Want to Try Drifting? Try the New Mustang’s Electronic Drift Brake
Drifting and Formula D racing are beloved by petrolheads on nearly every continent (maybe not Antarctica unless penguins drive at opposite lock). Getting good at drifting is tricky, but Ford might have a solution. From the minds that brought you the Ford Focus RS’ “Drift Mode,” the new Mustang has a similar toy. Among other new features, it has an “Electronic Drift Brake,” and it’s quite literally a drift stick to turn your pony car into a bonafide drift car; you decide if it’s cool or tacky.
What is an Electronic Drift Brake?
New for the 2024 Ford Mustang, the automaker introduced a handbrake-esque device that instigates drifts. Furthermore, unlike a traditional handbrake that a driver might use to get sideways, Ford says the Electronic Drift Brake operates in a binary fashion. It’s more of a switch than a lever, with two settings depending on the driver’s skill level. When the driver engages it, Ford says the car applies four to five times the normal braking, which drivers can use to slide the vehicle more easily.
It’s a rowdy feature with a focus on good time driving. Better yet, on the Mustang GT, it’ll share the vehicle with the most potent 5.0L Coyote V8 of any GT. Love or hate it, it’s precisely the kind of silly and joyful feature that the last generation of internal combustion engine (ICE) muscle cars needed.
Are Mustangs good for drifting?
They might not be as naturally predisposed to drifting as a custom-built Nissan 240SX or LS-swapped BMW E36, but many Mustangs make halfway decent drift cars. Aside from purpose-built, Mustang-based race cars, Mustangs like the Mach 1 produce 480 horsepower, possess taut, sharp suspension components and an analog handbrake. The result is a car with the credentials necessary to slide around corners.
Of course, the Mustang GT’s competitive price point and high horsepower make it a popular car for inexperienced or immature drivers with a modest budget. As a result, drivers often crash even the independent-rear-suspension-equipped pony cars, and the stereotype of the crowd-eating Mustang lives on.
Has Ford done this sort of thing before?
This isn’t the first time Ford installed a drift-inducing feature in a road-going car. The hot hatch Ford Focus RS offered a “Drift Mode” to help swivel-eyed drivers slide it around corners. However, unlike the new Mustang, Car and Driver says the Focus RS’ system works in unison with its AWD platform and electronic stability control to help drivers drift effortlessly. So, if you want a drift-happy fast Ford, you’re not limited to the new Ford Mustang.
Which new Mustangs offer the Electronic Drift Brake?
The electronic aid is part of the Performance Packs that Ford offers for the 2024 Mustang EcoBoost and GT models. That’s good news, considering the value the previous Performance Packs added to the Mustang. Furthermore, The Drive says it’s a fun feature with a quality feel rather than a simple gimmicky party piece. Either way, the seventh-generation pony car will be a handful, especially the GT Performance Pack and Dark Horse.
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