high beams, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and pre-collision assist. While the base Mustang still features the traditional 4.2-inch analog instrument gauge, the available 12-inch digital cluster (shared with the Lincoln Continental) can be configured in Normal, Sport or Track modes.

The high-tech cluster is part of a flurry of appearance upgrades that include smokier chrome finishes in the cockpit, new carbon-fiber trims, 10 new wheel choices and three new skin colors.

The 2018 Mustangs will debut later this year.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

Staff Writer Henry Payne contributed.