Ford Fiesta ST confirmed for Australia

Sheri Evans
April 17, 2018

For the third year in a row, the Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports coupe.

However, at the same time, Ford Australia confirmed it will axe mainstream Fiesta models from its line-up and there's still no sign of any Ford Performance versions of the Mustang, which will be the centre-piece of Ford Australia's return to the Australian Supercars Championship next year. "Even more encouraging is that, with the updated 2018 Mustang shortly making its way to our region, customers will no doubt love all the great new technologies it will offer, including the all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, the new active valve performance exhaust, and of course, the 12-inch customisable digital instrument cluster which it gets from the Ford GT".

Under former Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano, the Blue Oval walked away from Australia's premier touring auto category at the end of 2015 - ironically with a championship title to its name, thanks to Mark Winterbottom and the then-Prodrive Racing Team.

Queensland's DJR Team Penske, along with Victorian-based former Ford factory outfit Tickford Racing, are still campaigning the FG-X, nearly two years after the auto ceased production locally, and both outfits will be tasked with developing the Mustang to suit Supercars' so-called Gen2 regulations.

Talks to bring Ford back into the Supercars fold started late a year ago. This data - compiled from government and other sources and capturing 95 percent of global new vehicle volumes in more than 80 countries - puts Mustang ahead of all other sports coupe competitors worldwide.

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The brand will also supply both financial and technical assistance to leading Ford-aligned teams Tickford Racing and DJR Team Penske to develop the racing version of the auto.

"The Mustang nameplate is one the of the most legendary in the world and we are proud to have it lining up on our grid in 2019", said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

"We're combining America's favorite sports auto with America's top stock vehicle racing series", said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford's Performance Motorsports. DJR Team Penske now runs two Fords, while Tickford Racing fields four entries.

"I know Australians, New Zealanders and our fans around the world will be just as excited as I am to see the Mustang take to our tracks in the world's best Touring auto racing". Switching to Mustangs not only entails the build of two $350,000-plus cars, but stocks of engines, body panels and other ancillaries would also need to be sourced.

"Throughout the entire history of this team, we've never run anything but a Ford, and this announcement today is fantastic", Johnson said at the launch.

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