Exclusive: Ford Mustang Highway Patrol coming soon
We can exclusively report that a two-seat Mustang Highway Patrol car looks destined for NSW Police duties.
IT SEEMS NSW Police will soon be prancing on highways with a very special Ford Mustang interceptor built by Melbourne-based tuning workshop Herrod Performance.
The project, which is understood to have been underway since last year, is required to overcome reliability constraints that previously prevented the previous factory-spec V8 Mustang from serving duties when tested in pursuit simulations. This development makes the Mustang Ford’s first pursuit-rated and V8 patrol car since the Falcon.
Information obtained by Practical Motoring confirms that approved finalised details of the special Ford Mustang police car were sent last week and it will be based on the new ten-speed automatic-equipped Ford Mustang GT which comes fitted with a 5.0-litre V8 engine (itself a different driveline to the previously tested Mustang for police duties which had a six-speed auto).
It shows the engine is mostly untouched, producing the same 339kW at 7000rpm and 556Nm at 4600rpm as the standard GT auto, but there have been revisions to the cooling system and suspension as a ‘police pack’, which also includes removal of the rear seats, making the Ford Mustang interceptor – as it is internally known – a two-seat highway patrol car.
The specific revisions include improved cooling of the automatic with the addition of a new transmission fluid cooling system. This was previously a point of failure during high-intensity driving by NSW Police when testing the suitability of the Ford Mustang to join its fleet four years ago. It failed at that time. There is also additional engine cooling to keep the temperature down during highspeed pursuit.
Underneath, the suspension front and rear have been revised with parts that give the Mustang Highway Patrol vehicle a 25mm lower ride height to improve dynamic handling.
Inside, the rear seat has been removed to accommodate the electronics and systems required for a police patrol unit. The end result is the Mustang interceptor, balanced against the fact that the rear-seat-delete saves weight, has a final kerb mass of 1750kg, up from the standard Mustang GT’s 1732kg.
As Practical Motoring understands from the paperwork we have seen, the Ford Mustang Highway Patrol car will serve for the NSW Police, however – and unsurprisingly – the project could not be confirmed by a spokesperson, though it appears an official announcement might not be far away. The car is also explicitly linked to Herrod Performance, however, when asked for comment, director of the company, Rob Herrod, denied the project.
Some previous media reports have postulated that the Mustang is not a suitable candidate for government and police duties because it is not a five-star ANCAP rated car, however, there are exceptions to the rule such as NSW Police adopting the 350kW/637Nm Chrysler 300 SRT Core into its fleet in 2018. NSW Police also considered and trialled the Mustang when it carried a two-star ANCAP rating in 2016 – prior to its 2018 three-star upgrade with the addition of AEB and lane-keeping assistant.
This latest project will be another feather in the hat for Herrod Performance’s Ford Australia tie-up, which most recently saw Herrod a pivotal player in bringing the Mustang R-Spec to life. That car adds a Herrod developed Roush supercharger kit along with custom cooling and suspension revisions to the standard GT Mustang. You can read our full review of that car here.