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Meet the Ford Mustang R-Spec 2020, Australia's answer to the Shelby GT350

No Shelby for Oz, but here's an official home-grown alternative.

Ford has revealed an Australian-developed answer to America’s Shelby GT350, the supercharged, manual-only, and factory-enhanced Mustang R-Spec.

Limited to just 500 units and specific to the Australian market, the R-Spec’s star feature is its Herrod Performance-developed supercharger, enhancing the 5.0-litre V8’s power figures to well beyond the standard coupe’s 339kW/556Nm.

While official outputs are yet to be confirmed, Ford’s representatives point us to similar Ford Performance kits in the US which produce north of 500kW/800Nm.

If true, this puts the fastest Australian-delivered Mustang within striking distance of the left-hand drive-only GT500 and GT350, as well as its main rival, the HSV Camaro ZL1 (480kW/860Nm).

The R-Spec will be limited to just 500 units offered as a six-speed manual only. The R-Spec will be limited to just 500 units offered as a six-speed manual only.

It will come as a relief to Mustang fans who thus far have been calling out for a Shelby-style ZL1-rival for quite some time.

It’s worth noting that this factory-backed ‘Stang will blow Tickford’s 2018 engine upgrade kit (400kW/632Nm) out of the water.

It’s not just engine performance alone though, with Ford offering the R-Spec with other Ford Performance upgrades like an R-Spec specific handling upgrade package consisting of firmer, 20mm-lower springs, adjustable stabiliser bars, a bespoke MagneRide active damper tune, and unique 19-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.

A new active exhaust and intake system also join the upgrades list, along with an “over-the-top” visual appearance with a unique spoiler, front valence and striped livery.

The R-Spec offers Australians a flagship performance Mustang complete with warranty and factory-backed support. The R-Spec offers Australians a flagship performance Mustang complete with warranty and factory-backed support.

The cost for the fastest Mustang on sale in Australia? Surprisingly, Ford is offering the R-Spec with an MSRP of just under $100,000 - $99,980 before on-road costs to be exact. As a limited edition, each car will be stamped with its production number, and will only be offered in the fastback body style.

If you still have a taste for the penultimate Shelby-badged ‘Stang, Victorian company Mustang Motorsport still plans to convert U.S.-delivered cars to right-hand drive, but the price might be too high for some.

As the R-Spec is offered directly from Ford Australia, it remains covered by the brand’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, complete with roadside assist, capped-price services and free loan car at each service interval.

The Mustang R-Spec gains all of the recent updates to the Mustang. The Mustang R-Spec gains all of the recent updates to the Mustang.

The R-Spec will become available to consumers in “early 2020”.

Stay tuned for more performance Mustang variants soon, with the Mustang High Performance EcoBoost on the way, which includes significant performance upgrades over the existing entry-level four-cylinder pony car.