Dale Amy
April 22, 2004

The suspension is an interesting conglomeration of OEM parts. Up front, Bullitt struts, brakes, and sway bar work with '00 Cobra R springs. For the rigors of road-course use and potholed Michigan streets, Paul chose to leave the factory stamped K-member and A-arms in place, though a switch to weight-saving Maximum Motorsports tubular counterparts may take place before Paul hits the oval at the Mustang 40th anniversary bash at Charlotte. To control the IRS, he went with Cobra R springs and shocks, and then tied the bow and stern together with PHP subframe connectors having an integral driveshaft loop.

We got to spend some time in the Ignitor both on the street and on the tight road course at Waterford Hills. Though it has no cage, its Sparco Evo buckets and PHP rear-seat delete kit make it feel sort of like a race car--a feeling that continues while circulating the track. Pared down to 3,100 pounds, and with the better fore/aft balance afforded by its all-aluminum powerplant, the Ignitor feels surprisingly light and responsive at race speeds, and it displays tremendous grip, even on '03 Cobra-spec street Goodyears. For rear stability, the IRS is much more track-worthy than a stick axle--at least one on stock-style suspension. The crisp 10.5:1 compression ratio of the Ignitor's stroker hauls it quickly out of one corner, while the stock Bullitt brake setup hauls it down equally well for the next one. On this note, we can't help but think just how far Mustang brakes have come since the underachieving Fox days.

Interestingly, this impressive track poise doesn't seem to take anything away from its street manners, which are such that we could happily drive it every day, potholes and all. Says Paul, "We've been able to take some trips in this car and were rewarded with 24-plus mpg at 75-90 mph." Fuel efficiency may not be something you'd expect a guy such as Paul to give a hoot about, but it's a nice bonus on a car as streetable as this.

Now, Paul wouldn't be Paul if he didn't take a car down the strip at least once, and we're happy to report the Ignitor was capable of sprinting to a 12.29-second pass at 109 mph, with a 1.70 60-foot time on drag radials. So, let's see--a 12-second e.t., 24 mpg, undeniable good looks, and reflexes like a road racer. The Ignitor has us all fired up.

138_0404_6z 2002_Ford_Mustang_GT Interior138_0404_7z 2002_Ford_Mustang_GT Shift_Knob138_0404_8z 2002_Ford_Mustang_GT Rear_Driver_Side138_0404_9z 2002_Ford_Mustang_GT Front_View138_0404_10z 2002_Ford_Mustang_GT Rear_Driver_Side