Time to saddle up new Mustang

Bobby Cheetham

THE new Ford Mustang is headed for South Africa – but only in 2015! Making the announcement, Ford said the world’s favourite pony car (as in badge on the grille) has been completely redesigned. And there are Port Elizabeth links involved as well.

“The Mustang is basically the heart of the Ford brand,” Jacques Brent, Ford group marketing manager for large cars and SUVs, said at the automaker’s top- secret Studio S in Detroit, where the new Mustang was designed.

“It’s synonymous with Ford around the world.” Brent is a Westering High School old boy, now seconded to Ford America after a meteoric rise in the industry. Ford SA marketing manager Gavin Golightly is also formerly from PE.

“The illustrious Mustang brand has alluded us for some years in South Africa,” Golightly said. “But as the One Ford strategy continues to develop, we can now look forward to welcoming this iconic nameplate to South African showrooms.

“The international reveal has been much anticipated around the globe and we are thrilled now to be part of the Mustang journey,” he added.

But, you petrolheads ask, what is under the hood? There’s a 5.0-litre 315kW V8 available, but the real news is how Ford has paired Mustang-level performance with the highly efficient 225kW 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.

The award-winning EcoBoost delivers efficiency with real power to the powertrain lineup.

Increased stroke adds displacement while a new twin-scroll turbocharger means incredibly fast time-to-torque.

But Ford SA is playing its cards close to its chest as to exactly when the Mustang is destined for our shores.

More than nine million Mustangs have been sold since it was first launched in 1964. The world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook, it has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is one of 15 new vehicles that Ford will launch in South Africa by 2017. Ford says the new Mustang has been developed with impressive performance, driving dynamics and usability in mind. It also includes a significant amount of advanced driver convenience and driver-aid technologies.

Convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car an upscale appearance and a quiet cabin. The top has a sleek profile when folded for open-air motoring.

Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomy cabin with an aviation-inspired cockpit. Ergonomic and tactile switches and knobs provide control.

The vehicle’s width and new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers and a usefully shaped boot-space that can accommodate two golf bags.

The car features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the front structure while reducing mass, providing a strong foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

The new double ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of large, powerful brakes.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension.

The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application, and are well suited to highspeed driving. New aluminium rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

The vehicle features a significant number of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control, and connectivity when they want it.

The advanced, Ford-developed stability control is tuned to maximise the new Mustang’s dynamic capabilities with features like torque vectoring that directs engine power to individual wheels to keep the car on course. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, manual transmission variants of the Mustang GT include standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.

Advanced driver-assist features include standard Ford SYNC with voice control and touch-screen that lets drivers control their entertainment.

I can see in my mind’s eye the queue forming already outside Ford dealerships across the country for those who want to put their names down for a Mustang fastback or convertible.

And price? UK reports say £30000 – about R500000 – over there.

Welcome back Mustang!

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