This is the all-new Ford Mustang. It goes on sale in the UK from spring 2015 and for the first time this iconic American muscle car is being designed and engineered to match our tastes, and will be available with right-hand drive.
Being polished for Europe has meant a lot of changes, and quality has been greatly improved over the outgoing version. There’s also a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine and far more sophisticated rear suspension, instead of the cruder set-ups we’ve seen before.
Mind you, it still keeps the faith in lots of ways. It looks wider, sleeker and lower than the outgoing model but both the coupe and convertible keep US-style proportions. Alongside the new four-cylinder engine, there’s an uprated version of the venerable 5.0-litre V8. Both have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although a six-speed auto is also on offer.
Economy and exact power figures will be released closer to the 2015 on-sale date. However, Ford sources say the V8 is likely to have around 440bhp, hit 60mph in around five seconds and go on to a limited 155mph. The turbocharged car will have around 330bhp and have similar performance; engineers are trying to get its CO2 emissions below 220g/km.
The all-new chassis is far more sophisticated than those in previous Mustangs, and company insiders say that it’s being tuned to ride smoothly on UK roads. Meanwhile, both the Porsche 911 and outgoing BMW M3 are cited by Ford engineers as benchmarks for driver enjoyment.
What’s the 2015 Ford Mustang like inside?
Sitting in a Ford Mustang has always felt special. The good news is that’s still the case, but now most of what you see and touch is of a much higher quality. There are areas where an Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series feel classier, such as plastics shrouding the central tunnel where your arm rests, but most of the materials look and feel of a high standard.
You sit low in the car, making that long bonnet feel even longer, and seeing out and over your shoulder shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re really short of stature.
Most of the major functions are taken care of via a large central touch-screen or rotary controls. There’s also a pleasing nod to the past: the drive modes (normal, sport, track or wet) are operated with toggle switches.
Space is marginally better than in the outgoing model, with everyone getting a mite more kneeroom and shoulder space. It’s still not the easiest car to climb into the back of, but once you’re in it’s comfortable enough. Both the coupé and convertible are capable of carrying four adults.
If you opt for the soft-top the cloth roof is now easier and quicker to lower; it takes only seven seconds for the powered hood to go up or down, and it looks a lot tidier than before when it’s down. It’s disappointing, though, that you still have to unlock a latch to start the process – you don’t need to do this in most rivals.
What will the 2015 Ford Mustang cost you?
Ford is tight-lipped about pricing. However, while the Mustang is a bargain-basement option in America – starting at less than £20,000 – our best guess is that prices will start at around £30,000.
You can, at least, expect it to be fulsomely equipped, with the new infotainment system being standard. Unlike previous Mustangs there will also be a large range of interior colours and trims for both cloth and leather options.
On looks alone the Mustang deserves to sell, but whether UK buyers will be willing to jump out of their Audis and BMWs for it is a different matter altogether. We’ll find out in early 2015.