Rob Herrod is a man who knows how to build wild, tyre-shredding custom cars that can blot the sun from the sky and get to feature on the cover of our sister title, Street Machine.
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But his entry for Hot Tuner 2016 is so far from his days building V10 burnout cars you almost wouldn’t believe the same company, Herrod Performance, is responsible.
That’s not to say his 2016 Mustang GT is bereft of power – quite the opposite, thanks to the 2.3-litre Ford Performance Parts-supplied twin-rotor supercharger perched on top of the Coyote 5.0-litre V8, but it is a car crafted with a different mindset. This is a tuner vehicle built to have an OEM level of fit, finish and refinement, yet it’s fully ADR-compliant and wears its government-issued chassis plate to prove it.
“The whole goal for this project was to have a car that felt like Ford itself had created it,” says Herrod. “It had to pass all the tests so there were no questions from insurance companies, police, rego inspectors or the like, but we still wanted it to go like the clappers and give customers a really, really good driving experience.”
What Herrod brought to Hot Tuner 2016 is a new automatic GT Mustang, kitted out with the Ford Performance Parts supercharger kit, their Track Handling upgrades, SVT 19-inch wheels, and the Ford Performance Parts tail panel infill.
These parts are all contained in the massive catalogue the hop-up arm of the Blue Oval issues every year for a huge range of past and present models, but Herrod Performance is the only Australian outfit to seek official compliance to fit them to Australian-delivered Mustangs.
“I’ve worked closely with Detroit for several years and then our local government departments to put this all together, and there was a lot of work to do,” explains Herrod. “We made our own unique, Australian-spec exhaust to pass noise tests, plus fitted special heat shielding underneath just to pass the very stringent requirements that all new cars have to go through in Australia, but the car still sounds like a strong V8 and handles incredibly well.”
The supercharger kit includes the Roush TVS assembly and lower manifold, along with intake, throttle bodies, new fuel rails, water-to-air intercooler system, recalibrated ECU through Ford’s ProCal tuning software tool and, as part of the Herrod pack, Ford Performance Parts’ special oil catch can and unique breather lines.
The Track Handling pack is similarly comprehensive, with springs, dampers and swaybars upgraded, along with Performance Pack upper strut mounts, new rear toe links and toe link-to-knuckle bearings to ensure the car retains proper geometry even when under massive loads.
All this sees the GT’s rear-wheel power rise from around 255rwkW to approximately 438rwkW, with tractive effort jumping from 530Nm to nearly 900Nm. Best of all, the fat mid-range is picture-perfect for on-road performance.
Herrod has sold more than 30 of these packs and sees his target customer as the driver who wants a higher performance Mustang than the base GT but also seeks OEM-style fit and finish. “We can’t get the Shelby GT350 in Australia,” he lamented, “so there are limited options if you want a Mustang that is faster than the base GT but still drives like a Ford factory product.”
Car: 2016 Ford Mustang
Who: Herrod Performance
Where: 103 Northgate Drive, Thomastown, Victoria
How long: Since 1978
Contact: (03) 9464 5100
Engine: 4951cc V8, DOHC, 32v, supercharger
Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: struts, anti-roll bar(f); multi-links, anti-roll bar(r)
Brakes: 380mm ventilated discs, 6-piston calipers(f); 330mm ventilated discs, single-piston calipers(r)
Wheels: 19 x 9.0-inch(f); 19 x 9.5-inch(r)
Tyres: 255/40 R19(f); 275/40 R19(r) Pirelli P Zero
PARTS AND PRICES
Compliance kit $21,500
Steering wheel $900
Total mods cost: $27,200
Vehicle cost (msrp): $59,990
Total cost: $87,190