Took a while, but I finally had the Ford Mustang 5.0 GT roll into the driveway for a test. And judging by the comments I received on my in my opinion, pretty damn fine pics, the passion for Mustang is as strong as ever. Make no mistake, the Mustang is by no means as pin point on handling as it’s German counterparts, but there is something about the bruiser type mentality, that shines through brightly.
The colour that I tested was red, and it certainly lends itself to the model without doubt. It makes a pretty picture in the dappled Winter sunlight. The Mustang is the quintessentional American muscle car, and has been synonamous by looks and performance for ages. The new Mustang brings more refinement, but also still adds the full throated roar and tail happy performance that drivers want. The proper experience is still the manual version, but in Jozi traffic, I was happy with the 10-speed auto transmission.
Available in Fastback and Convertible body styles with a choice of uprated 2.3 EcoBoost and 5.0 V8 engines matched to Ford’s advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, the instantly-recognisable, powerful Mustang profile now features more refined aerodynamics, and is enhanced with LED lighting technology, and a choice of nine bold exterior colours.
The exterior of the new Ford Mustang delivers a sleeker, more athletic appearance while retaining the instantly-recognisable character honed through more than 50 years of production. The bonnet profile is now lower with integrated air vents, combined with a revised lower grille design to give the Mustang a sharper, more aggressive face, while improving aerodynamics.
The Mustang’s dramatic rear-end design is further enhanced with a re-modelled bumper and diffuser element, accommodating standard quad-tailpipes for the 5.0-litre GT model that testify to the power and performance available.
Crisp, clear and energy-efficient, Mustang’s headlights, daytime running lights, indicators and iconic three-dimensional tri-bar tail lights now all feature LED technology as standard, combined with LED foglights. The front headlight bezels have also been restyled to reflect the trapezoidal shape of the upper grille.
New 19-inch alloy wheels are offered in multiple finishes depending on model, along with 19”x9” Luster Nickel-painted Forged Aluminium versions that are available as an option.
The new Mustang interior delivers a more premium feel. Soft touch materials now feature for the door linings and the door handles are finished in aluminium.
Leather-trimmed, heated and cooled seats are provided in conjunction with six-way electric adjustment for maximum comfort.
With a capital P is what you expect from the Mustang. And what I found with the 5.0 GT, is that 0 to 100km/h, it would probably struggle to keep up with German models, but when you put pedal to the metal, it damn well keeps on going faster and faster.
Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine has been further developed to deliver more power and a higher rev-limit than ever before. Peak power climbs from 309kW on the previous model to 331kW, with an accompanying torque peak of 529Nm supported by the introduction of Ford’s new high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system which improves low-end torque.
Steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters give drivers maximum control.
New Active Valve Performance Exhaust technology means drivers can for the first time adjust the intensity of the Mustang’s exhaust note to suit their mood and the driving scenario. The innovative Good Neighbour Mode can be programmed to automatically limit the exhaust’s noise output at pre-programmed times of the day to avoid disturbing neighbours, not least when firing up the legendary 5.0-litre V8 early in the morning. This came in handy, as my suburb of Emmarentia, whilst having it’s share of Petrolheads, also has some exhaust emitting, granny complainers.
The New Mustang is offered with a comprehensive range of driver assistance technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – designed to reduce the severity of and, in some cases, even mitigate frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians.
For the first time Mustang is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert technologies that help drivers maintain an appropriate distance to the vehicle ahead, as well as Lane Departure Warning that can warn when drivers unintentionally drift out of lane, and Lane Keeping Aid that can apply torque to the steering wheel to steer the vehicle back into lane.
A customisable, all-digital, 12-inch LCD instrument cluster delivers information displays optimised to match the selected Drive Mode – similar to the Ford GT supercar – helping drivers get the most from every driving experience. Safety and the ability to keep the Mustang on the road is paramount, as the car is a bit tail happy, and drivers can run out of talent in a hurry.
The new Mustang also features Ford’s SYNC® 3 communications and entertainment system, which allows drivers to control their connected smartphones, audio, and climate functions with conversational voice commands, and by using pinch and swipe gestures on the central 8-inch touch screen. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™. Embedded navigation is also standard on the Mustang range.
Ford Mustang – Retail Prices:
Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback 10AT R915 800
Mustang 5.0 GT Convertible 10AT R978 400
Mustang Bullitt 5.0 V8 GT Fastback 6MT R995 400
All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.
I did not have the opportunity to drive the Bullit, which is a pity. But whilst I had a long wait for my test, it was a damn fine week, and I enjoyed every minute. If you want to ride this wild pony, bring your ‘’A ‘’ game.