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All About The Need For Speed Mustang

Samuel Weber
October 29, 2021

In 2014, movie theaters and moviegoers around the country got a chance to see an automotive-based movie that was not the Fast N’ Furious series, and with it came a slew of ultra-exotic cars, more explosions, racing, and a solid video game franchise supporting it. Yes, the 2014 movie Need For Speed was exactly that and showcased everything from beaten-up 1980s BMWs through Bugatti, but one car, in particular, stood out as the hero car of the movie. Flying past the exotic cars and classics, the 2013 Shelby GT500 custom hero car was the only Mustang in the movie and punched well above its weight class doing so.

Finished in Ingot Silver with Kona Blue stripes, the custom widebody Shelby Mustang was claimed to push out over 900 horsepower in order to hit the theoretical 239 miles per hour. However in reality the actual horsepower was somewhat less than that. These numbers helped the custom Mustang race against exotics from around the world before ultimately facing its end at the hands of a tow truck ramming the car. However, the actual car made it out from the movie and currently is in Ohio. While the effects in the movie may have a “Hollywood factor", the handling and performance of the GT500 were not over glamorized as the car was running nearly every piece of Steeda's G-Trac suspension components to handle as well as it did on camera.

Need For Speed Mustang Steeda And Racing Suspension Upgrades Behind The Scenes Gallery

shelby racing

The Need For Speed Mustang

When Dreamworks Production Company began their production of the movie, the idea to use a modified Mustang as the hero car played toward the underdog idea when compared to the other cars it would be racing. While building the horsepower up would be fairly simple with the addition of exhaust work, pulleys, and tuning, they knew that in order to be competitive as well as aftermarket-friendly the car would need improved handling. For this, Dreamworks knew there was only one company to go to - Steeda.

With a history of performance builds and Mustang racing, Steeda was the best choice for the project and development of the hero car. Steeda has helped develop modifications for the Mustang in movies and various other cinema while using only parts that can be found in our store to install on production vehicles. We decided to do the same for this build while having the car be completely unique from any other customized S197 Mustang by the Dreamworks design team.

mustang suspension parts

Steeda And Racing

Steeda’s racing history has proven time and time again exactly how important proper suspension is when upgrading a car for any type of performance driving. Taking from our extensive history with suspension work on road courses as well as on the street, Dreamworks gave us free rein to turn the car into a supercar-fighting and corner-carving machine. With Steeda being a massive name in Mustang aftermarket, Dreamworks knew that they could leave it to us for the improvements.

To once again show our build quality, all of the suspension upgrades we had installed are still currently available as they are mass-production parts we sell to this day. As a base for these upgrades, we fitted the custom widebody Shelby Mustang with our Steeda Coil Over Assembly, Steeda Upper Control Arms and mounts, and Steeda Panhard Bar to keep the car centered after being lowered. These are the perfect base to build from for any Mustang and formed a reliable platform for further upgrades to be done efficiently on this car.

mustang racecar

Suspension Upgrades

After the basics of the suspension upgrade were installed, we turned our attention to improving chassis rigidity. We did this by upgrading the factory sway bars to our own design with our Steeda Adjustable Front and Rear Sway Bar assemblies. In order to fit the absolutely massive 22-inch wheels for the movie, the use of the Steeda Lower Control Arm Relocation Brackets was done to ensure the fitment of the rear sway bars so they would not be in the way of the wheels. With all of these parts fitted, not only could the Need For Speed Mustang carve corners better than ever before at speed, but did so using parts we already manufacture and sell for these cars for anyone to buy.

All of the suspension upgrades that we had fitted to the custom Shelby GT500 were entirely usable and functional in keeping the car on the road through our years of racing technology and innovation. We have been working on suspension for these cars for decades and when we were asked to build the suspension for the hero car in the movie we knew our suspension was up for the job. With our upgraded suspension showcased in the movie, we were able to not only show how capable we are at building suspension for cinema use but also that this suspension is exactly what we specialize for sale to use on Shelbys and Mustangs around the country and world.

behind the scenes

Behind The Scenes

When we had been contacted by Dreamworks Team and Ford on this project, we were given a very short timeline to build the seven hero Mustangs they required for the movie. The fenders were entirely handmade with custom metal fabrication while the front and rear fascias were scuplted by automotive clay artists who worked with Ford's design team before ultimately being made with fiberglass. Additionally, some of these cars were built from normal Mustang GTs while others were with GT500 models, but once the paint and fabrications had been made the cars were identical on the surface, especially once fitted on the custom 22-inch Forgiato wheels. An example of the strength of the Steeda components is exemplified with the one car that did the massive scene in Detroit. After the stunt was completed, the Steeda suspension parts suffered zero damage and were still working perfectly.

When we were building the Need For Speed Mustangs we were under a very tight embargo (e.g. no postings, no photography released, no discussions, etc) as everything was a secret at that time as Ford Motor Company’s sponsorship of the movie was not yet revealed. Overall, we had less than 10 weeks to build the 7 identical cars required for the filming of the movie ….and that was done over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The team only had Christmas off as our schedule was extremely tight…otherwise it was a 7 day a week operation with long hours each day. - Bob Adams, President of Steeda Performance Vehicles.


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