MELBOURNE, Australia – Ford Australia is officially launching the Ford Performance brand with a flurry of new models and competition partnerships to build on Australia’s appetite for dynamic, high performance vehicles. At the Australian reveal of the first-ever Ranger Raptor and 2018 Mustang, Ford Performance today showcased its latest line-up with increased presence on road and – for the first time – Australian race tracks.
“Ford Performance’s diverse line-up of vehicles reflects customer feedback that Australians are looking for advanced, efficient, performance models across all types of vehicles,” said Ford Australia President and CEO, Graeme Whickman. “Ford Performance is about technology, innovation and product performance and to showcase our confidence in our performance range, we are bringing Mustang and the Ranger Raptor to the Supercars series in 2019’.
“We are giving Mustang a proper birthday today, with the Australian unveiling of the new 2018 model and confirming its Australian track-debut with Supercars in 2019,” said Whickman. “We know enthusiasts of the Mustang, Australia’s most popular sports car, will be as excited as we are about seeing Mustang on track.”
Ford Mustang set for 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship track debut
The new Ford Mustang will make its Australian track debut at the first round of the Supercars Series in March 2019 at the Adelaide 500. Ford Australia and Ford Performance are working with DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing in homologation of Mustang for competition next
year, as the Supercars Series enables two-door coupes entry into the nation’s most popular series for the first time since its inception in 1997.
“We’re proud to announce that Ford Australia, with our Ford Performance global team, is working with DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing to homologate Mustang for 2019,” said Ford Australia President and CEO, Graeme Whickman. “There’s been a lot of speculation and calls for Mustang to be on the track, and as a Ford Performance model that’s raced around the world, it’s fitting that Australia’s most popular sports car should be on our race tracks.”
Ford Australia and Ford Performance will work with DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing, combining the technical knowledge and expertise of Ford Performance with the experience and skillset of these highly-successful teams. DJR Team Penske is the 2017 Supercars teams champion, while Tickford Racing has also claimed numerous championships and endurance victories in recent years.
Sean Seamer, CEO of Supercars Australia:
“The Mustang nameplate is one the of the most legendary in the world and we are proud to have it lining up on our grid in 2019. I know Australians, New Zealanders and our fans around the world will be just as excited as I am to see the Mustang take to our tracks in the world’s best Touring car racing,” said Sean Seamer, CEO, Supercars Australia.
Rod Nash, Team Owner of Tickford Racing and Supercars board member
“Having Ford back on the Supercars grid and with its iconic Mustang is going to be brilliant for the whole sport. Mustang is Ford’s halo brand and with its 54th birthday it keeps recording more milestones, but I think having a Mustang Supercar is going to be a very significant one for the brand in this country,” said Tickford Racing team owner, Rod Nash. “We welcome the Mustang to Supercars, and it’s fantastic that Ford, and its Ford Performance division, see the Supercars Championship as a great competitive environment and also a strong marketing platform to be involved in. This is a landmark day for Australian motorsport and the teams involved.”
Roger Penske, Team Co-Owner of DJR Team Penske
“This is an exciting announcement for DJR Team Penske and for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship,” said Team Co-Owner of DJR Team Penske, Roger Penske. “We have been working closely with the Ford Motor Company over the past few years and this really builds a lot of momentum for Supercars. Ford’s dedication to the technical aspects of this process will continue to raise the bar for DJR Team Penske and the other Ford teams. The Mustang brand has such an iconic history in motorsports and it will be great to be racing them in multiple Series.”
Dick Johnson, Team Co-Owner of DJR Team Penske, racing icon and former Mustang racer
“Throughout the entire history of this team, we’ve never run anything but a Ford, and this announcement today is fantastic,” said DJR Team Penske Co-Owner, Dick Johnson.
“The fact that we will be able to build and race a Mustang in the 2019 Supercars Championship is music to my ears. It’s great to be back in the Ford fold, and we’ll continue to ensure that we give Ford – and its millions of fans – something to cheer about.”
Ford Performance has worked with a number of competition partners globally, including Chip Ganassi Racing in the World Endurance Championship with the Le Mans-winning Ford GT; the Ford Fiesta with M-Sport, 2017 World Rally Champions and current leaders of the WRC. In addition, Ford Performance is also part of NASCAR, British Formula 4 competitions and the NHRA, with the Mustang Cobra Jet celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018 and on the verge of becoming the first 7-second Eliminator.
Ford Performance’s engineering and design innovation extends from circuit to road vehicles, with fully-tested, engineered and warranted performance components and accessories for Ford Performance road-going models, including suspension, exhaust and related upgrades for Australian Mustang owners.
Ford Ranger Raptor to the Rescue: Supercars’ Official Recovery Vehicle
The first-ever Ford Performance Ranger Raptor will be the Official Recovery Vehicle of the Virgin Australia Supercar Series. The Ford Ranger Raptor is Ford’s first performance truck for Australia, and comes with exclusive features unique to the light commercial segment.
Ranger Raptor has been developed to deliver the ultimate performance experience for off-road users, benefitting from Australian-led design and engineering at venues across the world including Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Ground and Ford’s Raptor Proving Ground in Borrego, USA, where the F-150 Raptor was tested. It builds on the Ranger’s popularity as the best-selling 4x4 Dual Cab in Australiai.
“To have the Ford Performance Ranger Raptor super truck as the Official Recovery Vehicle at all Supercars events is fantastic news. It gives us great confidence in working with a vehicle with the incredible capability of Ranger Raptor,” said Sean Seamer, CEO, Supercars Australia.
“We’re pleased to bring the Ranger Raptor to Australian customers, and to work with the Supercars series to showcase the Ranger line-up as a whole, reflecting Australian buyers’ who want the practicality, versatility and advanced features of the Ranger,” said Graeme Whickman, Ford Australia President and CEO.
Ranger customers are increasingly using their vehicle for both work and recreational purposes, including off-road enthusiast drives, and Ranger Raptor raises the bar in the field. Leveraging Ford’s engineering experience in building tough trucks and global engineering expertise in performance vehicles, the Ranger Raptor is an extremely capable off-roader built on customer feedback from Ford’s performance and truck products, both in Australia and around the globe.
Based on the Ranger with its Australian-led engineering and design in conjunction with Ford Performance in the US, the Ranger Raptor has been developed for customers who desire a pick-up truck that delivers an unmistakably unique statement. The Ranger Raptor is made for off-road enthusiasts who appreciate an outdoor lifestyle and seek out the challenges of the most extreme terrain, demanding an authentic, truly capable vehicle that’s a cut above other off-roaders. Ranger Raptor is the result of this vision.
The Ford Ranger Raptor will debut as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Official Recovery Truck following its arrival in Australian showrooms in Q4, 2018.
The 2019 Ford Performance Line-up
The 2019 Ford Performance line-up will be the largest offered to Australian enthusiasts, and will be bolstered by Ranger Raptor’s roles, as well as the Mustang’s Supercars debut.
Building on the success of the current Mustang, Ford Fiesta ST, Focus RS and Focus RS Limited Edition, the latest editions include:
- 2019 Ford Fiesta ST
- 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 10-speed
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 6-speed manual
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 10-speed
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 6-speed manual
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT BULLITT (Limited Edition model)