Ford have proudly changed what the Mustang is inside–but the instant-recognition appeal is intact. After years of selling the Mustang as a rough-and-tumble muscle car, it now is a car that’s fully refined in all the ways a daily-driving car needs to be–and is ferocious and tractable the way a grand touring coupe should be.
You may have seen her Australian debut at the Opera House on New Years Eve, or just all the advertising, which was mysterious and intriguing. But there’s no doubt, when this baby hits the Aussie bitumen we will be impressed.
Earlier in the year Ford hauled a 2015 Mustang to the roof of the Empire State Building in New York, and then later pulled one to the top of the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world. Ford is describing it all as a history-making year for the company.
The idea actually started in 1964 when Ford ambitiously displayed the first Mustang at the top of the Empire State Building in New York. It’s all being repeated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang.
The new look
First glances at the Mustang are mostly positive ones. The fastback has a graceful slope, the haunches are thick and muscly, and the cuts across the front end don’t scar up the shark nose–they embrace it. It’s refreshing to see that the Mustang hasn’t reached for anything new or make any brave departures from its original wow factor. Many a new version does, and tends to disappoint the crowd.
Inside, the Mustang’s aviation-themed cabin is organized neatly and fitted better than any Mustang yet. Large, clear gauges are tucked in more deeply, and the switches and knobs provide better control. A metallic chin-up bar sweeps across the dash and diminishes the classic dual-binnacle look to a couple of eyebrows over the dash.
And just to tease you, here’s the new 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. Oh. My. God.
Ford says they wanted to build a better performance car with this entirely new Mustang, and they have. This is the first time we’ll also see the Mustang’s first turbo four since the mid-1980s. The turbo engine outclasses the V-6 on paper on almost every front, yet both are stunning vehicles.
High-tech features on the new Mustang include those drive modes as well as infotainment gear like SYNC with MyFord Touch and Shaker Pro audio. The cockpit lighting can change its colors, the side mirrors cast pony images on the ground at night, there’s a standard rearview camera and a USB port, hurrah, in plain sight facing the driver on the console.
The mid-range Mustangs are worth the price of admission. With better room, better comfort, better bones and borderline brilliant handling, the pony car’s become a sort of Motown Maserati.
Is the loaded car better than a US$65,000 BMW M4? That depends. What exactly did you have in mind for the leftover US$20,000 to US$30,000?
Whatever you decide, know this: the Mustang you want to drive is no longer the entry-level, prosaic little pony car it once was. It’s a luxury sport coupe that can wear the grand-tourer label without apology–and it’s sure to be treading on sports-car status just as soon as a GT350 gets out of the gate.