Ford Australia revealed Tuesday its 2019 entry into Australia's iconic touring car race series: the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, or V8 Supercars to most of us.
The Ford Performance Mustang Supercar, as Ford calls it, is the successor to the retired Falcon Falcon FG X, whose last factory-supported Supercars race was the 2018 Newcastle 500, where it won. Ford of Australia ceased production of the Falcon in 2016, 46 years after the Falcon nameplate's retirement in North America, and elected to replace the Falcon's sedan body style with that of the Mustang.
Current Supercars Championship vehicles are all built on an identical base chassis and roll cage setup, though constructors are allowed to add make-specific bodywork and aero components. All cars competing in the series have homologated bodies, whose drag coefficients and downforce levels are as close to identical as possible. Weight must match or exceed 1,410 kilograms (3,109 pounds), at least 755 kilograms (1,664 pounds) of which must be over the front axle, where the engine is.
Engines are not mandated to be V8s, but all manufacturers still use naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8s, making more than 600 horsepower. Ford and Holden—a General Motors brand—still use pushrod-actuated valves, two per cylinder. The latter considered switching to a twin-turbo V6, but ultimately shelved the project in 2018.
Mustangs will also find their way into the NASCAR Monster Energy Series, America's closest analog to the Supercars Championship, in 2019. It will mark the first time that Mustangs (or Mustang-bodied lookalikes) will have competed in the NASCAR Cup Series.