Ford has officially gone mode mad. There’s the four-wheel-drive Focus RS that skids about via ‘Drift’ mode, the Raptor capable of cresting Mexican scenery via ‘Baja’ mode, and now, the latest: ‘Drag Strip Mode.’
It’s an option on the 2018 Mustang, and when thoroughly deployed sees the ‘Stang’s 0-97kph time drop to sub four seconds. Which is faster than a Porsche 911. No slow pony, then.
Drag strip mode is basically launch control on steroids. It optimizes torque, rejigs the 10-speed auto ‘box (to give peak power and torque at all times) and also adds stickier bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires. This helps get power from that redesigned 5.0-liter V8 (which is now more, at 460hp and 569Nm) better applied to your chosen surface.
So the fastest Mustang available is now the automatic. Yep, the one you used to laugh at for being a slush box. It’s a trick box, mind you, featuring “real-time adaptive shift scheduling algorithms” and the ability to “direct downshift.” Basically, it can skip gears. Which is handy given there’s 10 of them. Having all those gears stacked together gives a 0-97kph time that starts with a three. Which, not that long ago, was jaw-dropping supercar territory.
If you live in the US you can spec ‘Drag Strip Mode’ right now. There’s no word yet on whether we’ll get it here.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.