Ford’s ‘Must-Have’ MUSTANG
Ford sells the Mustang in a wide variety of forms—hardtop or convertible, manual or automatic, 2.3-litre turbocharged inline-four-cylinder or naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8, but no matter which option buyers choose, they are in for a real treat. With the original Ford Mustang dating back to 1964, the new model captures the true spirit of the 1960’s icon, while providing the car with up-to-the-minute technology.
The new Mustang is the first right hand drive version of the iconic ‘pony car’ that Ford has ever built. Judging by the model’s success, Ford might be wishing it had made RHD versions of the previous six generations. However, I think we can be assured that all future generations of Ford’s American muscle car will be bound for European roads too.
The ‘entry-level’ engine is a 2.3-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder turbocharged engine that shares quite a lot of important parts with the engine in the magnificent Focus RS. This award-winning engine is very flexible, pulling hard from around 1,500rpm and stays strong up to 5,600rpm for outstanding and effortlessly quick performance.
My test car was a Ford Mustang 2.3-litre EcoBoost finished in magnificent Grabber Blue with a contrasting black roof for added impact. Never before had I driven a car that turned so many heads, and during my week-long test drive I encountered people taking ‘selfies’ with the car when it was parked, other drivers taking photographs when behind me in traffic, and even drivers and occupants of other cars giving me the ‘thumbs-up’ when passing by. The Grabber Blue paintwork shone gloriously in the beautiful sunshine during my time with the car and is a colour that harks back to the 1960’s and 1970’s, giving the new Mustang a true nostalgic appearance.
The 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine offers up 317PS of power and a whopping 434Nm of torque to the rear wheels and is capable of the 0-100km/h sprint in just 5.8-seconds, leading to a top speed (where permitted) of 232km/h. Ford quote official fuel consumption as low as 6.8l/100km on an extra-urban driving cycle, while annual road tax is €750.
Ironically, a good friend of mine owns a stunningly-beautiful, rare and meticulously maintained 1975 Ford Maverick 5.7-litre V8 (a close relative of the original Ford Mustang) also finished in Grabber Blue (pictured above alongside the new Mustang) and I seized the opportunity of allowing the two cars to get acquainted with each other in the Phoenix Park in Dublin over the May bank holiday weekend. Having two head-turning Ford muscle cars parked side by side was a real joy for car lovers passing by, and again, camera-phones were clicking happily. The engine note from the Maverick’s big engine was thunderous and thoroughly addictive, and would be similar enough to the engine note in the new Mustang’s 5.0-litre V8 engine.
In keeping with the brawny image, the new Mustang’s steering requires a bit more muscle than a standard car, but you can vary its weight using various steering modes, while another dash-mounted switch allows the driver to choose between ‘Normal’, ‘Sport +’, ‘Race Track’ and ‘Wet/Ice’ driving modes. My test car’s standard suspension was impressive, as it strikes a good balance between ride comfort and body control. The standard six-speed manual gearbox in both the 2.3-litre and 5.0-litre models is slick and has a meaty, mechanical feeling that’s totally in keeping with the Mustang’s character.
Standard specification in my test car included keyless entry & start, LED headlights, 19” alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, rear parking camera, Bluetooth and many other safety, security and comfort features. Additional extras fitted included Reverse Park Assist, a Premium Navigation System and Climate Seats (heated and cooled).
Boot space is another strong point for the new Mustang – offering an impressive 408-litres of space with the rear seats in place and you can fold the two rear seats to accommodate longer items when the need arises. The Mustang’s hatchback-style boot provides added practicality too.
The Ford Mustang is a terrific return to form from Ford and the perfect flagship sports car for the range. It has striking, modern looks that manage to integrate some retro touches, so it’s instantly recognisable as a Mustang, while Ford’s engineers have produced a chassis that delivers great handling combined with a comfortable ride.
With the new Ford Mustang 2.3-litre EcoBoost model priced from just €55,500 (ex-works), it offers great value for money when you consider the cars performance levels, everyday usability, desirability, head-turning looks and long list of standard equipment. If you want similar levels of performance from a car from any other manufacturer, you will need to pay a lot more money or have a much smaller car. The Mustang has a presence that most European cars can only dream of. Ford Motor Company have well and truly created a ‘Must-Have’ Mustang !!