The Mustang is the right horse to back

It’s one of the most famous name tags in motoring and still the fastest-selling car ever. But, more importantly, it will be available in Ireland in right-hand-drive from November, writes Matt Joy

What’s new?

A new Mustang is news in itself. It is one of the most iconic of sports cars and has a loyal following on both sides of the Atlantic. But this sixth-generation model is more than that, because it has been designed for Europe — and even Ireland — too. The platform is new and the car is more sophisticated than before, while there’s a choice of a 5.0-litre V8, as well as a more 21st century option, a 2.3-litre, four-cylinder turbo.

There’s a choice of coupe and convertible, and the car mixes classic Mustang cues with modern sophistication.

Looks and image

The 2015 Mustang impressively evokes memories of the 1965 original, but without slavishly copying it. It has great stance and impact on the road; whether it’s parked or driving past, it’s hard not to turn and look.

The same goes for the inside, where the classic, twin-cowl dashboard and toggle switches are present, although, happily, the retro theme isn’t overdone. The Mustang has one of the strongest images of any performance car and is still seen by many as the original low-cost, high-fun piece of escapism, and the latest version ticks all the right boxes to keep fans happy.

Space and practicality

The Mustang is a big car, but with the focus on looks and performance, practicality takes a back seat. Up front, the space size is decent, and taller drivers will be comfortable; the standard sports seats are excellent. In the back, it’s more compromised, and only short adults and children will be comfortable, as headroom is limited. The boot, however, is large, with 408 litres of space.

Behind the wheel

The original Mustang was fast, cheap, and simple, and while things have moved on, the 2015 version isn’t a million miles away. Anyone buying it and looking for the last word in Nurburgring-honed handling will be disappointed, but if it’s fun you want, then it’s spot-on.

The 5.0-litre V8 is responsive, and pushes the car along with real purpose and venom, when pressed, and the noise is good, too. There are three different steering modes, as well as driving modes, and, with everything at its sharpest, the Mustang will happily play the hooligan. In fact, it even has a line-lock mode, borrowed directly from the dragstrip, whereby the front brakes can be locked on, so you can smoke the rear tyres. It sums up everything you need to know about this car and how it is the complete opposite of ultra-techy German rivals.

Value for money

This is where the Mustang scores particularly well. As well as an excellent standard specification, it is the bare bones that really drive the point home. A 2+2 coupe with a V8 engine and a 0-62mph time of five seconds, or less, doesn’t come cheap; there isn’t a rival under €50,000. There are rivals that are close on price and specification, but they can’t compete with the Mustang’s personality.

Who would buy one?

You could use the Mustang every day, if you can handle the fuel bills, but, really, it is a car to be enjoyed by everyone. Young or old, man or woman, the Mustang ethos is something that anyone can buy into, and with such competitive pricing, it’s hard not to be enticed.

Clearly, lots of other people think so, as the 2015 UK allocation is already sold-out and, if you want one, you’re looking at April, 2016. You never know, it might even make a decent investment...

This car summed up in a single word:

Genuine.

If this car was a...

Drink, it would be a Kentucky Bourbon — naturally.

AT A GLANCE

Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT, from €46,000

Engine: 5.0-litre petrol unit, producing 412bhp and 387lb/ft of torque

Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels

Performance: Top speed, 155mph; 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds

Economy: 20.9mpg combined Emissions: 299g/km of CO2


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