DEARBORN - True Mustang enthusiasts enjoy putting their pony to the test at the track. And when they do, it’s all about the bragging rights. They want to tell their friends how fast their steed can go from 0 to 60 or what distance it takes to bring the car to a stop from 100 mph.
To help Mustang aficionados validate their prowess on the track, the 2013 Mustang premium series comes equipped with a 4.2-inch LCD screen in the instrument cluster that delivers performance metrics – acceleration times, braking performance and g force measurements – straight from the factory through a system called Track Apps.
“These are all the things that Mustang people talk about, so we put it all in the car at their fingertips,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “They don’t have to go out and buy an expensive aftermarket gauge and bolt it to the A pillar anymore. It’s all included in the Mustang straight from the factory.”
The LCD screen that houses Track Apps is located on the instrument panel between the speedometer and the tachometer, and it is operated through a five-way control button on the steering wheel.
Pericak says Track Apps received rave reviews from media and the public alike when Ford revealed the feature at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
“People just thought it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen,” he said. “Performance gauges in a car like this are not new. But the fact that we’re bringing this functionality as an OEM right out of the factory was pretty mind-blowing to people.”
According to Jeff Seaman, launch leader, 2013 Mustang, Track Apps “puts the cherry on top of the driving experience.”
“It’s one thing to see a number in a car magazine telling you how fast the car can go from 0 to 60,” he said. “It’s another thing to tell a customer, ‘Hey, go out to the drag strip and run it yourself.’”
Track Apps provides drivers with instant performance information. The Accelerometer shows the g force the car is pulling from left to right.
“If you’re racing a car on the track and you’re going into a turn, you want to know how hard you can push it before you lose traction," explained Pericak. “This is measured in g forces and Track Apps allows you to measure the g forces in real time.”
The acceleration timer enables drivers to track their fastest times measuring 0-30 mph, 0-60 mph, 0-100 mph, eighth-mile and quarter-mile.
“People think they can do this with a stopwatch. The answer is no,” said Seaman. “It’s pretty tricky to measure how fast it takes to go a quarter mile. This is the best utilization of existing hardware and seamlessly integrating it into the car.”
The Brake Performance screen shows stopping time and distance for 60-0 or 100-0.
“We get judged in the performance world on the distance it takes to bring a car to a stop from a certain speed,” said Pericak. “When you look at whether a car is a good car or not, that’s one of the measures that you use.”
The View/Clear Results screen lets drivers see their top times including their all-time best. They also can review their last results and saved results from the acceleration timer and brake performance screen.
“When someone buys a Mustang, it’s a very emotional purchase,” said Pericak. “People buy it for its performance. They buy it for what it stands for. And they buy it for the clout that they think it’s going to bring them when they’re driving it.”