‘This is the James Dean of cars’

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AMIL UMRAW

THE gal­lop­ing pony is here; but if you want one, you may have to wait a few years — un­less you win the “Mus­tang Lotto” of course.

Ford has un­leashed its leg­endary beast onto Mzansi’s roads for the first time, drop­ping po­ten­tial buy­ers to their knees beg­ging to take the reigns.

With a wait­ing list prob­a­bly as long as the car it­self, Ford has in­tro­duced the ‘Mus­tang Lottery’.

TAKE THE GAM­BLE

It is a com­pe­ti­tion like no other. Fif­teen lucky vic­tors will each win the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase the all new Mus­tang ahead of the ex­ist­ing wait­ing list, said to be any­where be­tween two to three years.

Op­er­at­ing on a sweep­stake ba­sis, the com­pe­ti­tion will run un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary next year and po­ten­tial buy­ers can en­ter on Ford’s web­site.

But if you end up as one of the thou­sands of dark horses when the com­pe­ti­tion con­cludes, is the Mus­tang worth the wait?

Hell Yes! It may not be the fastest or the classi­est, but it has been a while since I have driven a car with so much soul. Ford has some­how man­aged to en­cap­su­late the re­bel­lious spirit of free­dom and fun en­trenched in the Mus­tang’s pedi­gree.

This is the James Dean of cars.

THE PONY

The first of the two Mus­tang de­riv­a­tives is the more sub­tle 2.3-litre EcoBoost. The tamed pony is in­tro­verted enough for daily com­mut­ing but also as­sertive when your right foot goes down.

Its ac­claimed power plant de­liv­ers 233kW and 430Nm of torque, which ac­cord­ing to Ford, gets it from 0-100km/h in 5.8 sec­onds. And it isn’t thirsty. Ford claims a com­bined fuel econ­omy of 8.0l/100km, but the quick-revving seam­less gear­box makes it im­pos­si­ble for the driver to want to achieve this.

THE STAL­LION

The snarling beast of the two, the five-litre V8, comes stan­dard with an ex­haust like the crack­ing of thun­der and bowel-re­leas­ing torque that sur­prises you when you least ex­pect it.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing a pre­cise and re­spon­sive six-speed gear­box, the mas­sive en­gine churns out 306kW and 530Nm of torque, cat­a­pult­ing the car from 0-100km/h in 4.8 sec­onds.

With this de­riv­a­tive, Ford have gone be­yond the call to stay true to the es­sen­tial rac­ing spirit of the Mus­tang with fea­tures like ‘Track­Apps’, which time your ac­cel­er­a­tion and straight-line rac­ing laps as well as ‘Line Lock’, which brakes the front wheels so you can warm up those rear tyres at the start line.

OVER­ALL

With sim­i­lar aes­thet­ics in both de­riv­a­tives as well as Ford’s per­for­mance pack­age stan­dard across the range, the Mus­tang is fea­ture-packed.

Like the cock­pit of a fighter

jet, the in­te­rior is driver-cen­tred and func­tional with chromed switches, vi­brant di­als and am­bi­ent light­ing. The Mus­tang com­mands a level of re­spect that sur­passes even a su­per car.

Yes, peo­ple may stop and stare when you pull up in a Fer­rari, but while driv­ing in the Mother City with the Mus­tang’s top down, peo­ple saluted.

And that is what this car is. It is history rede­fined.

It stands for some­thing more than com­mut­ing or rac­ing.

It stands for the road less trav­elled — pure driv­ing au­ton­omy.

SAFETY FIRST

It is safe too, for a mus­cle car.

In a press state­ment, Ford said the ad­vanced new Ford-de­vel­oped sta­bil­ity con­trol sys­tem is tuned to max­imise Mus­tang’s dy­namic ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

When the time comes to turn up the wick at a track, new Mus­tang GT in­cludes stan­dard launch con­trol on man­ual-trans­mis­sion mod­els that en­ables driv­ers to achieve smooth, con­sis­tent starts ev­ery time.

The Elec­tronic line-lock and launch con­trol tech­nol­ogy — stan­dard on the Mus­tang GT with man­ual trans­mis­sion – can help driv­ers achieve more con­sis­tent per­for­mance from run to run. With the elec­tronic line-lock fea­ture en­abled, when a driver re­leases the brake pedal, the hy­draulic con­trol unit for the sta­bil­ity con­trol sys­tem will keep the front brakes locked while re­leas­ing the rear brakes.

When Mus­tang is sit­ting in the burnout box of a drag strip, for ex­am­ple, the driver can ap­ply the ac­cel­er­a­tor to spin up the rear wheels to warm the tyres for max­i­mum grip. This can all be done with­out hav­ing to bal­ance one foot on the brake and the other on the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal, or in­stall a me­chan­i­cal line-lock.

With the tyres prop­erly warmed up, driv­ers can pull up to the stag­ing line, en­gage launch con­trol, and get a per­fect cat­a­pult as soon as the lights go green. The Track Apps func­tion in­cludes launch con­trol and elec­tronic line-lock (on the V8 man­ual), as well as an ac­celerom­e­ter, ac­cel­er­a­tion timer and brake per­for­mance dis­play.

STAY CON­NECTED

SYNC2 lets driv­ers con­trol their smart­phone and mul­ti­me­dia de­vices to lis­ten to their favourite form of en­ter­tain­ment. The sys­tem in­cludes voice con­trol, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, eight-inch colour touch screen, dual USB ports and an SD card slot. The new Mus­tang’s re­verse park­ing sen­sors, with vi­su­als in the dis­play screen, will also help with those tricky park­ing sit­u­a­tions.

Ford MyKey is fit­ted as stan­dard on the Mus­tang, al­low­ing up to four keys to pro­grammed, controlling as­pects such as ve­hi­cle speed, au­dio vol­ume, driveras­sist fea­tures and seat­belt re­minders. An in­di­vid­ual Tyre Pres­sure Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tem (TPMS) is also pro­vided.

Con­ve­nience fea­tures in the Mus­tang in­clude Auto wipers and lights, ad­justable LED mood light­ing, pud­dle lamps with the pro­jected Mus­tang logo, Il­lu­mi­nated door sills, and 8-way ad­justable elec­tronic seats (stan­dard) with heat­ing and cool­ing func­tion

The Mus­tang is also equipped with disc brakes all round in­cor­po­rat­ing four-sen­sor, four-chan­nel ABS, com­ple­mented by AdvanceTrac elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

On the Mus­tang 2.3 EcoBoost, 352mm ven­ti­lated front brake discs are con­trolled by four-pis­ton alu­minium cal­lipers, along with 330mm vented discs and a sin­gle-pis­ton cal­liper at the rear.

The V8-pow­ered Mus­tang GT boasts larger 380mm front discs along with ad­vanced six-pis­ton Brembo cal­lipers up front for phe­nom­e­nal stop­ping power.

Pric­ing

• Mus­tang 2.3 EcoBoost Fast­back man­ual R699 900

• Mus­tang 2.3 EcoBoost Fast­back auto R719 900

• Mus­tang 2.3 EcoBoost Con­vert­ible auto R779 900

• Mus­tang 5.0 GT Fast­back man­ual R819 900

• Mus­tang 5.0 GT Fast­back auto R839 900

• Mus­tang 5.0 GT Con­vert­ible auto R899 900

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

Ford’s new Mus­tang re­de­fines mus­cle car history, stand­ing for some­thing more than com­mut­ing or rac­ing. AMIL UMRAW drove it … and came back a con­vert.

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

Call­ing all petrol­heads, a test drive in the new Mus­tang is one Christ­mas you should not miss, and with prices start­ing at R700k for the 2,3-litre Mus­tang, this pony car is also half the price of the su­per cars it com­petes with in the fun-to-drive stakes.

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