We suspect Jamie's rocking horse was, in fact, his first Mustang...
5.0&SF: The new 5.0-liter GT is a great package right from the factory. Does this make power-related bolt-ons for that car a particular challenge for Ford Racing?
Jamie Allison: You know, I'm a Double-E [electrical engineer] and it couldn't have been more perfect timing. Yes, in the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s it took hardware change to impact performance. But the progression of technology-of electronic-based functions-is now enabling the performance modification without having to change hardware, all through calibration.
On the '11, [the factory] left two things that really need attention for the enthusiast driver like me: the transmission calibration's aggressive skip-shift [First to Fourth] intervention, and the torque-based dashpot modeling [which will temporarily keep the car from decelerating when you lift off the throttle]. I had my car for three days and had these recalibrated to disable the skip-shift function and to change the dashpot function to throttle-based response...
5.0&SF: So what else do you have planned for the 5.0?
Jamie Allison: Well, power adders will never go out of style. A 5.0 supercharger is obviously right around the corner to get you about 100 more horsepower. In addition, as we've done over the past five years, we'll offer a Power Pack-a recalibration, exhaust, and filter change-and then we'll have a short-throw shifter, and a Handling Pack that lowers the car and tunes the suspension for spirited driving.
5.0&SF: As we sit here talking, your own '11 5.0 convertible is being striped and decaled up to resemble this year's Daytona 500 pace car. Why?
Jamie Allison: Around the time we were asking ourselves how we were going to have NASCAR help us launch the '11 Mustang, I got looking at a colleague's '79 and '94 Indy pace-car edition Mustangs. I realized there wasn't a Daytona version. Here's the "great American race" and America's car... So we came up with the '11 Daytona pace car, only 50 numbered examples of which will be sold through Ford dealers. This is basically a graphics and trim package, but buyers will also be made aware of the Power and Handling Packs available through Ford Racing. We will also make the pace car graphics package available separately through the catalog, so my car will wear the graphics as well as the Handling and Power Packs.
5.0&SF: What changes, if any, can we expect at Ford Racing?
Jamie Allison: Well, One Ford [the company's new global-vehicle approach] is a powerful philosophy. One Ford presents an opportunity to provide a global alignment around the role of motorsports, because our cars are going global. For example, now for the new Fiesta and Focus, the parts we develop for the catalog will be applicable and for sale around the world, not just in America. So we're increasingly working with Ford of Europe and its tuners, who have developed modifications for Fiesta and Focus, so we won't have to reinvent them from scratch, which will pay dividends both to the business and to enthusiasts.
On the Mustang side, we at Ford Racing sell turnkey race cars worldwide. As an example, Mustang has won the European FIA GT4 championship in 2007 and 2008, and we have them in FIA GT3. We have interest in Brazil from people who want to buy [race] Mustangs and create a series there. So Mustang racing is global, and Ford Racing is the global provider of those racing Mustangs.
5.0&SF: How would you like to be remembered at Ford Racing? What would you like to be your legacy?
Jamie Allison: You know, Ford is about the American dream, and one could say that I'm living that dream. Here's a young boy that came from a foreign land, just happened to land in Dearborn-the home of Henry Ford-and was able to live out his dream. I never thought back in the days when I was going to school or when I bought my first Mustang that I would have a hand in affecting a generation of enthusiasts who love Mustang and potentially could be Ford employees of the future or just Ford fans of the future. So, how would I like to be remembered? I think as someone who came in, poured his heart out, was very passionate about something Ford created, and created something for a future generation.