How to tune the 2024 Mustang? With great difficulty, Ford says


For decades, the Ford Mustang has been the aftermarket tuner’s delight, finding it reasonably easy to extract more performance from the Mustang’s powertrain. Apparently that ends with the just-introduced, seventh-generation (S650) Mustang. Why? Because the Mustang takes advantage of Ford’s new Fully-Networked Vehicle (FNV) electrical architecture, which brings a new level of cybersecurity to the powertrain.

How difficult will it be for third-party tuners to modify the new Mustang? “Much more difficult,”  Mustang Chief Engineer Ed Krenz told Ford Authority.

And why do you need the cybersecurity? To prevent interference from hacking, and to protect over-the-air updates that the cars will be receiving from the factory. Krenz and other S650 engineers explained that the entire electrical stack on the S650 is encrypted, including the ECU. “This means that if the system detects a ‘break’ in authentication, it will shut it down – or shut down components of the vehicle,” the website says.

2024 Mustang Interior stickshift manual touchscreen

“There are new requirements within the software,” Krenz told Muscle Cars and Trucks. “Regulatory driven. That is going to restrict access to aftermarket tuners.” Of course, the 2024 Mustang is not expected to arrive until next summer, and some accord could be reached with tuners by then.

That said, it seems likely that larger, well-known Mustang tuners like Roush and Steeda will possibly be given the keys to the technology to bypass the FNV in partnership with Ford, given their long history with the brand. Steeda, in a post on its website outlining the changes in the S650 Mustang, said this: “Steeda is excited for this next chapter in the Mustang’s life, and we look forward to helping 2024 Mustang owners personalize their cars and push the pony car past competitors on the track. This 7th generation vehicle offers new opportunities for R&D, and our team is excited to continue pushing the envelope!”

2024 Ford Mustang

Rather, it’s the smaller, independent Mustang tuners that may be more likely to suffer from the increased electronic security that the Fully-Networked Vehicle system brings. For Ramsey’s Performance, a prominent Mustang tuner in the Tampa area, it’ll be wait-and-see.

“It’s all so new I don’t think anyone knows all the details,” says Dennis Ramsey, owner. “I’m sure it’ll be a problem for a while,” he says. “I mean, none of those parts are really out yet so no one knows what we’re going to run into. It’s so early for the car that it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. Of course there’s a lot of parts you can put on that don’t require any programming—you could mount springs on a car and you wouldn’t have to worry about it—but if you want to put a blower on one and then do a tune, yeah, I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.”

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    “To prevent interference from hacking, and to protect over-the-air updates that the cars will be receiving from the factory.” BS I’d say. Most likely the real reason to shut out aftermarket shops, forcing visits to Authorised Dealerships only.

    Look we go through this with every increase or change in computer technology.

    Starting with OBD1 to the latest C8 Corvette the end was predicted. Yet they are already tuning Corvette C8 models.

    We just keep going through this.

    There are a number of reason but one of the greatest is that they leave no easy open door to the emissions that the EPA could go after. Just look at what happened in the computer cheating deal so an open door could construed as a way to let the emissions to be easily disabled.

    The EPA already has gone after aftermarket companies that disable parts of the system

    The real issue is the killing of warranties, the EPA going after tuners and part companies. The EPA is full of appointed activist today and they are already try to kill racing and I expect as in England they will make owning a classic more difficult.

    Just look at the a Diesel mods. I’m not talking rolling coal mods. Ut a number of companies have been hit for millions. This is why automakers are quickly walking away from Diesels in America.

    Most of the computers have learn features that need to be turned off. If not the mod changes will be negated with the computer going back to stock settings. It is all about wear and emissions.

    Well said! I believe you are correct. I also doubt Ford would do this to push people to come to dealerships (as some are saying), given the current rocky relationship they have with their dealer network over markups and such. If anything, Ford would be pushing people to their longstanding tuning partners.

    The thing about security it’s only as good as long as their are updates. At some point older cars will not receive updates in favor of the resources being directed to the new product. How many things do you have with network capability that are not being updated anymore?

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