Even Ford Mustang Tuning Shops Will Struggle To Tune The New S650 Mustang

Tuning / 11 Comments

The Blue Oval has purposefully made the muscle car tricky to tune.

The all-new Ford Mustang was revealed less than a month ago and, like its predecessors, the seventh iteration of the iconic muscle car has caused quite a stir. With rivals such as Dodge ditching V8s in pursuit of electrification, the Mustang will remain the savior of the gearhead, with muscular powertrains and manual transmissions - provided you select the V8, of course.

But for those who like to tune their muscle cars, we've got some bad news. Ed Krenz, Chief Engineer for the Mustang, told Ford Authority that it will be "much more difficult" for third parties to tune the latest model. The S650 uses Ford's new Fully-Networked Vehicle (FNV) electrical architecture which has its benefits (strong cybersecurity and over-the air-updates) but there are downsides.

2024 Ford Mustang Coupe Front Angle View Ford

This, essentially, locks third-party tuners out, and makes it extremely difficult to extract more power from the Mustang's engines. However, this was not Ford's intention. Instead, the automaker just wants to keep Mustang vehicles and user data safe from hacking attempts. Krenz told the publication that the entire stack, including the ECU, is encrypted on the seventh generation.

It seems there's no remedy for power-hungry customers. If the system detects a break in authentication, it can shut down the entire vehicle or just individual components. That means even if someone was able to extract more power from the Mustang's engine, the muscle car may be rendered entirely useless.

Don't let this discourage you from buying a new Mustang, though, as Ford may have an amicable solution.

2024 Ford Mustang Coupe Rear Angle View Ford

The automaker is open to working with tuners, which may present buyers with factory-backed tuning that doesn't compromise the FNV architecture. Ford Performance will, of course, introduce some go-faster parts in the coming years. Recently, the performance subsidiary introduced a tuning kit for the Bronco 2.3-liter and the Explorer ST.

Those craving more power could spring for the Mustang Dark Horse. With a targeted 500 horsepower at its disposal, this mighty muscle car is aimed at the track with its muscular powertrain and performance-enhancing handling upgrades. Of course, the expected Shelby derivatives will also appeal to those for whom the regular Mustang is not enough.

Side View Ford

This won't be the first modern American sports car to give tuners a headache. The Corvette C8 is well-known for its high-tech security. At the time, a GM representative said "the aftermarket crew is very talented and resourceful. Our desire is to make the car as hack-proof as possible to protect our customers."

While it has proven difficult to crack, it's not impossible - some tuners have found solutions to up the power. We're guessing that tech-savvy individuals will get around the Mustang's security, eventually, and offer upgrades. After all, it happened with the Nissan GT-R which was once considered "untunable" - that quickly changed, and now, 1,000-hp R35s aren't unheard of.

Dashboard Ford
Source Credits: Ford Authority

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