AT A GLANCE
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.