2016 ford mustang
Ford Mustang GT pricing and specifications:
Price: From $70,000 (estimated.)
On sale: Late 2015
Engine: 5.0-litre V8 petrol
Power: 324kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 542Nm at 4250rpm
Transmission: 6-speed man or auto, RWD
Fuel consumption: 12.3L/100km
"It's what happens when you reach the first of the seemingly endless corners that flow up the Angeles Crest Highway that you really discover how good this new 'stang is. The brakes bite hard as you approach the corner, the steering reacts almost instantly as you turn the wheel and the Mustang's rubber hangs onto the tarmac without any complaint. Having never driven any variant of the five generations of Ford Mustang before it was hard to know what to expect, but everything I had read or heard about the iconic pony car suggested it was a bit of a blunt instrument. It was a car built to go fast down the dragstrip, not carve up mountain passes. But it is, or at least this new one is. It is more of a precision tool than I expected. As it should be, given the work that has gone into the design of this sixth generation model.
The engines have been updated, the suspension completely overhauled and the design analysed in detail to make it smarter and safer. But it's not perfect. As I climb higher and higher up the Angeles Crest the details come into focus. Yes, the steering is rapid to respond to inputs but it lacks feel through the wheel to really inspire the driver with as much confidence as it could. Even toggling through the selectable Drive Modes doesn't help - Sport and Track modes just add more weight, not feel.
The ride has some problems too with the optional Sports suspension our test car was fitted with, particularly at low speeds. Not unexpectedly the Mustang is firmly sprung which means it is susceptible to smaller bumps at low speeds but can also be unsettled over repeated smaller imperfections at higher speeds.However, it feels better over larger bumps as the suspension recovers quickly to help the car feel planted on the road. The tighter Sports suspension also helps the Mustang sit impressively flat when cornering, with limited body roll when turning and less pitching front and rear under acceleration and braking than the car we tested with normal suspension.
But it is the engine that is the star of the mechanical package with 324kW of power and 542Nm of torque it is a potent powerplant and almost matched the numbers produced by the supercharged V8 developed locally by FPV using the same basic architecture. If there is a fault with the engine - aside from the claimed 12.3-litres per 100km fuel consumption - it's that the throttle response lacked finesse, even in the Normal mode as well as Sport and Track, coming in too sharply on initial application. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox in our test car (a six-speed automatic is available as an option) the Mustang GT powertrain is a fantastic combination.
Even without a supercharger, the engine is so flexible, with a wide torque curve, that it doesn't really seem to matter what gear you're in - it is always ready for action. The gearbox action itself is slick but has some meaningful weight to it as well, in keeping with the muscle car image of this new Mustang GT. On several occasions though I found myself leaving the gearshift alone when I should be looking for another cog just to hear the big V8 scream. In an era of turbocharging and downsizing the sound of a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 is a rare pleasure and something to be savoured.
The engine noise fills the cabin and if you ever find yourself tiring of the V8 noise then you've probably bought the wrong car. As for the cabin itself, it is well appointed and nicely presented. Inspired by previous Mustangs and aircraft cockpits (the speedo reads 'Ground Speed') it looks both old and new at the same time thanks to the integration of a large SYNC infotainment screen in the middle of the centre dashboard.
The seats in the Performance Pack-equipped GT we tested were optional Recaros which were very supportive but firm, to the point of becoming uncomfortable after a few hours. Rear seat space is for small people only because while legroom is adequate (thanks to large cut-outs in the backs of the front seats) headroom is virtually non-existent for taller occupants (this 180cm correspondent had to bend his neck significantly when I sampled the rear accommodation). Overall, the fit and finish of the interior is nice, even if some buttons and the indicator and wiper stalks are shared with the rest of the Ford range, but it doesn't feel like a premium car on the same level as an Audi or BMW. Is it going to scare European performance cars? No, not really, not at the limits of pure performance and ride quality. But is it a worthy replacement for the fast Falcons that the blue oval faithful have loved so dearly? An unequivocal yes."