Top speed 0-100kph On sale Price

Friday - - Motoring -

got com­fort­able and fa­mil­iarised my­self with the car in min­utes. The new switchgear on the dash and AC con­trols are sturdy and grat­i­fy­ingly me­chan­i­cal in feel, with the heft of high-end Eight­ies’ gui­tar amp di­als. The roof is semi-au­to­matic, or semi-man­ual, though it low­ers swiftly just as long as you’re parked still. Even at walk­ing pace it re­fuses to budge, while a Porsche Boxster al­lows you to drop the top at up to 80kph.

On the move, though, the Mus­tang’s cabin is par­tic­u­larly quiet and re­fined, and this is even more ap­par­ent when you con­sider it’s a con­vert­ible model and you’re at the naughty end of tripledigit speeds. The ride, too, thanks to less un­sprung weight and that neat new chas­sis and sus­pen­sion is just great. I only had the car for two days and hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres van­ished.

When you ac­tu­ally delve into that 2.3-litre en­gine, it seems quite im­pres­sive. The torque curve is con­cen­trated pretty low down in the revs, but the mo­tor does have alu­minium ev­ery­thing, di­rect in­jec­tion, vari­able cam lift and a Mus­tang-spe­cific in­take man­i­fold. That’s why you get 310 horse­power and 420Nm of torque, which eas­ily ri­vals the old (or new) V6 Mus­tang. Zero to 100kph, then, doesn’t take long. As for the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, it, well… it changes gears. Au­to­mat­i­cally. And the pla­s­ticky shift pad­dles are to­tally dispir­it­ing.

I have a feel­ing a man­ual box would in­fin­itely (not lit­er­ally) im­prove the car, and sev­eral ex­pe­ri­enced State­side peers agree and con­firm this sen­ti­ment. You would do well to in­sist on a man­ual trans­mis­sion Mus­tang once you sit down with an Al Tayer Mo­tors suit. ack to that en­gine. In pre­pro­duc­tion form it’s not quite as im­pres­sive. There’s turbo lag and it doesn’t sound the great­est, but Ford Mid­dle East as­sures us that this car is not fully rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pro­duc­tion model. In fact, Ford is con­fi­dent that the en­gine will be com­pletely trans­formed in the fi­nal car. But a 5.0, stick shift, in this chas­sis? Oh man! And what a chas­sis it is. Ex­ten­sive use of alu­minium low­ers crit­i­cal un­sprung mass and the front’s been re­worked too. The sub­frame up there is stiffer than be­fore while re­duc­ing weight. The sus­pen­sion ge­om­e­try, springs, dampers and bush­ings are all said to more closely match the bril­liant 2012 Boss 302 but this new ’Stang is un­de­ni­ably a mas­sive evo­lu­tion of the mus­cle-car dy­nam­ics. I couldn’t hon­estly de­tect any nasty scut­tle shake, in fact the drop-top is tight for, you know, a drop-top.

I also love that Ford’s guys disregarded a stupid re­cent trend and went with a thin steer­ing wheel rim, which is way bet­ter at com­mu­ni­cat­ing the sys­tem’s ex­cel­lent di­rect­ness and feel. Sure it weighs what­ever, but the Mus­tang is con­trolled and con­sis­tent, so you can feel the grip and push this new car con­fi­dently, and hard. There is no hes­i­tance like you used to get with them live axles of old. This is not some­thing I could have said about the pre­vi­ous GT on, say, Ten­nessee’s Tail of the Dragon or Colorado’s Pikes Peak.

Based on your pack­age, there is also an ag­gres­sive fi­nal drive and a limited slip rear dif­fer­en­tial. Our tester had Pirelli P Ze­ros and ex­hib­ited dy­nam­ics you’d at­tribute to a re­ally sorted sports car. Mus­tang done grew up.

And still there’s a thing. In our Mid­dle Eastern con­text, econ­omy is not even a watch­word. In the four-pot you’ll sim­ply push harder here, and burn more 98 Oc­tane. Fac­tor that into the base price.

Or you could pop your blue col­lar and pol­ish that 5.0 badge.

The AC con­trols are grat­i­fy­ingly me­chan­i­cal in feel, with the heft of Eight­ies’ gui­tar amp di­als

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