Every year, the brightest minds at Ford are thrown a blank notepad and tasked with conjuring up their very own contribution to pay homage to the long and proud US tradition of aviation. Special derivatives of the flagship Mustang that shares its name with one of the USAF’s most distinguished and recognisable aircraft, each of these prestigious one-offs has been donated and sold via auction at the Gathering of Eagles charity event, one of the world foremost aviation festivals.
Fresh out of the top-secret workshop and ready for this year’s celebration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the eighth aviation-inspired Mustang doffs its hat to one of the greatest technological achievements in US history – the Apollo space program.
Besides the small matter of landing the first man on the moon, the famous Apollo program spawned innumerable technological innovations, many of which have filtered down to become part and parcel of our daily lives in the form of diverse gadgets and gizmos that we now take for granted.
This means everything from the humble mattress to the mighty motorcar, including the splendid 2015 fastback Ford Mustang GT on which this latest special edition is based. The boffins behind Ford’s very own Apollo project have taken the latest Mustang’s 418bhp 5.0 litre V8 and blasted the power into orbit, with the Apollo Edition producing a mouth-watering 627bhp and 540 lb/ft of torque from the same base powertrain.
The extra whack is complemented by a host of Ford Performance upgrades such as supercharger and shifter. Other notable additions include an X-pipe with side and rear exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes and custom 21-inch performance wheels, meaning the Apollo Edition Mustang is fuelled up and ready for the space race.
The most eye-catching element of this Mustang though is surely its space-age new suit. Kitted out in a unique and undeniably NASA-inspired pure white and blank colour scheme, the Apollo Edition Mustang features a carbon fibre front splitter, rear diffuser, rocker mouldings and accent treatments along with stars and stripes themed exterior trim to deliver some patriotic punch. The coolest trick in the box, though, has to be the unique orange LED underbody lighting, giving an uncanny impression of the car burning up on re-entry. Of course, the only thing burning up when this Mustang hits its straps will be the road.
Designed to shuttle the driver off to another world, the Apollo Edition’s interior is equipped with exclusive details including performance gauges, a modified instrument cluster, unique sill plates and specially embroidered seats, trim panels and floor mats.
The Apollo Edition Mustang may only be one small step for Ford. However, with the money raised at auction for this one-off going towards an organization that has helped get nearly 2 million young people airborne, it could be one giant leap for the next generation of aviators.