Mustang GT has plenty of bark, bite
Select any of the following as the best attribute of the Ford Mustang GT. The rich V8 engine note from the Active Valve Exhaust, 339kW of power for just under $80K that is an unmatchable “bang-for-the-buck” equation and aggressive coupe styling that interprets the pony car pedigree with a stylish modern edge.
I’ll add another. Among all the cookie-cutter SUVs, staid sedans and formulaic hatches the Mustang provides evidence that people still love special cars — especially ones with plenty of bark and bite.
The Mustang brings out the car enthusiast in people you hadn’t expected to have petrol in their veins. I’ve driven Euro premium cars costing three times the pricetag that haven’t solicited as many comments and questions as the pony car. The combination of its history, the rumbly V8 sound track and the fact it’s a mainstream enough to not be outlandishly expensive or carry any luxury badge pretence gives it broad appeal.
The Mustang arrived in New Zealand in early 2016 and doubled the volume of the sports car segment in its first year. Sales slowed a little last year and 2018 is upgrade time for the Mustang.
That involves some added sophistication, an improved — but still only 3-star — safety rating and muscle car evolution has delivered a useful power increase.
Visually the changes are details around the bonnet and grille plus new alloy wheel styles while the dash architecture has been updated and includes a new threemode configurable digital instrument display.
Because of the soundtrack there’s a temptation to call the 5.0-litre Coyote an old school V8 but the quad cam 32-valve unit boasts modern hardware including dual direct and port worked to a raucous 7000rpm to muster that number while 556Nm of torque is available at 4600rpm.
But the biggest change for the Mustang driving experience is the transmission. The automatic versions — both 5.0-litre and 2.3 EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo – are paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Raising the gear count into double figures might sound like too much of a good thing and a recipe for constant shifting. The reality proves the opposite and it’s