What they don’t tell you about rid­ing in the ‘tang. —

Mus­tang V8: Rough and ready, but no car turns more heads

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Wheels team of car nuts are grate­ful to Ford SA for al­low­ing us 72 hours with the Ford Mus­tang V8.

Not many me­dia cracked a nod for this one and even more as­pir­ing own­ers are still await­ing de­liv­ery of their mod­els, so it re­ally was a rare treat. De­spite this, not all like the ’tang in equal mea­sure.

These are their views:

Amil feel-the-soul Um­raw

Granted, the Mus­tang is not M5 fast, F-Stle el­e­gantly styled, or GT-R jammed with the latest tech­nol­ogy. But these lit­tle gaps just add to the car’s “soul”.

Oh, and the fact that it is fast enough to ram your head into the seat as it snakes from side to side.

This is not a com­puter driv­ing you, but you get­ting a pri­mal testos­terone boost as you ex­plode fuel in eight cylin­ders the way the creator in­tended for en­gines.

And who cares about el­e­gant, sleek styling any­way? The Mus­tang is a mus­cu­lar brute on the road and ev­ery­one knows it.

What has changed is the Mus­tang’s rep­u­ta­tion for break­ing down. Ford has in the 2016 model har­nessed the spirit of the open road into a com­fort­able, smooth and prac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle into which we even shoe­horned four blokes.

And that sound that comes out of ex­hausts! I have yet to find the words to de­scribe the joy it gives you. But the coupé roofline means the blokes at the back will feel a bit squashed. And don’t even think of park­ing at the mall. It is too long, too wide and you can hide trucks in the blind spots.

As for the in­te­rior styling, what styling? In there you can see where the money did not go to make a Pony car those not earn­ing dol­lars can af­ford. It’s all faux metal plas­tic knobs on cheap black plas­tic pan­els in there, not at all what you’d ex­pect in a R819 900 car.

Brian it-stacks-up Bassett

In my dis­tant youth, I was very lucky in that I could buy a rusted 1969 with stick shift and drive it across Amer­ica along Route 66.

This new Pony brought back those mem­o­ries and I like how the de­sign­ers clearly made an ef­fort to in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments from all the pre­ced­ing gen­er­a­tions. As for the com­par­a­tively un­der­whelm­ing in­te­rior, you have to ap­proach this car like an Amer­i­can, for whom it is all about grand­stand­ing.

Do that, and this pony will tickle all your right spots.

Alwyn save-the-drops Viljoen

Ford was quite con­sid­er­ate to limit the loan to 72 hours. Dur­ing this time, we twice had to put fuel into the Mus­tang’s 60-litre fuel tank. And no, we did not drive it like we stole it ALL the time. (It was only once, to make the lit­tle whisp of smoke shown here. OK, so it was once and a half, but the trac­tion con­trol was still on so that half doesn’t re­ally count.)

So how far can you go in the ’tang with a full tank and just a lit­tle bit of putting foot be­tween the lights to hear that growl be­come a bark? Be­tween 160 and 200 km, de­pend­ing on the size of your right shoe.

This is the ele­phant in the room that we car nuts po­litely ig­nore when we sing the praises of the V8 bur­bling away un­der the hood. The bot­tom line is you are lucky to get three kilo­me­tres a litre in the city, and about 8 km/l on the N3. A car for Sun­day cruis­ing then. But this is the first car I’ve driven in that peo­ple ac­tu­ally ran af­ter. And even For­tuner driv­ers make a gap for it in traf­fic. In a Mus­tang, you look like a movie star and feel the lu­urve.

PHOTO: AMIL UM­RAW

If you drive the Mus­tang V8 like this, (and to spare the rub­ber you can only do this once) the com­puter that mon­i­tors the fuel will warn you the 15 litres in the quar­ter tank is only good for an­other 41 km (in­set).

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