“I believe in me. I’m a little screwed up, but I’m beautiful.” – Steve McQueen
In propelling the Ford Mustang to instant stardom and everlasting iconic status in the movie ‘Bullitt’, actor Steve McQueen’s words about himself could easily apply to the car that has captivated petrolheads in all its shapes since it was launched in April 1964.
Incidentally, the first appearance by a Mustang in a movie was in 1964 in ‘The Troops of St Tropez’ and that was followed up by an appearance in ‘Goldfinger’ in the same year, the release of which was timed for the actual launch of the car in America.
Now in its sixth generation the signature styling of the Mustang has remained reasonably constant, even if its shape and size has varied quite dramatically – the second generation from 1974, for example, being built on the Pinto sub-compact platform.
Now, for 2020 it has been updated to be sleeker, faster and more technologically advanced with engine and suspension enhancements, as well as advanced driver assistance features for customers of the iconic sports car.
“The passion for Mustang is stronger than ever, proven by this legendary model’s unrivalled dominance of the sports car segment globally, which has made it one of the most iconic sights on local roads since it first went on sale in South Africa in 2016,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager, Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA).
“There are few cars that deliver such a combination of heritage, style and performance to such a wide audience, and the New Ford Mustang offers the most compelling package yet.”
In the broad band of Sports & GT cars on the local market, Mustang stands proud having sold 36 units last month against 13 for the BMW Z4 and 5 for the Jaguar F-Type.
Certainly enough interest to warrant the 50 special edition Bullitt variants allocated to South Africa that will be offered in classic Bullitt-exclusive Dark Highland Green or Shadow Black, along with a range of styling and feature enhancements.
This is powered by an uprated 338 kW version of Ford’s 5,0-litre V8 that delivers enhanced performance and a more engaging driving experience thanks to the fitment of a six-speed manual gearbox.
The revised ‘standard’ versions are available in Fastback and Convertible body styles with a choice of uprated 2.3 EcoBoost and 5.0 V8 engines matched to Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.
The exterior of the new Ford Mustang delivers a sleeker, more athletic appearance and the bonnet profile is now lower with integrated air vents, combined with a revised lower grille design.
The rear-end design is enhanced with a re-modelled bumper and diffuser element, accommodating standard quad-tailpipes for the 5,0-litre GT model.
Mustang’s headlights, daytime running lights, indicators and three-dimensional tri-bar tail lights now all feature LED technology as standard, combined with LED foglights. The front headlight bezels have also been restyled to reflect the trapezoidal shape of the upper grille.
Ford’s 5,0-litre V8 engine has been further developed to deliver more power and a higher rev-limit than ever before. Peak power climbs from 309 kW on the previous model to 331 kW, with an accompanying torque peak of 529 Nm supported by the introduction of Ford’s new high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system which improves low-end torque.
The more fuel-efficient 2,3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine delivers 213 kW and 441 Nm of torque – an increase of 11 Nm. The revised engine offers a more responsive and engaging driving experience thanks to a transient overboost function for the turbo-charger – triggered under heavy acceleration to provide an extra burst of boost following each up-shift.
Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission uses an electronic control system, which enables settings that optimise performance for Drive Modes. Real-time adaptive shift-scheduling allows the transmission to adapt to changing conditions and select the right gear in any situation. Steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters give drivers maximum control.
Ford engineers have optimised Mustang’s driving dynamics with recalibrated shock absorbers to improve stability through corners and the rear suspension is stiffened with a cross-axis joint that reduces unwanted movement at each corner. Thicker anti-roll bars also better control body-roll for sharper handling.
For the first time Mustang is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert technologies that help drivers maintain an appropriate distance to the vehicle ahead, as well as Lane Departure Warning that can warn when drivers unintentionally drift out of lane, and Lane Keeping Aid that can apply torque to the steering wheel to steer the vehicle back into lane.
A customisable, all-digital, 12-inch LCD instrument cluster delivers information displays optimised to match the selected Drive Mode and it also features Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which allows drivers to control their connected smartphones, audio, and climate functions with conversational voice commands and by using pinch and swipe gestures on the central 8-inch touch screen.
Ford Mustang Prices:
Mustang 2.3 Fastback 10AT R768 000
Mustang 2.3 Convertible 10AT R831 000
Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback 10AT R915 800
Mustang 5.0 GT Convertible 10AT R978 400
Mustang Bullitt 5.0 V8 GT Fastback 6MT R995 400
All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a 4-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A 6-year/90 000 km service plan is included, with 15 000 km service intervals.