PONY WITH HORSEPOWER
`TOOLS’ PRANG THE STANG
My mate at Suncorp told me last week he writes off one Mustang a week due to baby boomer drivers running out of talent and putting them into a wall sideways.
“These blokes think they are Alan Moffat, get on the gas too hard and lose the rear end,’’ he said
Hopefully they all survive but it’s rather tragic to think all that gorgeous metal is being pulverised.
Oh well, you can’t legislate against stupidity.
Mustang has been around for nearly two years in this country but the Mustang still commands attention on the street. The `pony car’ has a `wow factor’ few other mainstream vehicles can match.
The attraction is a combination of styling, the legend, the engine and the soundtrack coupled with motorsport exposure over 50 years. Whoever decided on calling it a Mustang deserves a medal because the connotations are all correct.
Ford Australia last year needed a hero car after it stopped making Falcon and Mustang has stepped up to the plate proving hugely popular despite an ANCAP crash rating hiccup earlier this year.
Ford slotted me into the Fastback GT auto last week and I have to say it would be on my short list of car purchases should I win the lottery tonight… in the striking blue livery with black wheels.
Forget the 2.3 four banger, (just about everybody has) go straight for the 5.0-litre V8 in manual or auto, doesn’t matter, and I reckon the tin top looks better than the rag top. Costs less too.
Ford now offers some dealer fitted performance parts and I would definitely spend the dosh on an exhaust upgrade that gives the V8 a much more strident voice.
So just to go over the GT’s spec, it has a 5.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8 `Coyote’ engine with variable cam timing and clever intake system for efficiency gains generating 306kW/530Nm output.
NO HOLDING BACK
Ford didn’t hold back and specifies a stronger forged crankshaft and conrods for the GT engine.
Drive goes to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual or conventional 6-speed auto with paddle shift.
The GT rolls on 19-inch wheels attached to a strut front and multi-link rear suspension with monumental 380mm front discs clamped by 6-piston Brembo calipers.
It weighs in at 1747kg and consumes around 10.0-litres/100km driven normally.
Four drive modes are selectable from a dash toggle offering Normal, Sport+, Track and Snow calibrations to various systems.
The interior is luxury car standard in typical brash American style with lashings of bright metal and leather including heated and cooled front seats.
There’s pretty much no legroom in the back seat or headroom for anyone older than about 6 years. The boot is a decent size.
Not much advanced driver assist technology finds its way into Mustang apart from rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, reverse camera and tyre pressure monitoring.
It has a generous amount of luxury kit including sports leather seats, premium audio and Ford’s excellent Sync2 infotainment system with satnav.
Only the manual GT has launch control but it doesn’t matter because the auto gets out of the blocks rapidly spinning up the rear wheels under pure grunt.
ON THE ROAD
Driving the Mustang Fastback GT is a hoot even tooling slowly around the suburbs. It feels great to drive… sporty, responsive and powerful.
Though heavy, the GT delivers sharp dynamics and corners with utmost stability unless the driver uses too much throttle.
This has been a problem as on average, one Mustang a week is written off in Australia due to rear slides under power. Perhaps the owners should stick with Sport+ and keep Track mode for the track.
It sounds awesome to the point where you put the windows down to appreciate the exhaust burble.
Mustang’s dynamics benefit hugely from its enormous disc brakes and super sharp steering coupled with sporty suspension settings and soft compound tyres that would wear quickly.
Every time you get in, you feel good – and then it gets better from there when you start the potent engine and drive the car.
It can be thirsty and uses expensive 98 but that’s quickly forgotten once you leave the servo.
For the $60 grand ask, Mustang doesn’t have any real competitors in this country apart from the just released Kia Stinger twin turbo V6 coupe. It’s not a V8 though…….
As good as the Stinger might be my money would go on the Mustang every day.
Name: Mustang Fastback GT
Engine: 5.0-litre DOHC petrol V8 with 306kW/540Nm
Transmission: 6my, 6at. RWD
Fuel Consumption: 10.2-litres/100km (on test)
Performance: 0-100kmh 6.0 seconds