There is nothing that sounds quite like the grunt of Ford Mustang 5.0L V8. Although the models have changed over the years that sound has remained a hallmark. It’s probably not as loud as it’s predecessors but Ford has ensured that the new 2015 Mustang remains the icon it has been for more than 50 years. By Steve Conradie
The new factory made right hand drive is a welcome sight for the South African market and in my opinion is priced to do well. The fact that Ford’s order book is already full for the foreseeable future is telling of it’s popularity and path to success.
At first glance the Mustang turns heads. And to my surprise a lot of heads! It did not help that the demo model I had the pleasure of test driving was a bright Triple yellow.
Ford has done well to modernise the legendary design without compromising on the Mustang’s classic and distinctive looks, retaining that aggressive grill with the iconic galloping horse, nostalgic sport back and fin like tail lights.
The interior is modern and boasts the latest Sync2 touchscreen display yet has a subtle underlying retro style that compliments the Mustang brand well. It feels a bit like the cockpit of a fighter jet with push button start, chrome toggle switches and bright electronic instrument clusters. The handbrake, however is positioned on the left hand side of the center console and is awkward to operate. It’s as if they forgot to move it to the right when they decided to introduce right hand drive.
There is a host of performance features that will wow any enthusiast. Using the latest Selective Drive Modes you can choose from various steering options, change performance settings (there is a handy engine performance indicator in track mode), set launch control (manual only), and many other mind blowing settings that will thrill any level of driver. These are backed by equally impressive safety features such as ABS, tyre pressure monitoring, strategically positioned airbags, electronic stability control, body design that improves road handling and the list goes on.
What surprised me the most is how spacious the car is in general. Being all of 184cm I felt very comfortable sitting in the driver’s seat with outstretched legs and headroom to spare. The rear seats are bigger than what you would find in similar sportback although it still won’t fit the average adult comfortably but there is plenty of space for kids. I was able to fit a baby seat in the back. It may not quite be the image a die hard Mustang owner would want to portray but the point I was trying to make is that the Mustang can very well be an everyday car. The boot is large at 384L and I was able to fit my golf clubs with ease.
The best part is the drive. Mustang has the power and performance to match that awesome sound. The acceleration is just exhilarating! The handling is unbelievable yet feels extremely safe. The new independent suspension and direct drive to the rear axle hugs the road with ease. The drive is pure pleasure!
The mighty 5.0L V8 is pure grunt at 303kw and 525Nm. It has no turbo yet achieves an impressive 4.8sec for 0-100kph. My fuel consumption for the test was around 14L/100km, a little higher than the rated average of 12L/100km. That included a combination of urban and rural driving with a little heavy footed accelerations on a few occasions – which one does when testing a V8 GT!
The 5.0L GT is marked at R839 900 for the automatic fastback and R899 900 for the convertible
There is the cheaper 2.3L turbocharged Ecoburst version which produces 233kw and 432Nm priced at R719 211 for the auto fastback and R779 900 for the convertible, but I don’t know why anyone would buy one. It’s that thrilling V8 that makes the GT the model to buy! All models include a 4 year / 120 000km comprehensive warranty and 5 year / 100 000km service plan with 20 000km intervals.
About the author: Tattler correspondent Steve Conradie is a seasoned vehicle reviewer and Director at Drive South Africa www.drivesouthafrica.co.za