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Is Independent Rear Suspension Good for Next Generation Ford Mustang?
the rumor is that the car will receive the control blade IRS from the Australian Falcons. I hear that it handles well, but I just don't know about drag racing. The system has about a bazillion links, and I've already begun to analyze how we could optimize the system for drag racing... but we won't know for sure until we get our hands on one.
Honestly though, my biggest desire for the new Mustang is LESS WEIGHT.
The roots of the mustang were in thrifty performance. The secretary's car was light, nimble and inexpensive, yet still delivered the fun when out on the road. I think market studies and designers striving for "more" have pushed the base content level far beyond this simple charter. The cost of an entry level automobile, like the Mustang, was about 50% of the median household income in 1965 ($3334 of $6900). Today that cost is about 60% ($30k of $50k). This isn't a big increase in cost until you factor in the increased cost of living (housing up nearly 20x, Fuel up 10x, food up 8x, etc.)
My point is that the ambition of designers and marketers have pushed the Mustang out of the demographic that was it's roots. Adding IRS and luxury interior appointments like Sync and touch screen displays is another step away from the the Mustang heritage, especially when packaged in bundles that make you choose stripped or loaded. I am one that would rather see it getting back to it's roots. Lighter weight, lower costs, maximum flexibility, and most of all, FUN. heavy, expensive cars are not fun. They are good for sleeping on the way to grandma's house at Thanksgiving, but not for waking me up on a Sunday afternoon.
I think IRS will be good, as long as it can stay affordable, and handle as well as or better than the current gen Mustang. The original Mustang was meant to have an IRS anyway, and to compete with the Corvette. That's obviously not what happened, but that probably worked to its benefit, keeping the cost down while still offering a fun, relatively lightweight car that worked well for secretaries and hot-rodders alike. I agree, lighter weight would be awesome, but it seems to me that's not what today's market is demanding. The trend is moving towards bigger, heavier, and more powerful compared to the previous decade. I feel like this decade is going to be like the 80s all over again, we're just coming out of an economic recession, and the general public will demand more for their money, which means bigger cars with more options.
Some things are quite simple and silly. If you put a flag ship car for sale today without options for high tech features it would not sell even if were twice as fast as a BMW M3 on any race track. Especially when it is offered on the Fiesta and Focus. The way I see it is that up until 1993 mustangs had rear drum brake and 4 lug rims. It seemed to work because most of the stopping was accomplished by the front brakes. So why do we ever need to upgrade to disc rear brakes on mustangs after 1994 - why do some install 12" or 13" rear discs as well as dual or 4 piston calipers? Possibly because it offers an improvement over a tried and true drum braking setup. Why did they switchs to electric steering? It offered improvements in multiple areas. Why not use polyester or bias ply tires? Because something better is offered today. Why did we ever get rid of the cassette tape deck? Just play one CD and never look back. And CDs are close to being history. Shall we compare HID technology to sealed beam or Halogen headlamp technology? They all light up the road correct? Any arguments for implementing ABS? Not sure if a car without ABS will out perform the car with ABS regardless of the driver skill level. So lets compare a solid axle to an proper IRS axle...No comparison.
Why would they dare switch to an independant rear setup? You tell me!! Better yet someone tell me why they haven't done this years ago. I love my 2011 mustang but I hate that solid axle. I find it dinosaur age technology on a modern car. In it's defense it handles well (on even surfaces) but I do not attribute that to the rear axle. I think the front suspension and chassis is quite good. The axle is just there making things unstable in turns as it is along for the ride. It can be described as running a sprint race with long shoe laces attached to the left and right shoe. Yes you will still be fast if you naturally have the speed but with limitations especially as you round the curves on the track.
Just my opinion as I more than likely drive considerably faster than most people as I am on the autobahn daily. I find it rather embarassing when I hit a bump in a sweeping curve and the car gets so unstable I almost lose control (75-80 MPH) while the car behind me is not at all affected directly behind me. NOW that is reason enough!! I would rather blow 100 half shafts at a drag stip and carry 75LBS more weight if I could have a daily driver and road course mustang with an IRS.
2003 Cobra Conv. anniversary model Black/2011 V6 Mustang coupe Grabber Blue
Last edited by eurocobra; 09-11-2011 at 05:05 AM.
I'm a real supporter for anything that pulls weight off the car. My 2012 5.0 feels better than my '09 GT500 probably because of a lighter engine, which moved the weight balance aft If the Mustang can drop some more pounds, mainly from the front, I'd like to see how the live axle set-up responds. It may be surprising. Or not.
If they can make an IRS that stands up to being driven hard with more power than stock for long periods of time it would make a nice option. Not everyone cares solely about how quickly they can get down a drag strip. Just make it handle well and hold up to the tortue it's sure to see (unlike the CTS-V which blows rear ends apart even stock) and make it an option. Probably add a few grand onto the price of the vehicle but options is part of what made the Mustang so successful back in the '60s....
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