Thanks to anti-hooning laws, Australian S550s won’t feature Line Lock
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
In the United States, our vision of Australia is colored by media images from Outback Steakhouse, The Crocodile Hunter, and the Max Max movies. However, as much as we might think the Aussies are like cowboys with cool accents, they might actually be even more conservative than we imagined. Case in point is that the Aussies have banned one of the most ballyhooed features of the new Mustang.
That’s right. In Australia they have laws that would make our pal Vaughn Gittin Jr. an outlaw of sorts. They actually have anti-hooning laws! And, according to Aussie auto site Drive.com.au, those laws have forced Ford to delete one of the first features it touted about the new Mustang—the Line Lock feature.
If you are just crawling out from under a broken-down Camaro, you might not know what the Line Lock feature does. Basically you can use the controls on the steering wheel to engage the front brakes, which will let you rev up the engine and smoke the rear tires. It is designed to clean and heat up the tires for a drag strip run, but it could be used just for fun—a.k.a. hooning.
If you need a quick primer on the feature, you can watch this official Ford video…
“That made me a little mad and you know why? It’s because of a hoon law,” Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak said. “Australia is the only market that I had to shut it off. That really did upset me because it’s a great feature.”
We can certainly understand Dave’s frustration, as the Mustang’s emergence as a world car is supposed to bring the same basic vehicle to everyone. When some parts of the world get a cool feature and others don’t, there is bound to be envy and disappointment. However, it’s not just the Mustang that will be affected. The forthcoming Focus RS will also be neutered Down Under.
“In Australia, for instance, they have hooligan laws on the road which means we will have to turn off Drift Mode to stay legal,” Dave told Car magazine. “It’s a simple enough thing to do.”
You can learn more in Drive’s video report here…
What’s interesting for the tuners in the audience is that the feature will be defeated from the factory on the Aussie Mustangs, but the strategy will still be lurking inside the car. That means that the Mad Max crowd might just be able to turn this feature back on if they want to live above the law….