How a 2015 Ford Mustang GT teaches "Burnouts for Dummies" with Line Lock

Alex Lloyd
·Editor at Large

Who doesn't love a good burnout? Some may say it's pointless, and that shredding your own tires is nothing but a waste of coin. Of course that assumption is entirely correct, but there's nothing more satisfying than sitting in a plume of your own tire smoke, listening to a monster V-8 roar to the point of explosion. It's like Candy Crush: hideously futile, pitifully childish, and yet you can't help but indulge.

Doing a burnout is simple, but that hasn't stopped Ford's engineers from implementing a system to make it even simpler. Burnouts for Dummies, if you will.

Line Lock arrives standard on all 2015 Mustang GTs, and can even be optioned on the new four-banger. It effectively engages the front brakes while leaving the rear tires free to spin. To partake in the stupidly pointless act of rubber demolition, all one needs do is select the Line Lock feature within the Performance settings menu on the display cluster. Then, push down the brake pedal to activate, hear the system grind as it takes over control, remove your foot from the brake, select first gear, mash the gas and drop the clutch. A 15 second countdown appears on the cluster showing how long it will hold the front brakes for.

After just five seconds, the entire parking lot is engulfed in smoke. After 10 seconds, beads of sweat appear as you ponder whether your expensive Pirelli P Zeros will last a further five seconds, and the chap at the local Kwik-E-Mart has called the cops. Two seconds later and you start to cough; smoke pours into the cabin and a furious, gesticulating Apu disappears in a cloud of burning rubber.

By 13 seconds, you chicken out, unwilling to discover the perils of any further madness. You click the left arrow on the steering wheel and the front brakes disengage. The car bolts forward, rear tires ablaze as you careen into the distance – feeling part heroic legend, part colossal idiot.

It really is so easy even my grandma could do it, and one day I hope to prove that fact. Is it easier than simply dropping the clutch and moving your foot onto the brake? Slightly, although there are a few menus to scroll through before execution. But simply having the option to cure the dreariness of stopped traffic or the tedium of the school pick up line makes you smile, and will probably make the mother of three in the Dodge minivan behind smile too. Maybe.

I concede that, yes, it is pretty pointless – even for most drag strip-goers; serious protagonists likely wouldn't buy a 2015 Mustang due to its new independent rear suspension (and no, you can't just switch it out for a solid axle – I asked Ford about this), and even the basic enthusiast doesn't need a big smokey burnout before a run on stock tires, just a quick spin to clean them off.

So, to answer the question as to why: because you can. Now, back to crushing candy.