Weird brakes at the back, ornery person behind the wheel.
This particular Ford Mustang leaves us with some interesting questions. For starters, it looks like a typical S550, albeit with an intriguing array of exterior bits. The chin, rocker panels, and wheels appear to be from the Mach 1. The front fascia isn't Mach 1, however, and there's no wing at the back. The reason for camo wrap on the front clip is also a mystery, and then we have the words "no brakes" written on the driver side window. Weird.
Are you ready for things to get weirder? Our sources on these spy shots are rather confident this is a powertrain test mule, specifically for all-wheel drive. There is some evidence to back the claim up – a close look at the rear wheel reveals a dual-caliper setup that you don't find on normal Mustangs. However, you will find a similar arrangement on other all-wheel-drive models like the Dodge Charger. The janky wiring loom running into the rear wheel arch is easy to see, but less visible is another batch of wires running into the front well.
Gallery: Ford Mustang Test Mule Spy Photos
If Ford was working on an all-wheel-drive setup, monitoring all four wheels would be a no-brainer. For that matter, incorporating some kind of torque vectoring or yaw system also fits the theory, and if it's tied to the braking system, it's entirely possible the brakes could be non-functional at different testing periods. Here's hoping the brakes on this car actually work, because these photos come from public streets near Ford's Dearborn test track. Maybe that's why the driver in this Mustang wasn't happy being photographed.
So, what does this mean? It could be something as simple as Ford testing out new braking systems for the Mustang. It could also be testing an all-wheel-drive system, and it's not like we haven't heard all kinds of rumors about such things. On a grand scale, this could even be a test mule for a next-gen Mustang V8 hybrid with all-wheel drive. All of those things are slated for Mustang's future, though we likely won't see anything debut until at least 2022 when the next-generation model is expected to arrive.