AT A GLANCE

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

From the out­side you can barely pick the dif­fer­ence. The four-cylin­der and V8 mod­els have dual ex­hausts and tough looks.

The only way to pick them is the “5.0” badge on the V8’s front fend­ers and the “GT” cap on the tail. The four gets a Mus­tang logo on the rear).

The speed dif­fer­ence is not as great as you might ex­pect. De­spite the Ford claims, we recorded a 0-100kmh time of 5.6 sec­onds in the V8 man­ual and 6.2 secs in the four­cylin­der. You might find quicker times from the buff mags that test on a drag strip with a sticky start line but this is what you’ll get in the real world.

The 2.3-litre turbo four-cylin­der (233kW/432Nm) has more grunt than the Mus­tang V8 did 10 years ago (223kW/432Nm).

Nine out of 10 or­ders are for the V8 but the four is the think­ing per­son’s Mus­tang: it’s $10,000 cheaper, more fuel ef­fi­cient and barely any slower. None but the trag­ics will pick the dif­fer­ence. V8 fans are won­der­ing why the Aussie Mus­tang is miss­ing just over 4kW com­pared with the US ver­sion.

Chief en­gi­neer Carl Wid­mann says the tests to de­rive those fig­ures dif­fer be­tween the US and Aus­tralia (we use an EU test­ing mea­sure), while the ex­haust man­i­fold is slightly dif­fer­ent for right-hand-drive cars (it’s also one of the parts hold­ing up pro­duc­tion).

But he says there is “no way you can feel the six horse­power dif­fer­ence, the 0-100 time is the same. If you can feel the dif­fer­ence you’re bet­ter than me.” In the US, the Mus­tang has a “burnout” mode to dis­able the rear brakes for “track use only” — it means you can smoke ’em up for as long as the rear rubber lasts. But the fun po­lice at Ford Aus­tralia re­quested that fea­ture in the car’s elec­tron­ics be dis­abled, fear­ing a pub­lic back­lash.

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