It has been years since petrol heads fantasised about the heroic character with big muscles and a heart of gold, the venerable Ford Mustang. Earlier only made for the American market, as in left-hand-drive only, the rest of the world was left aloof lusting for it. But rejoice, after 50 long years, the big American firm has decided to let it loose for the world market with a right-hand-drive version now. Many a tears were probably shed at the Auto Expo earlier this year when everybody got to see it in flesh on their own soil. And now here it is standing before us at the Buddh International Circuit announcing its arrival. Behold, the pony car is finally here!
How does it look?
The Ford Mustang has always been considered more of a Hollywood character than a mere mode of transport. The long bonnet, muscular shoulders and sloping roof line all hark back to the original design. But that does not mean it looks old, not at all. All the modern design lines have polished the handsome appeal through every line making it very noticeable indeed in the crowd. The flat and un-aerodynamic nose is part of the true design of the Mustang and that long sloping roofline is a gorgeous touch. The only bothersome bit is that is a large car and you ought to be careful nursing it through narrow streets.
And the interior?
Forget the old mundane dashboards of the Mustangs of yesteryear; this new GT has a magnificent looking and very functional cockpit. Just to give you a feeler, on the speedometer it states ‘ground speed’ and that alone is worth its weight in gold. All buttons and switches are of great quality and the fit and finish will last for years. And then is the equipment list, an 8-inch colour LCD touch-screen, SYNC 2 fully integrated voice control lets you select your devices, even the climate control is hands-free and the ever so mandatory rear-view camera for this huge piece of Hollywood history. Seats are very comfortable and supportive to hold you through tail happy corners. The rear seats though are short on space as expected from a 2-door four seater and are best for short distances.
The centrepiece of the new GT is it 5-litre V8 heart. It is a naturally aspirated engine, which are in short supply nowadays, which produces 401PS of power and 515Nm of peak torque. All of this is delivered with the drama and grandeur of the classic V8 rumbling exhaust note which just makes the experience more gratifying. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a 6-speed select speed gearbox which knows when to shift cogs. The sprint to 100kmph from a standstill takes just shy of 5seconds and top speed has been limited to 250kmph. The key to the Mustang is that you’d be wrong considering it a sports car, but it is a genuine muscle car. It is extremely happy munching many miles at colossal speeds with breaking sweat. The engine off-beat rumble is one of the best background sound tracks you could listen to on your entire journey. Power is delivered to in an orderly manner allowing with no sudden surprises, and because it isn’t turbocharged delivery if immediate.
It is a commonly held belief that Ford Mustang is a fast car on highways and city streets until it faces a corner. But years of development has shown that it is not true and Mustang is no longer confused by corners. The new independent rear suspension has completely converted the Mustang to a car that handles corners very well and delivers good ride quality at the same time to its occupants. Point its nose into a tight bend and with the correct amount of throttle and steering it will go around it with stability carrying good speed. Of course do not for one second forget and think you may take liberties with it as it is still a powerful V8 in a heavy car with 515Nm on tap, so the Mustang retains its tail happy nature for good. We say good because there are two ways of going around a circuit, the sports car way with precision and a sneer on your face, or the muscle car way going around sideways with a big smile on your face. You pick!
We do not know of a better car deal as the Ford Mustang, an iconic muscle car with a 401PS producing V8 priced at Rs 65lakh. Everything else producing that kind of numbers is north of crore rupees. Comes added is the classic V8 rumbling exhaust note and a GT car with tremendous mile munching capabilities. Add to this comfortable seats and a feature packed cabin which makes it one of the coolest things on our roads today. The only niggles it faces are its enormous body dimensions and a thirsty engine, which is granted as it is a 5-litre V8. We completely approve of the pony car, if you have the money just go buy it.
Photography: Mohd. Nasir