Ford to Block Unauthorized Tuners from Accessing the All New S650 Mustang

Ford to Block Unauthorized Tuners from Accessing the All New S650 Mustang

American muscle cars are like apple pie or road trips. Muscle car modification and customization is also a very traditional move but now we are learning that such a change would be much more difficult on America’s newest muscle car, the S650 Ford Mustang. This is why those looking to pull more power out of the latest pony cars will find it difficult to do so.

Advances in technology have made many tuning strategies safer and more powerful than ever before. Despite this, Ed Krens, chief engineer of the all-new Mustang, recently told Ford that tuning the new pony car would be “more difficult.” Ultimately, this outcome is more implicit than intended.

Encryption on the “full stack” or complete package of electronic hardware and software in the S650 Mustang is the barrier. Ford claims that encryption is not the product of a desire to retain extra power from the owners, but rather the product of the ongoing battle against hacking risks. Hackers have already proven that software vulnerabilities can be dangerous for their owners. Now that the S650 has used Ford’s fully networked vehicle (FNV) electrical engineering, it says the need for cybersecurity is critical.

Furthermore, Ford plans to offer the most personalized experience ever to new Mustang owners and wants to ensure that any personal user data stored in the vehicle’s memory is kept safe and secure. The result of this intent is a vehicle that can limit functionality if you encounter what the program sees as a “break” in third-party authentication.

Meanwhile, Ford has worked with aftermarket tuners on many different cases over the years. And while we expect the same spirit of collaboration to continue, when we asked Musclecarsandtrucks if any third party would be able to “tun” the new S650’s engines, Krenz answered “no.”

“There are new requirements within the software. Its regulatory drive. This will restrict access to aftermarket tunes. This is via OEM, which has something to do with CAN message authentication,” Krens explained.

“It is likely that we will continue to make the beats available to the ECUs,” he added. “There will be tones, both in Ford and out of Ford. But you’ll likely see a reduced variety of them, based on the restrictions cybersecurity puts in, messages can be authenticated, all in the software.”

What that means is that you’ll only be able to get performance upgrades for your new 5.0L Coyote V8 or 2.3L turbo-modified four-pot engine from your trusted Blue Opel tuner/partners and no one else. It is never fun to lose access to customization but there is no doubt that hacking modern cars is a credible threat.

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