McLaughlin was given the honour of turning the first laps in the Mustang Supercar in Ipswich this morning, before sharing the running with DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard across the car's first test day.
The test was run by the Penske outfit in its new role as the official homologator for Ford product, however there were Tickford Racing and Ford Performance personnel on hand.
According to series points leader McLaughlin, the early signs from the first-ever Gen2 Supercar were promising. He labelled it a "great start", and said the car did everything he hoped it would this early in its development.
“First of all, the car looks awesome," said McLaughlin.
"It’s going to be so good to see it in Shell V-Power colours next year.
“It’s a great start. It did everything we could expect of a brand-new racecar, and the balance feels pretty close to our current package.
"Having now driven it, I’m massively excited for the 2019 season to begin."
Ford Performance Aerodynamics Lead Sriram Pakkam, who has travelled to Australia for the testing programme, said it was special to see the Mustang in the flesh after all of the CAD and CFD work that has gone into it.
“It’s always a special moment when a project such as this one finally comes to fruition and rolls out onto the race track for the first time,” said Pakkam.
“This is a significant car for Ford, and this is demonstrated in the resources we’ve put into the project to ensure that we build the best racecar possible, within Supercars’ regulations.
"First signs are positive, and we will continue the testing programme over the next few weeks.”
Tickford boss Tim Edwards added that a solid start was critical given the pressure the high-profile car will be under to perform.
“It’s very early stages, but the car is shaping up extremely well, and we’re keen for the next test,” he said.
“The Mustang resonates with fans, and we know that circulating won’t be enough – Mustang has to be gunning for race wins, championships and of course Bathurst, and everyone involved is working tirelessly to make this happen. It’s a great team effort.”
The testing programme is expected to take in the fast, flowing Phillip Island circuit later this week, before the car is put up against the Nissan Altima and the Holden ZB Commodore for its offical aero homologation next month.