The Nips are Getting Bigger, sang Mental As Anything. And the Mustangs are becoming more powerful with every edition.

The latest R-Spec model, due to make its debut early in the new year, pumps out 522kW of power and whopping 830Nm of torque, with a little the help from a Herrod supercharger.

At least that’s what the same setup does in the United States, because Ford is remaining tight-lipped about the figures.

Anything less and there will be howls of protest.

Ford says power from the third-generation Coyote V8 has increased beyond the standard GT’s 339kW, and will surpass the 345kW output of the BULLITT, making it the most potent Mustang offered by Ford in Australia.

The special-edition R-Spec model will be strictly limited to 500 units, each of them individually badged and numbered.

Distinguished by a series of exterior and interior design elements, it will be offered only in fastback form with a 6-speed manual.

The model is available for pre-order from today at a recommended price of $99,980 plus on-roads, and comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

Mustang R-SPEC is a collaboration between Herrod Performance and Ford in Australia.

The development work and program has seen considerable testing and validation at Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground, with exterior design work carried out at the Broadmeadows-based design studio.

“The R-SPEC has to stand out visually, even at a standstill,” said Ford designer Dave Dewitt, who led the exterior enhancement package.

“That starts with the stance, and the unique 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels combined with the Ford Performance suspension package.

“When we combine these functional upgrades with the unique design cues, the result is a meaner more aggressive attitude and more flattering silhouette, the car just looks ready to go!”

While the alloys and side-stripes are matte, the off-set striping, mirror caps and rear spoiler have been given a gloss treatment to add more visual impact.

The exclusive rear spoiler is balanced at the front of the car, where a black Pony badge spearheads the hard charging coupe.

A unique lower front valence with larger air intake and black surrounds for the LED daytime running lights lead into the Over-The-Top stripes.

Standard Launch Control can be accessed via the digital display, enabling a rev-point to be set and marked on the digital tachometer.

Adding to the experience, a unique Herrod Performance exhaust has been fitted, ensuring the V8 soundtrack can be deployed through the Active Exhaust settings, with Quiet, Normal, Sport and Race Track modes selectable via the steering wheel mounted buttons.

Like the Mustang GT, the Quiet mode on R-Spec can be set for specific times of day via the digital instrument cluster.

R-Spec has been developed to take full advantage of the increased capability with Ford Performance components.

New firmer Ford Performance springs lower the R-Spec by 20mm compared to the regular GT and are teamed with MagneRide suspension as standard.

The MagneRide system has a unique calibration for the Vehicle Dynamics Module (VDM), which adjusts the damping rate 100 times a second, and is intelligent enough know the R-Spec sits lower to the road.

The handling package also sees Ford Performance adjustable stabiliser bars fitted: 37mm (+5mm) front and 25.2mm (+3mm) rear.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres provide three different compounds across the tread face for greater dry grip and reduced rolling resistance.

The black 19-inch Ford Performance alloy wheels measure 9.5-inch at the front, and 10-inch at the rear.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.