2018 Ford Mustang
has revealed details of its new and improved Mustang, which gets a more powerful 5.0-litre V8, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, fresh styling and colours, an upgraded cabin, and a raft of crash-avoidance technology.
We held over news of the Mustang update given the rush of final Holden and HSV machines that were unveiled just as last issue, AMC #93, went to press. The wait to get behind the wheel will be even longer, with right-hand drive production of the facelifted Mustang scheduled to start arriving in Australia in 2018. Left-handdrive deliveries, meanwhile, will start flowing from Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant in the North American ‘Fall’ (September/October) 2017.
New colours including the signature Orange Fury (pictured) and a redesigned front-end will herald our 2018 Mustang. The new nose features a lower, more aerodynamic bonnet with repositioned vents, and a reworked front fascia with new upper and lower grilles and all-LED lights.
Redesigned LED taillights and new rear bumper, fascia and optional spoiler complete the rear-end restyle, with quad tailpipes to set the V8 apart from the dual-tipped EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder.
Some of the big news resides where it should, under the bonnet. The 5.0-litre V8 is reworked for more ponies, a higher rev ceiling and improved efficiency. The bent-eight adopts a high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system and its compression ratio is upped from 11 to 12:1.
An optional active valve exhaust for the Mustang GT will give the flagship V8 version a more imposing vocal presence.
The 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four gains a ‘transient overboost’ function which means it will make more peak power and torque than the current engine, though only during wide open throttle conditions. The V6 engine currently offered in other markets is set to be discontinued.
An all-new 10-speed automatic co-developed with General Motors will replace the current six- Ford has yet to feel any sales impact in the wake of the Mustang GT’s ANCAP two-star crash rating, which was revealed at the end of January. February’s result of 577 units amounted to a steady tracking of sales compared with preceding months, though given the waiting list to secure a Mustang in Oz, any downturn may well be reflected in subsequent months. However, in a blow to sales volumes, the Mustang, which was undergoing evaluation as a highway patrol vehicle, is now off police radar as a result of the ANCAP result because it does not meet procurement rules for government vehicles, which call for five-star safety. The Australian New Car Assessment Program revealed in January that the Mustang offered poor occupant protection as a result of incorrectly inflating airbags, a crash structure that allowed the driver’s door to open during speed automatic, and gives auto-pilots paddle shifters for manual control. A six-speed manual with upgraded torque capacity now features; for the V8 the ’box has been redesigned to include a twin-disc clutch and a dual-mass flywheel for a further increase in torque capability and more efficient clutch modulation.
MagneRide adaptive dampers suspension, which was previously available only in the hi-po Shelby GT350, will be offered by Ford as part of the Mustang Performance Package.
New non-adaptive shock absorbers will feature in all versions of the new Mustang, along with new anti-roll bars, and a ‘cross-axis joint’ in the rear suspension that’s said to deliver increased lateral stiffness.
The most obvious update from the driver’s seat is a new, 12-inch customisable digital LCD instrument panel filling the cluster. It will offer three separate views that relate to ‘normal’, ‘sport’ and ‘track’ modes, the latter including a Christmas-tree countdown graphic for drag-stripstyle getaways. a pole test, and the absence of increasingly common crash avoidance technologies that ANCAP considers to be vital. The outcome of the testing conducted with Euro NCAP was a poor two-star rating for the Mustang GT version.
Ford defended the safety test result, hinting that it was disappointed with the test protocol rather than the performance of the car.
The Mustang is the first two-door sports coupe to be tested under the new test protocol, which was introduced in 2016, while similar cars tested under the previous regime were not subjected to the rear occupant element of the program.
“The overall Euro NCAP rating is based on four pillars, with a very strong focus on family car safety characteristics and specific safety assist features, which are usually not part of the standard equipment of cars in the Mustang category,” read a statement issued by Ford.
“The Mustang is a safe vehicle, equipped with advanced safety features and a structure