LEADING EDGE | Westcon
An Icon - Ford Mustang
Ford’s most iconic model in right-hand drive, the Ford Mustang is in South Africa. Featuring six models in line-up, being the 2.3-litre EcoBoost and mighty 5.0 V8 engines, manual and automatic transmissions, Fastback and Convertible body styles, the Mustang is set to steal some hearts and to become the envy of many more as there is only a limited number that will be coming to South Africa.
The new Mustang is Ford’s most revered and recognisable nameplate, having become an automotive icon the moment it was launched in 1964, followed by more than 50 years of continuous production and over nine-million cars sold to fans around the world.
The latest Mustang, mark its remarkable 50th anniversary, is now finally available for sale in South Africa in right-hand drive.
“This is the car we’ve all been waiting for! The mighty new Mustang is here,” says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
The new Mustang has been a global hit since it was launched internationally and was the world’s best-selling sports car in the first half of 2015. The new Mustang is loaded with innovative technologies and delivers dazzling performance and style. In terms of powertrains, buyers have the option of a roaring 5.0-litre V8 or the all-new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that delivers an exceptional combination of performance and fuel economy. Notably, both engines can be matched to a choice of either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, and there’s the option of both Fastback and Convertible body styles to suit every taste.
The clean-sheet design of the Ford Mustang Fastback and Convertible evokes the essential character of the vehicle, retaining key design elements of the classic Mustangs recognisable to car fans across the world, including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck, with a contemporary execution.
Ford Mustang Convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car an upscale appearance and a quiet cabin. The top has a sleek profile when folded for sun-soaked open-air motoring.
Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomy cabin with an aviation-inspired cockpit, while ergonomic and tactile switches and knobs provide intuitive control. The vehicle’s width and sophisticated rear suspension contribute to impressive shoulder and hip room for passengers and a usefully shaped boot space that can accommodate two golf bags.
The Mustang experience
Be sure that when you drive the Mustang you will be deemed to be famous to such an extent that people come to shake your hand stating, “I just wanted to shake the hand of a Mustang owner.” The way Ford Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience. The Mustang offers outstanding power options and an advanced chassis designed to meet the expectations of the most demanding drivers.
I favoured the 2.3-litre EcoBoost for its practicality and zesty performance. I did not like the 4 cylinder sound from inside the car and hope that Ford will “genetically” do something about this. The Mustang V8 is not for the faint of heart as it is a powerful brute ready to let you know it is not a toy and is not “controlled” but driven for sheer pleasure. Wanting to hear that superior V8 pipes thunder their tune can be the demise of many a man not realising that, that sound comes with extreme power.
Ford’s acclaimed 5.0-litre V8 engine produce a hefty 306kW of power, along with a thunderous 530Nm of torque. As the most powerful and fastest-accelerating Ford, this enables the Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Fastback Manual to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.8 sec.
The line-up includes the all-new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang, delivering turbocharged performance with outstanding fuel efficiency. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost is turbocharged to deliver impressive all-round performance with 233kW and 430Nm of torque and reaching 0-100km/h time of 5.8 sec for the 2.3-litre EcoBoost Fastback Manual. Both engines can be specified with a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission in Fastback guise, or the option of the six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission (Fastback and Convertible).
A Mustang for the true driving enthusiast
Weight distribution of 54 per cent at the front for the 5.0-litre V8 and 53 per cent at the front for the 2.3-litre EcoBoost contributes to responsive and precise handling, capable of delivering up to 0.97 g-force when cornering. This was evident whether driving the V8 or the 2.3-litre EcoBoost. The ride is exhilarating, sporty and a sheer pleasure. While driving the 2.3-litre Eco Boost through Old Kaapse Weg the V8 could not outrun me, especially through the turns. The top speed for both engine derivatives is 250kph.
The new Mustang features a significant number of innovative technologies, providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity and safety that can be best experienced on a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can use the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings.
Using the Selectable Drive Modes, drivers are able to adjust the AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, throttle response, automatic gear-shift patterns and steering to match Normal, Sport+, Track or Snow/Wet settings. To ensure drivers get the most from the car at the track, the Mustang also delivers Track Apps that can be controlled via the steering wheel and viewed in the instrument panel, including accelerometer, acceleration timer and brake performance, which measures braking time and distance from a set speed.
Available for the 5.0-litre V8 with manual transmission, the Launch Control system holds the engine at a pre-set value between 3 000 and 4 500 r/min with the accelerator fully depressed. When the clutch is released, torque delivery to the rear wheels is controlled for maximum traction and consistent standing starts. An electronic Line Lock system also available for the 5.0-litre V8 applies only the front brakes, allowing drivers to the warm the rear tyres.
The Ford Mustang is truly an Icon and the new Mustang, as far as I am concerned, will also become a classic and a modern icon in time.