A five-liter V8 engine and a ten-speed automatic for less than 50 euros?
Do you remember which movie was in theaters in 1968? Not? I don't remember either, just because I'm a little over thirty now. It's great that with the Bullitt version of the completely revamped Mustang, people from Ford returned to the legendary film with Steve McQueen.
Unfortunately, the car will only be available in North America (and only with a manual transmission). On the other hand, the sports model will be the first car from the company in Europe to be equipped with a new ten-speed automatic transmission.
In the United States, there is an odd habit of making small changes to the exterior of the car for each model year. This procedure did not go unnoticed for the Ford Mustang, which in the meantime received a redesigned front apron, standard LED lights and vents in the front cover to remove air from the engine compartment.
A new diffuser is located at the rear, which in turn opens up space for the four tailpipes of the exhaust system with valves.
Retro on the outside, modern on the inside
The interior has received much more than just a refresh. For starters, the current Sync 3 infotainment system with an eight-inch screen and Applink is impressive, which is a big technological leap over its predecessor.
Fully digital instruments are replacing analog instruments, but overall control of functions remains challenging due to the many buttons on the steering wheel and center console, as well as the mediocre ability to receive voice commands.
Ford also saved on some costs related to the quality and type of interior materials. The carbon fiber trim on the dashboard looks good, but it's nothing more than foil-coated plastic.
On the other hand, you have leather upholstery, automatic air conditioning and a range of comfort aids as standard, such as a rearview camera and adaptive cruise control.
It's time to go - while we miss the 2,3-liter turbo version and head straight for the "classic" with a five-liter naturally aspirated V8. However, in most countries, such as Germany, since 2015, three out of four buyers have turned to him - be it a coupe or a convertible.
After all, it gives you the opportunity to get a car with more than 400 hp. at a price below 50 euros. In other words, just over € 000 per horsepower. And one more thing - the sound of the old school octave is in perfect harmony with the feeling that this muscle car creates.
The gloomy touches to the overall picture of the previous version, however, left a six-speed automatic, a stark contrast between sporty and comfortable driving. A new automatic transmission with a lighter and smaller torque converter can do both equally well, and overall much better.
You need six driving modes
The Mustang now offers you no more and no less than six driving modes: Normal, Sport Plus, Racetrack, Snow / Wet and the new freely customizable MyMode, as well as Dragstrip, each of which appears on the display in its authentic form.
The in-cock LCD, however, is the smallest that can be reproduced when Dragstrip mode is activated, designed to accelerate a quarter mile.
Without considering material capabilities or driver style, the V421 increased from 450 to 529 hp. This power is provided by a full torque of XNUMX Nm in a ten-speed gearbox.
The sharp and fast gearshift accelerates to 4,3 km / h in just 100 seconds, making this the fastest production Mustang to date. If you find it too harsh, you can rely on one of the other modes or use MyMode to adjust the gear shift times, adaptive damping characteristics, steering response algorithm and the sound of the valve-controlled exhaust system.
Burn-out's automatic launch is impressive, but doesn't really matter. It's probably not very easy to activate it on purpose. First press the Mustang logo on the steering wheel and select TrackApps. Then the brake is applied with full force - we mean really with full force - after which the operation is confirmed with the OK button.
A 15-second “countdown” will begin, during which you must hold the accelerator pedal. The ensuing orgy of tire rotation leads to smoke not only of the surrounding space, but also of the interior. Delightful!
The process should take longer, but our Mustang quickly abandoned the operation. Software error? Probably yes, but Ford assures that everything will be fine by the start of sales of the updated Mustang.
Before leaving the last remnants of rubber on the asphalt, we head to the oval track for a few laps. The automatic transmission requires a € 2500 surcharge, is now available in the American Ford Raptor pickup and will be part of the Transit equipment.
It shifts pleasantly smoothly and at the same time quickly. The highest, tenth, gear is so long that only a slight depression of the gas pedal leads to a downshift. The purpose of using this ratio is to curb the appetite of the five-liter V8 unit, which consumes 12,1 l / 100 km.
If you don't like it, you can upgrade to the much more economical 290bhp four-cylinder turbo variant, which uses three liters less fuel.
During intermediate acceleration, the transmission shifts sharply and precisely, and when downshifting it always finds the best one. Whatever happens before, at 250 km / h, the electronics throws the lasso.
However, in the following exercises on the test course, maximum speed is not so important. Road behavior and traction are important here. In terms of the latter, the Mustang shows mediocre capabilities, for which there are also purely physical prerequisites - with a length of 4,80 m, a width of 1,90 m and a weight of 1,8 tons, good dynamics requires very complex solutions.
Due to the abundance of power, the car constantly shows a tendency to skid, and the ESP intervenes quite hard. Shutting down causes the doors to move forward - then the car obeys the rebellious call of its little cubic heart.
Electric power steering introduces its strange behavior, which is not very sensitive and requires a lot of work with the steering wheel during dynamic driving. But the leather Recaro seats cost extra money - 1800 euros.
Brembo brakes start to work with bait and a lot of desire, but their speed gradually decreases and with each lap it becomes difficult to dose. However, thanks to the Magne Ride chassis with adaptive damping, the Mustang showcases real talents for everyday ride comfort. Which, by the way, is a great achievement.
By the way, all this perfectly matches the nature of muscle car models. Because in any case, the Mustang definitely achieves its goal - to give pleasure. The price is fair and at a base € 46 for the V000 fastback version, not only Bulit fans will swallow its flaws.
I confess I'm a muscle car fan. And this love is further enhanced by the new Mustang. Ford has already digitized it, and the ten-speed automatic transmission creates a lot of added value. As usual in love, you have to compromise. In this case, it concerns the quality of the materials in the interior and the mediocre dynamic capabilities on the track. However, the price / quality ratio is quite fair.