DJR Team Penske are pleading for patience from fans before testing and the Supercars season opener at Adelaide later this month where they'll debut their Ford Mustang.
Series champion Scott McLaughlin and fellow New Zealander and teammate Fabian Coulthard unveiled the new livery in Melbourne to decidedly mixed reviews.
Ahead of testing at Phillip Island on Thursday, McLaughlin endorsed Ford's first new build in a decade, saying it even "looks fast standing still".
The two-door coupe has largely unchanged colours and one major difference; the galloping horse badge on the grill.
But there's been a decidedly mixed reaction to the Mustang's homologation to meet Supercars standards.
The enormous wing is a particular sore point with many but not McLaughlin.
"I love it. The rear wing is a big talking point with a lot of people," he said.
"Its nice to see it with the proper colours ... those stickers on it it looks really cool. I reckon it looks tough."
Team Penske are confident of holding off powerhouses Red Bull Holden Racing Team to more silverware in 2019; but not in Adelaide.
The season-opening event at the end of February will see the Mustang's debut and there's a gulf between what McLaughlin wants to achieve and what might be possible.
"It's definitely going to take a little bit of time to get our head around a few things," he said.
"Hopefully we can get to the front sooner rather than later.
"But we've got to be realistic about a few things, just work hard behind the scenes and make sure we're on top of it.
"We go there making the best of the situation we have."
Many eyes will be on testing later this week on Phillip Island when McLaughlin and Coulthard will put their cars through their paces under close-to-race conditions for the first time.
Team director Ryan Story agreed that a race win for either driver might be a bridge too far in the early stage of the season.
"I'd never rule it out but you have to be realistic in terms of where we are and what we're up against," he said.
"It's a new car. It's a two-door car going from a four-door shape (so) we have realistic expectations heading into Adelaide.
"There's a culture of winning in our organisation. We have to work really hard to do that.
"Over the balance of the year we hope to be winning and we hope to be successful."