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Ford Mustang 2.3 convertible has pressence

29.07.2016

I'm not sure that something as iconic as a Ford Mustang really needs much introduction? None the less here's a quick run down: The Mustang was an instant success upon its release back in the 60s. Original sales forecasts projected less than 100 000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed just three months after it first hit showroom floors. Another 318 000 would be sold during the model year and in its first 18 months more than one million Mustangs were built.

Needless to say those figures along with Ford's marketing campaign at the time cemented the Mustang's place in motoring history. Unfortunately what followed was let-down after let-down from Ford in its attempts to recreate the legend. So have they got the new one right?

On the outside

I think it's fairly safe to say Ford hit the nail on the head here. The Mustang has always been a large chunk of metal, as is this one. It bulges in all the right places, like any good muscle car should. Lastly it oozes presence. In fact I think to get as much attention on the road you'd have to pay a good deal more than double the price tag with any other manufacturer.

This one, in rag-top convertible format, just takes that all to another level and in fact does a good job of looking good with the top up or down. Thumbs up, then.

On the inside

It's hard to keep in mind that the Mustang comes from the same manufacturer that is usually putting together sensible hatchbacks. So one must bear in mind that a lot of the bits and bobs around the cabin are sourced from the Focus parts bin. It might be a hard pill to swallow given the R700,000+ price tag but that's just how it is.

That said there are nice touches, like the toggle style switches, chunky steering wheel and oversized dashboard. Brushed aluminium nameplates remind you that you're sitting in a Mustang, just in case you're likely to forget.

Behind the wheel

There are two engine options, a whopping great 5.0-litre V8 and a relatively diminutive 2.3-litre turbocharged Ecoboost unit. It might seem like blasphemy to opt for anything other than the V8 but honestly, having driven both, the Ecoboost probably makes more real-world sense.

It's basically the same engine that comes in the new Focus RS, here pushing out around 230kW which is plenty. You can have a manual or automatic gearbox. The auto is a bit lazy so personally I prefer the manual.

 One massive departure with the Mustang is the fact that unlike most muscle cars, this one has proper suspension. In fact it was largely engineered by clever people in Europe. There's independent rear suspension, limited slip differentials, massive brakes and fancy lightweight materials involved under the skin. Accordingly it's more engaging to drive than most would expect.

Pricing

This 2.3 Ecoboost convertible is a touch short of R800 000. Sounds a lot, especially if you consider the same kind of money buys you a BMW 4 Series or even a Porsche Boxster. In fact there was a lot of chatter about how much cheaper it is in the US compared with those same cars. One must remember though that the Rand has declined nearly 50 percent since Ford SA started planning the Mustang's introduction, and there's not much they can do to counter Mr Zuma's big mouth.

Verdict

Something like the BMW 4 Series is probably the more sensible choice but the sensible choice is more often than not a very boring one. I cannot accurately describe the feeling a Mustang imparts - nor how well received it is by everyone else you come in contact with. It's a truly special car this.

Article written by Miles Downard
29.07.2016
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