• 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock

You don’t need a V-8 to smoke out the neighbors anymore

The V-8-powered Ford Mustang GT has come standard with electronic line lock as a part of the track pack since its redesign in 2015, but for 2018, Ford has announced that it will now include that feature on the EcoBoost models as well – effectively giving those who want some EcoBoost love a much easy way of roasting some rubber. For those of you that don’t know, a line lock system, applies pressure to the front brakes only, making it possible for those with a six-speed manual to roast the tires without some impressively difficult footwork, while those with the automatic transmission don’t have to risk burning their transmission fluid or burning up the rear brakes from doing a traditional brake torque. Think of it as an emergency brake for the front wheels.

When Ford introduced the sixth-generation Mustang for the 2015 model year, it was met with enthusiasm from pony car fanboys everywhere. As part of the generational shift, the Mustang grew in width by 1.5 inches, sat 1.4 inches lower, and came with an all-new independent rear suspension system. More important was the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that served as a middle point between the entry-level 3.7-liter V-6 and the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. After just three years on the market, the sixth-gen Mustang was up for a facelift and Ford decided to drop the V-6, leaving just the EcoBoost and the V-8. It’s not surprising considering the EcoBoost delivers 10 more ponies than the V-6 while offering better efficiency. There was no need for a V-6 and consumers knew it. Now limited to two engine options in the standard Mustang, Ford is ensuring both are equally capable at the dragstrip.

Continue reading for more information.

Cool Graphics and New Looks

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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The facelifted, 2018 Mustang looks sportier than ever with its new front fascia, and now if you opt for the optional 12-inch digital instrument cluster, you’ll also get a cool video-game-like video of a spinning wheel generating smoke on the display any time that line lock is turned on:

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock High Resolution
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The feature is engaged via the thumb buttons on the steering wheel. Once activated, and pressure to the front brakes is built, another press of the button will hold that pressure for 15 seconds while you jump on the gas, allowing for some pretty intensive burnouts (and angry wives.) This feature is available with both the 10-speed automatic and six-speed manual. It’s definitely a nice addition for those who opt for the EcoBoost model and still want to have fun at the track on the weekend. For 2018, the EcoBoost engine is said to deliver more torque than before. But even in its current configuration, the little four-banger gets the Mustang to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and down the quarter-mile strip in 14.1 seconds at 97.8 mph, according to independent testing.

The Reality of the Situation

Now, we know this is meant to be a track-only tool to help warm up the rubbers for better traction, but I think we all know where the line lock feature will get the most use – every Cars and Coffee meet. Okay, so maybe that’s a little mean, but Mustangs crashing and going after crowds has become a pretty common thing these days. Will this feature being available on the EcoBoost model make it worse? In all reality, I don’t think it’s going to matter. But for those of you who are thinking about showboating in your new Mustang, just use the line lock to do your burn out instead of trying to be a hero as you pull away. In other words, don’t be like these guys:

All Jokes Aside

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock High Resolution Exterior
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Okay, so I couldn’t help but bring up the whole Mustang-crash epidemic, but don’t get it twisted, I’m not all about hating on the Mustang. I think it’s actually great that Ford is bringing this technology to the EcoBoost Mustang as well. Those who actually like to partake in some weekend fun at the track have been in serious need of something like this without having to go aftermarket. There’s nothing worse than having to let off on takeoff because you couldn’t get your tires warm enough. And, for those who haven’t tried to brake torque with a manual, I’m here to tell you, it’s not easy. It does require some clutch dumping and precision footwork, and even then, it doesn’t usually work out all that well. After all, the EcoBoost Mustang isn’t exactly a joke with 310 horsepower on tap, and it deserves a little bit of healthy track day love, too.

What do you think, though? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang here.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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More rubber meets the road later this year when Ford expands the availability of electronic line-lock on 2018 Mustang. The track-exclusive feature – previously available only on V8-powered Mustang GT – will be standard on all pony cars, including those equipped with 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engines.

The feature is available with either the 10-speed SelectShift® automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

On models equipped with an available 12-inch, all-digital instrument display, drivers will see an industry-first, video-game-like animation of a spinning alloy wheel kicking up a cloud of smoke to indicate when the electronic line-lock feature is activated.

“Burnouts just never get old, no matter how old you are and how many times you’ve done them,” said Vaughn Gittin Jr., Formula Drift Champion. “Who would have thought that we would see an EcoBoost Mustang producing 15 seconds of fury like this? You’ve got to love these rad things Ford is doing.”

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock High Resolution
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To introduce the new updates to the world, Vaughn randomly recruited pedestrians in Southern California to join him at Irwindale Speedway, where he put them behind the wheel of a new Mustang to lay rubber.

Electronic line-lock is traditionally used by drag racers ahead of the starting line to heat up the tire rubber for improved traction when the start light goes green. The feature leverages state-of-the-art software technology that also allows amateur race car drivers, particularly those competing in bracket racing, to achieve more consistent performance times.

Using steering wheel-mounted thumb switches, a driver toggles through a menu on the instrument cluster to activate electronic line-lock. Once engaged, the system builds pressure on the front brake calipers. Another button press holds the pressure for up to 15 seconds, allowing the driver to hit the throttle and spin the rear wheels while the car stays in place.

“We introduced line-lock on EcoBoost Mustangs because we didn’t want those customers to miss out,” said Mark Schaller, Ford Mustang marketing manager. “The number of people choosing EcoBoost power continues to grow globally, and with the increased torque and new features coming on the new Mustang, customers will not be disappointed.”

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock High Resolution Exterior
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Electronic line-lock is one of many changes fans will see when the newest version of the iconic pony car races into showrooms later this year, offering:

A sleeker design featuring a more athletic stance, with new front and rear end for a leaner, meaner look

More advanced technology, including the available 12-inch, all-digital instrument cluster that can be customized, MyMode with memory function that remembers driving preferences, and new driver-assist features such as Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection for increased confidence behind the wheel

Improved performance with powerful engine upgrades, plus an all-new available 10-speed automatic transmission for quicker shift times and improved fuel economy, as well as available MagneRide™ suspension for optimum handling, and available active valve performance exhaust for Mustang GT for more control

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