MM News

Make Driving Fun! Defining Good Handling

A good-handling Mustang is the most driving fun ever.
But what does "good handling" even mean?

Topic #1 from the "Make Driving Fun" series of MM newsletters.

Welcome to the first in a series of instructive Maximum Motorsports newsletters! Over the next several weeks we'll present a ton of useful information about modifying your Mustang to have more fun with it. We'll discuss the basic building blocks to help you transform your Mustang from bone stock into a high-performance machine.

This week we present a critical aspect of Mustang ownership: how to have the most fun possible with your car. In following newsletters, we'll discuss chassis stiffness, Panhard bars, torque-arms, and bumpsteer, among other topics, all related to making your Mustang handle better.

The Maximum Motorsports team is dedicated to turning Mustangs into cars that handle well. But not just better than other Mustangs — better than most other cars! Many of our customers are after the same thing, but everyone has a different definition of just what "good handling" means. Here's MM's take on it.

From all our combined years of engineering and race experience, a good-handling car is one that does exactly what you want it to do. It turns into a corner without hesitation, often so quickly and effortlessly that it seems to have read your mind. Once into the corner, the car requires no mid-turn corrections. It takes the line you chose and feels balanced throughout. At corner exit, the car easily accepts more throttle, accelerating powerfully onto the straightaway without drama.

That's the first magic moment for fans of good handling: when the car did everything you asked, and you realize you left a ton of its real potential on the table. You only glimpsed the car's true ability, and what held it back from going faster was you! There's a sense that the car is politely covering a yawn and wishes you would truly test it.

Fortunately, a good-handling Mustang gives you a feeling of confidence that helps you grow into your own potential as a driver. It's responsive, stable, predictable, forgiving, easy to drive smoothly, and "corners like it's on rails." That's the feeling we want! As you get used to the car, a real connection develops, as though it's an extension of yourself. This is when driving becomes truly fun. Even your daily commute and grocery store trips are now enjoyable, and you might find yourself taking the long way home on an old, windy, country road.

Perhaps that's the definition we like best: a car that handles well is fun! And who doesn't need more fun in their lives? Especially when it can come from something you probably do every day. It's important to note, too, that a good-handling car is also a much safer car. In an emergency, your Mustang will respond instantly to your actions, saving you from chaos.

Of course, your personal perspective plays an important role in deciding what fun means to you. If all you've ever driven is minivans, you might think a bone-stock Mustang is the most fun you could ever have with a car. But if you get a chance to experience what a well-set-up Mustang can do, you'll quickly understand why driving enthusiasts love to modify their Mustangs. We want immediate response at corner turn-in, predictability, a high-G cornering limit, and the confidence that a good-handling car delivers.

Now, there are a number of ways to go about this. If you're used to driving a stock Mustang, you'll see a huge bump in your car's fun quotient just by installing stiffer springs and better dampers. Then again, if you're like us, nothing less than a completely redesigned suspension will satisfy you.

Either way, from one extreme to the other and everywhere in between, Maximum Motorsports is here to make driving your Mustang way more fun!

We like the description one of our engineers wrote after driving with a new MM Mustang suspension setup:

"Everything slows down. You see the turn-in point and go for it. The 2-lane road looks wide, like a 4-lane highway, but it's all for you. You don't have to steer. You think, and the car moves. It grabs the asphalt and won't let go. You can feel the suspension loads building, but you know the tires have a death-grip on the pavement. The adrenaline courses through your veins, but you're in control, master of the black laid out before you. The lateral Gs build. Everything is smooth as you drive down to the apex. The yellow sign said 30 mph, but you know you're faster. You're too busy looking at the road to care what the speedo says anyway. Time dilates. It's effortless. You and your car work together in perfect harmony. As you exit the corner, your foot starts to move toward the floor, rolling on more power. Unwinding the car, you take stock of things around you. The next corner is still a few seconds away-an eternity. A quick check of the gauges tells you the motor is right where it's supposed to be. The speedo seems to be in unexpected territory, telling the rest of the story. That was fast!"

Well, thanks for reading! These weekly newsletters will also be posted on the MM website in the FAQs & Tech Tips section in case you want to read them again or forward to a friend. Stay tuned for next week's exciting topic, "Improving Your Mustang the MM Way." It's a one-stop source of insider-only, expert-tested techniques to building the ultra-capable road beast you're dreaming of.