2018 Ford Mustang GT (Australian spec)Enlarge Photo
Ford pulled out of Australia's Supercars race series at the end of 2015 as the automaker's local division prepared to end production of its Falcon sedan, which served as the basis of Ford's entry in the thrilling touring car series.
Soon, though, the Blue Oval will make its return. Supercars organizers on Tuesday confirmed that Ford will return to the sport in 2019 with a new race car based on the Mustang (standard model pictured).
The first two teams to sign on are DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing. They are working closely with Ford Performance to develop the Supercars-spec Mustang, which will run a 5.0-liter V-8 borrowed from the Falcon-based cars.
2014 Ford Falcon V8 Supercars race carEnlarge Photo
We should note that Supercars teams use a common chassis but with brand-specific bodies, powertrains and aero—all at parity. For example, arch rival Holden uses its latest ZB Commodore as the basis, a hatchback. Nissan also competes in Supercars with an Altima-based car, though the Japanese automaker is yet to confirm its participation in future seasons.
The Mustang is no stranger to Australian touring car competition. Although the Falcon has represented Ford over the last 26 years, the Mustang also has significant history in previous formats to the current Supercars series, including five straight titles in the 1960s.
Ford also on Tuesday announced the entry of the Ford Performance road car division in Australia. The lineup isn't as diverse as what Ford offers in the United States, although the Aussies are treated with the new Ranger Raptor and redesigned Ford Fiesta ST that we miss out on.
2018 Ford Performance lineup in AustraliaEnlarge Photo