After taking an unexpected trouncing from the 707-horsepower Dodge Hellcat Charger and Challenger models, Ford is determined to make its Mustang king-of-the-pony-car-hill again.
Quite literally, and it’s got some help from the king of the NASCAR circuit, the legendary Richard Petty, whose speed shop, Petty’s Garage, will be turning out a limited run of King Mustangs that can deliver as much as 727 horsepower in the King Premier version.
“I’ve always liked the look of the Mustang, and the 2016 model gives us a great base car to work with,” Petty explained in a statement. “These new King edition Mustangs are pretty much the way I’d build my own. They are great fun to drive, and have a signature single exhaust.”
The muscle car war has heated up in recent years, and even the most mundane models routinely churn out over 300-hp, as is the case with the V-6 Mustang and newer, turbocharged EcoBoost versions. But there seems to be no limit at the upper end, as Dodge demonstrated with the launch of its two Hellcat models, the most powerful factory-built pony cars ever.
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Technically, the Fiat Chrysler brand will retain that title. The King Mustangs are being customized by Petty’s Garage, rather than rolling down the same assembly line as the more mundane Mustang GT. But they will give an owner bragging rights – and 20 more ponies.
The “base” model, the King edition, starts out as a stock Mustang, with its familiar 5.0-liter V-8. Petty bolts on a supercharger, adds a cold-air intake and a MagnaFlow exhaust, then customized the engine’s calibrations. All together, that bumps output up to 670-hp, a 235-horsepower boost.
To handle the added power, the King Mustang gets extreme-duty TrakPak Ford Performance halfshafts, three-way adjustable front and rear sway bars and a rear axle upgrades.
Toss in custom Petty matte-black wheels and Continental Extreme Performance wheels, a unique paint scheme and other interior and exterior dtails, including sill plates, embroidered head restraints and a single, center-mounted exhausted. Oh, and the obligatory special numbered dash plate finished off with the King’s own signature.
The Premier package adds the Petty Garage tri-color stripe package covered in crushed and tumbled glass finished in clear coat. It also gets a buyer upgraded six-piston front brakes and four-piston rears over two-piece rotors.
The Garage is also turning out a small number of King Premier Convertibles.
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Available options include a coil-over racing suspension and different wheel bushings. If 670-hp isn’t enough, there’s an upgrade for the supercharger to get you up to the magic 727 hp.
Plans call for production of 243 of the King Mustangs, 43 of the King Premier models, and another 14 King Premier Convertibles, with prices running from $67,495 to $90,495.
Petty’s is hoping to expand the number of Ford dealerships it works with this year, said Jeff Whaley the customizer’s chief operating officer. “We’re looking forward to having an even bigger footprint in more locations this year.”
Mustang fans might note that the King models are not the most powerful versions of the pony car ever produced, however. The late Carroll Shelby’s own custom house has actually nudged a special-edition model to over 1,000 horsepower. So, don’t be surprised to see other special editions try to topple the King’s take on the 2016 Mustang.
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