Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsCar Reviews
2011 Ford Mustang GT4-RS - Stick & Move
Kenny Brown’s GT4-RS Mustang is at home on the street or the track, eating Porsches and Corvettes.
Passion, performance, and persistence are merely a few words to describe Kenny Brown, the man behind the performance suspension company that bears his name.
Kenny, who has a long history in racing and building Mustang suspensions, race cars, and street-performance vehicles, has truly utilized his skills to develop Mustangs and the parts that greatly enhance on-track performance.
His latest lineup of Mustangs and components exemplifies a life-long engagement with enhanced braking, cornering adhesion, and the accompanying acceleration to rocket you off a corner. We've tested virtually every car he's developed, and now Kenny Brown Performance is back with the AGS (advanced geometry suspension) 4.0 and his 475hp 2011 GT track star he calls Ruby. Brown names all his Mustangs, he says it gives them character.
"The evolution of our AGS is really pretty basic," said Brown. "Every one of our past cars has been a progression that has let us learn what Mustangs want. First, you have to understand what the Mustang is, and how it works," he exclaimed. "It's a pony car with a heavy engine up front and a stick axle. The strength is the power and acceleration," he added.
As has been the case for nearly two decades, Brown invited us to put hard laps on his press car, the GT4-RS Autobahn Edition, at, of all places, Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. It's a menacing beast, aggressive in its stance, and with proudly positioned components to take it far beyond stock.
The track, Autobahn Country Club, located about 45 minutes south of Chicago, is a private hot spot for driving and racing enthusiasts (read: members) who can access the track(s) daily. It can be arranged in three layouts, a North and South course, and/or a full track that links the two. Members enjoy a smartly appointed club house and a host of amenities. There are impressive Garage Mahal facilities, some owned by famous racers; a driving school; and a race team or two housed inside the gate. One member even arrived by helicopter during our visit.
Brown's systematic approach allows you to spec any '11-present Mustang with a multitude of options. His ultimate, the GT4-RS, offers race-car-like capabilities for terrorizing high-end sports cars. It's a track-ready street Mustang that's enhanced from every angle.
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"Improving performance boils down to understanding the car and the geometry to get what you want," says Brown. "The cool thing about the AGS 4.0 (a package including chassis support, relocated suspension links, bushings, and Boss-S EPAS and ABS) is the core. It corrects the geometry.
"The difference between a street, track, and a race car is just about spring and shock rates. I use a higher spring rate than most people, and I maintain ride quality with shock valving. Good shocks and good valving equals a good ride," he adds.
"Springs and shock need to be changed together. I make [the Mustang] easy to drive and that takes all the drama out. You can change the shocks and springs, and that's nice, but you're not really fixing anything. At the end of the day, it's about putting the biggest contact patch on the ground. It's not about the parts—it's about what the parts do!"