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Ford Locks It Down

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On: Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 1:22PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ford Locks It Down

More often than not, if you are in a group of gearheads at a local car show, track, parking lot, driveway, wherever, you will inevitably hear the following: "Oh, they (meaning the parent company of the car in question) were so stupid for doing XYZ to our cars." Every 19-year-old with a set of keys and that insatiable itch to speed has thought that they were at, one point or another, smarter than the company that built the car they are driving. 

The truth of the matter, however, is that no, Mr. Just-Out-High-School, you are not actually smarter than entire R&D department of your car's billion-dollar corporation. No, it doesn't matter how much time you've spent on the forums either. And no, that senior member of the board isn't the be-all end-all of tuning advice. It's the internet, remember? Parent companies of your cars have spent quite a bit of time and effort making your car as reliable, drivable, and livable as possible. Now, if you put aside daily driving tasks, could you modify your car to squeeze some more horsepower and performance out of it? Absolutely. But running a cam in your small block Camaro that makes it sound as if it's stalling on every rotation but pumps out 500 horsepower, or dropping your 370Z so that it's an inch off the ground but can handle like it's on rails can bring more fun in one sense to your car, but you will be sacrificing a ton of daily driving comfort.

That being said, some modifications can, in fact, make a car more fun and when parent companies actually start listening to what owners want from their cars, then that becomes the Holy Grail of automotive excitement: Billion-dollar research combined with forum-style fun! This is where we have to actually give quite a bit of credit to Ford. For 2015 the Blue Oval has said it will install a line lock on every new Mustang GT that comes off the assembly line. For those of you that aren't old-school enough to know, a line lock is essentially a burnout button. When selected, the button historically locked the front brake lines so that the rear wheels could spin and heat up (read: burn rubber) the tires for the impending race that undoubtedly was to follow. Essentially, Ford has given the Mustang a burnout button just like old schoolers used to install aftermarket on almost any car they raced, but Ford has made it an electronic option in the Track Apps menu on its infotainment system, thus integrating it into the car's DNA rather than letting some punk screw with it in his dad's driveway.

This little addition to the 2015 Mustang GT may just be the beginning of a Golden Age of performance automotive options—carmakers actually listening to what buyers want and giving it to them! Of course there is still a caveat, Ford does specify that racing will void the factory warranty. So why install it? Well, because it seems that Ford is finally realizing people are going to race Mustangs. It took them only 60 years to come to grips with this, but better late than never. Beyond that, racing always tended to void the warranty anyway, so at least now when kids (and adults) are busy not-racing, they have one less aftermarket piece of evidence to worry about indicting them because, hey, the line lock came with the car… At least now you might just hear, "Hey, Ford sure nailed it that line lock," that is, if you can hear anything over all the burnouts going on.

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