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Motoring

Ford unveils new Mustang

Since the first model was launched in 54 years ago, the emphasis has always been on performance and a fun-to-drive experience. The new 5.0-litre V8 powertrain has been further developed to deliver more power and a higher rev-limit than ever before

A ‘sleeker, faster and more technologically-advanced’ new Mustang has just been unveiled by Ford, who say it delivers ‘more athletic styling, sophisticated engine and suspension enhancements, advanced driver assistance features and more customisation options’ for customers in Europe.

Available in fastback and convertible body styles, the Mustang profile now features more refined aerodynamics, and is enhanced with LED lighting technology, and new alloy wheel options.

The 5.0-litre V8 engine now delivers 450 PS – and is able to sprint from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.3 seconds when combined with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic gearbox. The six-speed manual transmission, meanwhile, now features rev-matching technology that delivers ‘smoother, faster downshifts accompanied by a blip of the powerful engine’.

Tuned to match European driving expectations, the car now comes with sophisticated new MagneRide® adjustable suspension and selectable Drive Modes, including a customisable My Mode option. A new Active Valve Performance Exhaust even delivers an innovative Good Neighbour Mode for early-morning or late-night driving.

Driver assistance technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Lane Keeping Aid to “enhance the driving experience with greater peace-of-mind”.

“Europe’s passion for Mustang has proven even greater than we imagined – more than 33,000 Mustangs are already bringing one of the most iconic sights in motoring to the continent’s streets,” says Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. “There are few cars on the road that can deliver such a combination of heritage, style and performance to such a wide audience.”

The exterior boasts a sleeker, more athletic appearance: the bonnet profile is now lower with integrated air vents, combined with a revised lower grille design to give a sharper, more aggressive face, while improving aerodynamics.

Ford engineers paid particular attention to reducing front end lift, adding a larger front splitter that increases downforce to help keep the front end planted to the ground for greater stability. Rocker shields to the rear of the front wheel arches improve air flow beneath the car, reducing drag by up to 3%.

There’s a re-modelled bumper and diffuser element at the rear, accommodating standard quad-tailpipes and a new optional boot spoiler for an even sportier profile.

The headlights, daytime running lights, indicators and three-dimensional tri-bar tail lights now all feature LED technology as standard, with LED foglights also available. The front headlight bezels have also been restyled.

Inside, there is, says Ford, ‘a more premium feel’ with soft touch materials for the door linings and an aluminium finish on the door handles.

A new engine-start button pulses red from the moment the door is unlocked until the engine sparks into life, ‘giving Mustang a heartbeat of its own’ (at a rate of 30 beats per minute, it apparently mirrors the resting heart rate of a pony).

Since the first model was launched in 1964 the emphasis has always been on performance and a fun-to-drive experience. The new 5.0-litre V8 powertrain has been further developed to deliver more power and a higher rev-limit than ever before. Peak power of 450 PS and 529 Nm of torque is supported by the introduction of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system, which also increases low-end torque, and when combined with the 10-speed automatic gearbox delivers 12.1 l/100 km (23.3 mpg) fuel consumption and 270 g/km CO2 emissions.

The more fuel-efficient 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine delivers 290 PS and 440 Nm of torque alongside 9.0 l/100km (31.4 mpg) and 199 g/km CO2, when combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine offers a more responsive driving experience thanks to a transient overboost function for the turbocharger – triggered under heavy acceleration to provide an extra boost following each up-shift.

Both engines can be paired with either the 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The automatic transmission has a low-friction architecture and Auto Start-Stop capability. Its electronic control system enables settings that optimise performance for Drive Modes and it has steering wheel-mounted paddles-shifters.

Recalibrated shock absorbers improve stability through corners, and the rear suspension is stiffened with a cross-axis joint that reduces unwanted movement at each corner.

Two new Drive Modes are now offered: in addition to Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet Modes there is Drag Strip Mode for maximum acceleration from standing starts and quarter-mile performance – aimed at drag racers – and My Mode, which enables drivers to select their own preferred settings for performance, dynamics and exhaust sound.

The Mustang will be offered to customers in Europe with a range of driver assistance technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – designed to reduce the severity of and, in some cases, even mitigate frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians.

For the first time it will also be offered with Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert technologies that help drivers maintain an appropriate distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Aid that can apply torque to the steering wheel to steer the vehicle back into lane.

A customisable 12-inch LCD instrument cluster will deliver information displays to match the selected Drive Mode – similar to the Ford GT supercar. The cluster configuration will automatically change depending on Drive Mode, and can be programmed to display a range of gauges.

Another feature is Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which allows drivers to control their connected smartphones, audio, navigation, and climate functions with voice commands, and by using pinch and swipe gestures on the central 8-inch touch screen. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™.

Later this year a special edition Ford Mustang Bullitt will go on sale, paying homage to the Mustang GT fastback that featured in the Warner Bros. film starring Steve McQueen. It will be powered by an uprated 5.0-litre V8 that is anticipated to deliver 464 PS and 529 Nm of torque.

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