Track overhaul for new CS850R Mustang

Another day, another 859hp Mustang – although there's more to this one than meets the eye

By Matt Bird / Thursday, 12 May 2022 / Loading comments

The history of the Ford Mustang is littered with modified examples, be they from the factory or from various tuning shops across the globe. With time running out for the V8 engine, don’t be surprised if more sneak out while there’s still the chance; the fact that Ford has made right-hand drive versions of the Mach 1 and the California Special for the first time ever can’t be a coincidence. It really does feel like now or never.  

Clive Sutton has been working to a similar motto. It feels like barely a month goes by without another mad Mustang emerging from its workshop. Still, there’s no such thing as too many mad Mustangs, not least when they come specced like this CS850R. Which is not to be confused with the CS850GT launched last year, of course, though they do share the same absurd 859hp output. That comes courtesy of a Whipple supercharger strapped to the 5.0-litre V8, once more with its output (including 665lb ft as well) reaching the rear Michelins via a six-speed manual.  

However, despite twice the power of a Cayman GT4, what’s under the bonnet isn’t the most interesting bit of this new variant. In a bid to “fine tune the car for spirited on-road and track driving”, the CS850R gets a thoroughly overhauled chassis. The standard Magneride suspension has been ditched, replaced by conventional springs and dampers that “achieve sharper input and performance when cornering”. That’s in addition to the extra bracing, new subframe bits and upgraded anti-roll bars seen in the CS850GT.  

But that really is just the start, as there’s also a new Torsen diff to get all that power to the road more effectively, plus a shorter final drive (now 3.37, from 3.55) that ought to make acceleration even more ferocious. The brakes are now better, too, when the time for stopping inevitably comes rather sooner than you expected.  

With these 850 Mustangs aiming to give UK buyers a flavour of the GT500 kept for the US, this new R certainly isn’t discreetly styled. Which you’ve probably noticed. The bonnet, bumpers and exhausts are probably the most noticeable aspects, their impact exaggerated by the ride height drop. Customers can add a track spoiler, too, if they wish.  

Clive Sutton said of the new car: “Our bespoke Mustang programme is popular with customers looking for right-hand drive high-performance Mustangs that outperform almost anything else on the road. Customer feedback we’ve gathered from our GT Mustang enabled us to fine-tune our offering to deliver a quicker, better handling car that provides more driver feedback… and even more smiles!” Can’t say fairer than that. The CS850R is available to order now, priced from £121,000. Or just about the same money Sutton asks for an actual GT500, albeit of course in left-hand drive and with dual-clutch auto. What a decision to have to make…

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