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Mustang360 Exclusive: SpeedKore Carbon Fiber 2018 Mustang GT #TENSEMA17
Carbon-rich and world-class style with a Roush front-feed blower: Ford’s latest pony car doesn’t disappoint
First impressions are everything; Ford Performance knows that, which is why it was beyond important that the Blue Oval choose a perfectly modified example of the 2018 Mustang for their SEMA booth this year.
Ford fans are so passionate about the Mustang that new models are nothing short of polarizing—fans either love’em or hate’em. And let’s be honest, first impressions drive kneejerk reactions and well, enough cheers or jeers from SEMA each year can make or break a new design. In this case, the Mustang before you is likely the industry’s first look at Ford’s new drop-top pony car and it had to be perfect.
Even the smallest mistake or detail gone wrong would have spelled disaster; like the wrong stance, botched wheel fitment, odd bodywork, poor panel gaps, a distasteful interior treatment or not enough performance could have had fans pointing and gasping for all the wrong reasons—a passionate fan base can be a blessing and a curse.
Speaking of passion, you might remember SpeedKore’s full carbon 2017 Mustang GT that broke the internet at SEMA last year, or more recently, the full carbon GT350R that also flooded the web a few months back. For those living under a rock, these carbon creations featured full carbon bodywork and lightweight braking components that help shave over 400-pounds off a stock GT350R—yes, the roof, quarter panels, doors, fenders, hood, trunk and mirrors were carbon; when we say it was full carbon, it was full carbon!
“We were honored that our S550 Mustang GT won Ford’s Best in Show Award in Design last year at SEMA, so when Ford asked us to build another car for SEMA this year, and that car was the new 2018 Mustang, we had our work cut out for us,” said Dave Salvaggio, Vice President of SpeedKore.
With the caliber of their work, it’s easy to see that SpeedKore resides in a small group of elite companies that make carbon body components so perfect they blend the OE- fit and finish with blacksmith artisanship—they’re the real deal.
“SpeedKore was formed three years ago when myself and Jim Kacmarcik, the president joined forces; I brought the craftsmanship of car building and he the extensive manufacturing knowledge and resources of stamping and high-end carbon fiber production together under one umbrella,” Salvaggio said. “We’ve built some amazing vehicles that have won SEMA awards, were purchased by movie stars, and some that have even starred in the Fast and Furious and Captain America Movies,” he added. “Our theme was that of a modern roadster that blended American muscle with European style that’s more classy than sassy,” Salvaggio said.
This is the sorta car that gets better the longer you stare. Don’t believe us, take a minute and pour over its chiseled lines, perfect stance, wide wheels and tell us it isn’t the epitome of cohesive; and that’s just the exterior, have you seen the interior?
“Ford spends a lot of time on the exterior of the Mustang and it shows, but a place we thought we could really improve was the interior; and being that’s where you spend most of your time and the fact the interior on a convertible is highly visible from outside the car, we paid it special attention,” Salvaggio said.
Inside you’ll find the perfect blend of contrasting colors and understated style as the interior was blanketed with fine Italian leather and of course, carbon fiber—the interior was crafted by the renowned Gabe’s Custom Interior’s. Other bits include a tonneau cover, making it a proper roadster when you want it, carbon seat-backs and interior-panels, and a SpeedKore roll bar made from, you guessed it, carbon fiber.
“The roll bar and all of the carbon pieces on the car will be available soon, and yes, the roll bar is made completely from carbon, but with a metal sleeve to make it repairable,” Salvaggio said.
As SpeedKore does with all of its builds, it starts with a rendering, next comes hours of effort studying the CAD files from the manufacturer (if applicable), followed by even more time creating and perfecting their own CAD drawings and design manipulations before plugs (molds) can be made, prototypes can be test-fitted, tooling can be crafted, and finally, the finished products that are ready to be autoclaved and either installed as-is or in this case, prepped and painted matte clear with PPG UV Protection, an important extra step many carbon companies quietly skip.
Outside you’ll find SpeedKore carbon fender flares that widened the stance nearly 1-inch to easily swallow the massive 20-inch HRE P204 wheels, Michelin tires, and Brembo big-brake kit with 15-inch drilled rotors at each end with six piston calipers up front and four piston units out back. The slammed stance comes courtesy of Eibach Pro Street coilovers and the aggressive style is brought to you by more SpeedKore carbon in the form of a deep front splitter, rear wing, mirrors, rocker panels, and a rear bumper and diffuser with a custom exhaust system.
Thankfully this drop-top is more than just a pretty face thanks to the new front-feed Roush/Ford Performance Supercharger kit that boosts power to 700hp and 610 lb-ft at the crank.
Thankfully every part on this gorgeous ’vert will be available shortly; and when it comes to the SpeedKore bits, they can be purchased individually, as an entire package that can be installed in-house or on your end, or the entire car can even be purchased via the SpeedKore custom vehicle service already equipped with the lot—pick your poison.
If the SpeedKore 2018 GT ’vert is any indication of what’s to come with the latest Mustang, we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store—the future is bright for America’s favorite muscle car and we’re excited to be along for the ride.