Ford doesn’t build its hottest Mustangs in winter because their sticky track tires lose all grip in cold – Driving

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Here’s a fact bound to become car trivia in the future: does Ford stop building high-performance Mustangs in the winter because the track tires just stop working when it gets cold? Answer: Yes.

Ford basically can’t build any of its top-spec Mustangs in the winter months because they’re equipped with extremely sticky, pliable track tires that harden up and just plain don’t work when exposed to the temperatures Michigan sees in December, according to a report published by Ford Authority and confirmed by Ford to Road & Track.

The GT with the Performance Package 2, the Mach 1 with the upgraded handling package, and the Shelby GT500 with the carbon-fiber track package all come standard with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, a generally fantastic piece of rubber that’s just about as close as you can get to a racing slick that’s legal for the road.

The only time the tires aren’t sticky is when the temperature drops — then they become hard and slippery. That’s a problem for Ford, which builds the Mustang in Dearborn, Michigan, where it gets quite frigid between November and March.

While it would be a safety issue to drive the cars around in the cold with the tires installed, that’s not even half the reason that Ford won’t build them those months. It’s much simpler than that. The tires can’t even get traction on the certification dyno at the end of the assembly line.

Yes, Ford insists every high-performance Mustang built do a dyno run before it leaves the factory before it’s loaded onto a freight train for shipping — which brings up another problem. The ramp onto the train is so steep, the cars equipped with Sport Cup 2 tires can’t climb it.

Every top-spec new Mustang built rolls off the line between April October. So don’t expect Santa to bring you a way-hot Shelby this holiday season, unless you put your order in way back in the spring.

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