Liberty Walk are known for turning out automotive creations so extreme they’re almost certifiable, but its latest offering, a Ford Mustang, takes things to whole new level
Have you ever noticed how certain models of car transcend conventional petrolhead boundaries and manage to cross over into mainstream popular culture? OK, so we realise that this isn’t how most car features normally begin, but in this case it makes a lot of sense – stick with us for a while longer. Cars like the original BMC Mini, the VW Beetle, Ford Capri and perhaps most of all, the Ford Mustang, these are the models that the average man or woman in the street would be able to identify and, just as significantly, hanker after!
The fact that the Ford Mustang, the original ‘Pony Car’ and the quickest selling single model in history, has wormed its way into popular culture helps explain why it’s long been so sought after on both sides of the pond, and also why Ford has finally agreed to sell the latest version in the UK in official, right-hand-drive form.
Proof of the Mustang’s enviable position within wider pop culture can been seen in the sheer number already blatting their way around the UK’s road network, with both 2.3 four-pot and big, hairy-chested 5.0 V8 versions selling like the proverbial hot cakes. It’s great news for Ford, good news for British petrolheads and, perhaps most of all, fantastic news for UK-based tuners and styling firms.
One firm that’s been especially quick off the mark when it comes to netting a UK ‘stang is Liberty Walk, a name you might well associate with some of the most extreme, hyper aggressive bodykits and styling packs that money can buy. Indeed, this very car, the one you see here, was bought by Liberty Walk to use as a demo vehicle, one they could get to work on and use to develop a range of LB Works bodykits.
“Of course there’s a bit of a reputation to uphold when it comes to Liberty Walk project cars, especially on one as significant as this, so everyone at the Performance Company was keen to make sure it was one of the most striking yet,” explains Indy Virk of The Performance Company.
Now we know what you’re thinking, why does Liberty Walk require a brand new Mustang just to create a bodykit? Well LW’s bodykits are anything but simple, with each having been designed and developed to perfectly fit the contours of the car in question and also to fit precisely – not the kind of fit which can be created using even the most modern CAD and CAM techniques. So it was that Liberty Walk took delivery of one of the very first UK Mustangs, a full-fat 5.0 V8 one, naturally.
“The Mustang became one of the most sought after cars on The Performance Company fleet pretty much moment it arrived, and that was before we’d even had the chance to stamp our collective personality onto it,” laughs Indy.
Popular in factory fettle it might’ve been, but that didn’t prevent Liberty Walk from stripping the Mustang down and preparing it for its new finery, an all new LW Works bodykit. The kit in question comprises a front, side and rear diffusers (all three almost impossibly aggressive), a duck-tail spoiler and widened (considerably widened in fact) front and rear arches, with all the work having been undertaken by iKustoms.
“iKustoms have been charged with fitting Liberty Walk bodykits to our cars for years now, so we knew we were in safe hands. That’s important for all manner of reasons, not least because properly installing a Liberty Walk kit is a fairly involved process and one which takes a fair amount of skill and a keen eye for detail.”
There’s no denying that the finished article is aggressive (from the front-on the Mustang now looks a little like a bulldog chewing up a wasp) and purposeful (seriously, you wouldn’t want to meet this thing down a dark alley after the pubs have kicked-out), and much of this can be laid at the door of both the kit and the air suspension the guys from The Performance Company have opted to fit.
The AirREX system in question is a digital offering with height sensors and, most impressively of all, a smartphone app. It says much about the lengths to which modern tech and classic automotive thinking can be synced that this is even possible, and it’s probably safe to say that there’s nothing cooler than swiping your iPhone and watching your car descend to the ground. Trust us on that by the way, we spent a good 20 minutes raising and dropping the LW ‘stang and didn’t even approach becoming tired of it!
Said air suspension has allowed Indy and the rest of the team to nail a stance that’s pretty much perfect, though this has as much to do with the wheels, massive 3SDMs at all four corners, as anything else. Massively wide aftermarket alloys have been popular for many years now (and you could argue that they always have been, certainly if you’re old enough to have seen late ’70s Cortinas sporting deep-dish slot-mags), though the 3SDMs now gracing the Mustang really do take things to another level. A beefy 9×20in at the front and a frankly insane 12×20in at the rear, the wheels are very much the icing on the cake as far as the Liberty Walk crew are concerned.
The Performance Company’s decision to base their all-American creation around the range topping 5.0 V8 variant meant that they were never going to want for performance, but, as is the case with all the best car builds, they wanted even more.
“Induction is one of those aspects of car tuning that’s been part and parcel of the scene for generations, yet it’s also one that’ far too readily overlooked, particularly when you realise how far the technology underpinning aftermarket filters has come in recent years.”
The induction kit in question is actually from Pipercross, one of the firm’s V1 carbon fibre intakes which have been proven to funnel cool air directly into the inlet of the engine at an impressive rate of knots, hence why it has been shown to bring about improvements in both power and torque across the rev range. Factor in its achingly pretty high grade carbon fibre construction and it’s not hard to see why the Pipercross V1 series has already proved such a hit.
“The only other engine changes is actually one of the most obvious, even more so when you turn the key and the car fires into life – the Remus Sports exhaust! It’s a cat-back, Valvetronic system meaning the valves can be actuated while on the move, effectively giving the driver complete control over the volume and character of their engine note, meaning it’s suitable for both track work and everyday driving,” muses Indy. “The latter is an important point, as what’s ideal for blasting around Spa or Silverstone is far from perfect for a wet and windy Monday morning commute in mid-November!”
Inside, the only deviation from standard spec is the P3 Cars Multi-Gauge, fitted as a means of keeping a beady eye on how the bellowing V8 is performing. It can effectively monitor an array of core engine variables such as coolant, intake air and exhaust gas temperatures, throttle plate, speed, RPM, shift light and even batter voltage.
Now up and running and drawing admiring stares wherever it goes, the Liberty Walk Mustang looks set to be one of the firm’s most popular and iconic cars, not least because the Works bodykit so perfectly suits the lines of the ultimate American muscle car. It’s certainly draw dropping, so much so that it has got us scrabbling down the back of the sofa for spare change – we’re starting a ‘Mustang fund!’
TECH SPEC 2016 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 V8
LB WORKS Full Kit FRP – Front Diffuser, Side Diffuser, Rear Diffuser, Duck Tail Spoiler, Wide arches – installed by iKustoms; Car Vinyl Stripes, Side Decals & Rear Window Logos – Syco Graphix; full Car Detail by Meguiars UK.
Pipercross V1 Carbon Intake; Remus Sport Exhaust – Valvetronic Cat-Back.
Yokohama Advan Sport – V105 245/35R20 & 295/30R20; AirREX Digital Air Suspension with Height Sensors & Smartphone App – Installed by GRM; 3SDM 3Piece Forged Wheels – Custom one off centres, remake of the OG Eleanor Wheels finished in Body Coloured Centres & hand brushed dishes clear-coated. 20×9.5 ET-40 Front & 20×12 ET-38.
P3 Cars Multi Gauge.