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Ford Performance Vehicles

Ford is well known for many things: powerful and hard-working trucks like the F-150, reliable and spacious SUVs, and some of the most impressive cars ever to hit the road. The legacy of Ford performance vehicles stretches back decades - in fact, Henry Ford first made a name for himself by winning major races in a car that he designed. Over the last 100+ years, the Ford brand has come to mean many things to different people, but with a reputation built on the Mustang, the ST series, and even the Shelby name, there are few vehicles on the road that can match Ford's level of performance.

Whether you are looking for a modern pony car or an SUV with surprising performance, you will find what you need in the current lineup of Ford performance vehicles. Here at Town and Country Ford, we are incredibly pleased to offer our customers the most powerful and stunning vehicles on the road. One of our friendly and knowledgeable salespeople can take you through the full lineup of Ford performance models and help you decide which option is perfect for you. Come visit us at Town and Country Ford today to find out more, and we will make sure you drive away in the right model with the power you deserve.

An aerial view shows a blue 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor doing donuts on sand.

Ford Performance Legacy

The history of Ford performance vehicles dates back to before there was even a Ford Motor Company, with Henry Ford designing cars that pushed the envelope for what was possible in automotive engineering. In 1896, Ford built a car he called the "Quadricycle" that managed to reach a top speed of 20 mph, which was fantastic for the time. This was essentially just an open frame with four wheels and an engine, so even 20 mph must have felt exhilarating.

By 1901, Ford was building even more powerful vehicles and racing against other top drivers of the day, beating them repeatedly. In 1902, the Ford 999 proved itself in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, when driven by Barney Oldfield, one of the pioneers of American racing. The success of this vehicle was integral to the funding and creation of the Ford Motor Company - so, in many ways, the history of Ford is directly tied to its performance vehicles.

Oldfield set a new land-speed record in the following year, driving the Ford 999 on a dirt track and reaching 60 mph. The years and decades that followed saw more great vehicles from Ford - the Model T was not only accessible to the American public but also proved itself as a winner of endurance trials and races. In 1932, Ford introduced its Flathead V8 engine, making a V8 more accessible through mass production and delivering greater power to the public.

Over the last century, there have been numerous vehicles that have earned their place as part of not only the legacy of Ford performance vehicles but all of American automotive history. From the gorgeous Lincoln Continental of the late 1930s to the 1955 Ford Thunderbird, Ford has always been pushing the boundaries of the automotive world. Then, of course, there is the legendary Ford Mustang, which continues to be the pinnacle for Ford style and performance, along with models like the F-150 Raptor, which combines a powerful engine with the reliability and capability of America's bestselling truck.

The Ford ST Series

If you are looking at Ford performance vehicles right now, other than the Mustang, most models you will find are going to be part of the ST series. Sports Technologies (ST) models are essentially trims of popular vehicles that are designed and tuned by the Ford Performance team to deliver more power and improved speed. This means that you are not stuck with only one impressive Ford performance vehicle to choose from; there are numerous models available, including some of Ford's most popular SUVs.

In addition to the impressive power they deliver, Ford's ST models also feature unique interior details throughout that set them apart from the other trims of each vehicle. When you get into an ST model, you know that you are sitting in something special, and once you start the engine and feel the power it has to offer, there really is no going back. The right dealership makes it easy for you to get the Ford ST model that has all of the features and the amazing performance that you are looking for.

A red 2021 Ford Explorer ST is shown driving away from a city.

The Legendary Ford Shelby Series

Of course, we cannot talk about Ford performance vehicles and the history behind them without looking at arguably the most important name in Ford performance: Shelby. Carroll Shelby was born in 1923, and by the time he was 15 years old, he was already behind the wheel and excited about cars and speed. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps and became one of the best pilots in the Air Corps - though he never saw combat as he was kept in the US to instruct other pilots rather than deployed overseas.

After World War II, Carroll Shelby returned to his love of the auto industry, and in 1952, he won his first race. He won 12 races in just two years and spent much of his time behind the wheel of models from Ferrari and Maserati - in 1954, he joined the Aston Martin factory team. Shelby won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 while driving an Aston Martin, but a heart condition forced him to retire from racing in 1960.

During his time in professional racing, Shelby loved the power and sophistication of the Italian cars he drove, but the complexity of their engines, which needed constant care, was a frustration for him. He dreamt of building American cars that could match a Ferrari in terms of performance but with a reliable engine that would not be as unreliable or overly complex. In 1962, he formed Shelby American to begin working on building his dream car and ultimately created the Shelby Cobra, powered by a Ford engine. The Cobra became the dominant American race car, and in 1965, a Cobra won the World Manufacturers' GT Championship, defeating Ferrari - the only time before or since that an American vehicle has won it.

Although the Ford Mustang was an instant success thanks to its gorgeous style, the General Manager of Ford, Lee Iacocca, worried that it was lacking in terms of real performance. Iacocca called on Carroll Shelby to bring his experience to Ford, and the result was the Shelby Mustang GT350 in 1965. This began a new age for Ford performance, and Shelby models have been the hallmark of American automotive prestige ever since. In the mid-2000s, the Shelby GT Series returned with all-new GT350 and GT500 models, blazing a new trail for Ford performance in this century.

2021 Mustang Mach 1

If you are looking at Ford performance vehicles with an eye toward choosing something that works well on the street and on the track, then the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is a great choice. A lot of people see this as a blend between the Mustang GT and the Mustang GT350, which means it delivers amazing performance but is still an appropriate option for getting around town. You are not about to load it up with a bunch of kids for soccer practice or anything, but it fits into a nice niche between a pure track vehicle and a run-of-the-mill sports car.

The Mustang Mach 1 comes with a 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine that delivers 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That is a lot of power at your disposal, with an upgraded TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission that keeps you in control throughout every moment of your drive - though a 10-speed automatic is also available. With a TORSEN limited-slip rear differential, dual exhaust system, and Brembo six-piston front brakes, the Mach 1 is incredibly fun to drive and very responsive to your commands behind the wheel.

You get Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tires on the Mustang Mach 1's 19-inch alloy wheels, while the LED sequential taillights and Pony projection lights look amazing from the outside. Inside the Mustang Mach 1, you will find dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, along with ambient lighting and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is gorgeous, while a 9-speaker premium audio system sounds amazing and really adds to the experience of driving this incredible machine.

A blue 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is shown form the side at a low angle.

2021 F-150 Raptor

Although a lot of people think "Mustang" when they first consider a Ford performance vehicle, there are actually quite a few options these days. One of the most coveted is the incredible Ford F-150 Raptor, which is an off-road performance version of America's bestselling truck. The Raptor is not just designed to conquer the trail, however, as it also features fantastic power and capability that makes it incredibly fun to drive both on and off the road.

The F-150 Raptor is powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost High-Output turbocharged engine that provides 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, which really ramps up its performance compared to the standard F-150. While you can certainly enjoy that kind of power on the road, the torque is perfect for handling hills and rough terrain where you need that extra something to push you further. This comes paired with a 10-speed electronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters, so you are always in control while still enjoying the ease of an automatic.

Off-roading has never been better than with the F-150 Raptor, which includes numerous selectable drive modes, including ECO, Tow/Haul, Deep Snow/Sand, and Rock Crawl settings. The two-speed automatic four-wheel drive system is perfect for hitting the trail, along with sport-tuned Fox shocks and 37-inch all-terrain tires. We particularly like the all-new Trail Control system that lets you set your speed and focus on the trail - it is like cruise control for going off-road. Inside the F-150 Raptor, you get a 12-inch digital productivity display, plus a 12-inch infotainment screen and an 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

2021 Mustang Shelby GT500

If you are looking for a car that leaves everything else on the road in its dust, then look no further. The most powerful street-legal Mustang ever made, the 2021 Shelby GT500 truly lives up to the legacy of its name in one of the most gorgeous and impressive vehicles we have ever seen. As much as we love the standard Mustang and even the Mach 1, they simply cannot compete with the level of power the GT500 has to offer.

You get a 5.2L supercharged cross-plane crank V8 engine in the Mustang Shelby GT500 that delivers a massive 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque for unbelievable performance. This is paired with a 7-speed TREMEC dual-clutch automatic transmission for incredibly responsive shifting and acceleration that you really have to feel to believe. The leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel is perfect for keeping you in control, and it includes paddle shifters and a rotary gear shift dial for added precision.

This Mustang looks gorgeous thanks to its exclusive Shelby trim pack that includes a unique front fascia, grille, and fenders, along with cobra insignias inside and out. The 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system sounds amazing, while the leather-trimmed power-adjustable front seats keep you and your passenger very comfortable. You get 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 performance tires on carbon fiber wheels, while the customizable 12-inch digital instrument cluster inside provides you with different modes to match whether you are driving around town or hitting the track.

One of the most popular Ford performance vehicles, a red and a white 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, are shown from a high angled parked at a race track.

2021 Explorer ST

When you think about a Ford performance vehicle, a midsize SUV is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The Ford Explorer is a fine vehicle in its own right, but things become much more interesting when you look at the ST trim. This is one of the most powerful and impressive midsize SUVs on the road, with performance that can even put some sports cars to shame, thanks in large part to an engine that has been tuned by the Ford Performance team.

The Explorer ST is powered by an enhanced 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine that delivers 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. This is significantly more powerful than any other Ford Explorer model, and it provides you with a driving experience that you really cannot find anywhere else. The engine is paired with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters that let you take control whenever you want to. The Explorer ST comes with Intelligent 4WD and terrain management that includes seven different selectable terrain modes, plus 20-inch all-season tires.

Despite its impressive performance, the Ford Explorer ST is still a fantastic SUV that features seating for up to seven people, with heated and ventilated front seats that include a 10-way power driver's seat and 8-way front-passenger seat. You also get a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8-inch infotainment display, and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. With an available twin-panel moonroof and great standard safety features, not only is this model incredibly fun to drive, but it is still quite practical.

2021 Edge ST

One of the most popular models in Ford's lineup, the Edge is a midsize crossover SUV that is stylish and quite practical. If you like its look and what it has to offer, but you want to take performance to the next level, then check out the Edge ST. Note that there is another trim called the ST-Line, which offers impressive features but lacks the more powerful engine of the ST.

While the standard engine in the Ford Edge is a 2.0L I-4, the Edge ST gives you a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine that has been tuned by the Ford Performance team to deliver 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. This comes paired with a 7-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel includes paddle shifters for enhanced control. While other Edge models have it available, only the ST comes with Intelligent all-wheel drive standard, along with 20-inch machined aluminum wheels and a performance-tuned suspension.

The Edge ST comes with a power liftgate, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats with a driver memory feature, and blue ambient lighting. You also get active noise control, along with a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and available performance brakes for boosted stopping power. With a 12-inch infotainment display, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and so much more, the Edge ST is stylish, powerful, and comfortable.

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Town & Country Ford of Louisville 38.164260, -85.701690.