Mighty quiet Mus­tang

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By John Mur­doch

BACK in Au­gust last year I was able to take the wheel of a true Amer­i­can icon avail­able in the UK for the first time in right-hand drive form.

Up un­til last year, Ford’s Mus­tang had to be pri­vately im­ported to this coun­try and all of them had the steer­ing wheel on the wrong side.

Sud­denly the car that had been on sale for over 50 years and gained cult sta­tus was avail­able here – and at a rea­son­able price.

One of the most recog­nised cars across the globe, it is avail­able in coupe and con­vert­ible body styles and with a choice of two en­gines.

Penned by a de­sign team headed by Scot Mo­ray Cal­lum, brother of Jaguar’s de­sign di­rec­tor Ian, UK cars are avail­able with Ford’s im­pres­sive 5.0litre V8 or a slightly more eco­nom­i­cal 2.3-litre four-cylin­der turbo Eco­Boost en­gine and you can match both to sixspeed man­ual or au­to­matic gear­boxes.

Last time out, I sam­pled the mag­nif­i­cent 5.0-litre V8 in con­vert­ible form and this time I got to try out the less mus­cu­lar 2.3 in the coupe body.

Nearly as quick as its big en­gined brother, the 2.3 should cost far less to run and there is thank­fully no dif­fer­ence to its stun­ning vis­ual look.

Sadly, you have to do with­out the le­gendary mus­cle car’s V8 bur­ble and sound­track but the smaller en­gine is nearly as quick and – on pa­per at least – not nearly as thirsty.

Half the cylin­ders doesn’t mean half the grunt or a lack of fun. Once you get over the ini­tial shock of not hear­ing a V8 burst into life when you fire the en­gine up for the first time you just ac­cept the fact and get on with en­joy­ing the car.

This model came with the six-speed man­ual gear­box and the Eco­Boost unit does not lack fire­power. It has 313bhp on tap and is ca­pa­ble of reach­ing 145mph.

It ac­cel­er­ates smoothly with a hint of turbo whis­tle and takes just 5.8 sec­onds to reach 62mph.

In an at­tempt to make the car more ex­cit­ing, Ford has cre­ated an ar­ti­fi­cial sound­track that comes through the speak­ers but sadly it can’t com­pete with the real noise from the V8.

There are four driv­ing modes to choose from, Nor­mal, Wet/Snow, Sport and Track, with the lat­ter two mak­ing ad­just­ments to the steer­ing and throt­tle re­sponse.

As you would ex­pect the ride is on the firm side but the Mus­tang of­fered bags of grip and bal­ance.

The roomy cabin has some nice retro touches and is iden­ti­cal to the 5.0-litre ver­sion. It is com­fort­able and as you would ex­pect very Amer­i­can but the rear seats are only suit­able for chil­dren or small adults.

There is bags of equip­ment in­cluded as stan­dard and for £31,745 you get a lot of car for your buck.

Spe­cial paint will cost an ad­di­tional £795, a pre­mium au­dio sys­tem with nav­i­ga­tion an­other £795, cli­mate con­trolled seats (heat­ing and cool­ing) £495 and re­verse park­ing sen­sors £295, tak­ing the to­tal to £34,125.

The claimed com­bined econ­omy fig­ure is 35.3mpg, and this Fast­back model is sur­pris­ingly prac­ti­cal with a large boot.

It of­fers all of the looks and fun for less cash and lower run­ning costs but if you want to en­joy the fab­u­lous noise of the V8 then its prob­a­bly worth pay­ing the ex­tra £4,000 to get it.

TEST DRIVE FORD MUS­TANG 2.3L

MODEL: Ford Mus­tang 2.3-litre Eco­Boost Fast­back PRICE: £31,745 ME­CHAN­I­CAL: 317ps, 2,298cc, 4cyl petrol en­gine driv­ing rear wheels via 6-speed man­ual gear­box MAX SPEED: 145mph 0-62MPH: 5.8 sec­onds COM­BINED MPG: 35.3 IN­SUR­ANCE GROUP: 46 CO2 EMIS­SIONS: 179g/km BIK RAT­ING: 34% WAR­RANTY: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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