THIS YEAR Britain will get its own version of America’s most famous muscle car for the first time in its 50-year history – previously we’ve been able to get our hands on imports only.
Two variants will land in specialist Ford dealerships: a 2.3-litre EcoBoost that develops 306bhp and a 5-litre V8 that produces an impressive 420bhp. Both engines will be offered with the coupé and convertible body styles, and all variants will feature the latest Ford Sync 2 infotainment system.
But which is right for you? Take a look at the guide below and decide whether the rumble of a V8 engine is a necessity after all.
All European Mustangs will come with 19in alloy wheels as standard, with the option to upgrade to 20in, and the choice of nine exterior colours.
A convertible version, with an electrically retracted canvas roof, will be available from launch, costing £4,000 more than the Fastback coupé variant.
All versions feature “tri-bar” LED rear lights, sharp LED headlamps, muscular haunches and the familiar Mustang “shark bite” front grille. Customers of the V8 will be treated to silver “5.0” badges on the flanks and large “GT” lettering at the rear.
The biggest decision in showrooms will revolve around what lies beneath the elongated bonnet, as just two powerplants will land in the UK.
We’ll have access to a big, bellowing 5-litre V8 that has been carried over from the 2014 US Mustang. This classic lump of American muscle produces 420bhp and 400 lb ft torque. You’ll pay from about £35,000 if you want this engine.
The other option may seem sacrilege to Mustang purists but in reality it might make a lot of sense in Europe: a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine. EcoBoosts can be found on almost every model in the Ford range and combine direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to offer strong performance with low emissions and fuel consumption. The trade-off is a less impressive soundtrack and the worry that you’ll have to mutter “EcoBoost” under your breath when the neighbour asks what motor you’ve got under the bonnet.
The EcoBoost Mustang starts at about £30,000 and it still develops healthy performance, with 306bhp and 320 lb ft torque.
A V6 version and a flagship Shelby Mustang GT350 with 500bhp will also feature in the 2015 Mustang line-up, but these models won’t be coming to the UK.
Also worth noting: customers can swap the six-speed manual gearbox for an automatic for £1,500.
Official economy figures for UK models have yet to be released but Ford USA estimates its 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit will return 37mpg on the American highway test (what we would call “extra urban”), 26mpg in the city test and 30mpg in the American combined cycle.
The big V8 is more thirsty, as you’d expect: estimated economy figures are 19mpg in the city, 30mpg on the highway and 23mpg combined.
Bear in mind, of course, that official fuel economy figures are often optimistic. Also consider the figures above to be a guide only, as European economy tests are conducted differently from the US ones; we will update the figures when official European details are made available.
For a better comparison with European economy figures for other cars, however, those given above are for imperial gallons, not US.
American cars aren’t subject to the same stringent emissions testing as those in Europe, and official emissions figures have yet to be revealed. But early tests of both models gave some interesting results.
The lower-powered EcoBoost unit is predicted to produce less than 200g/km of CO2, putting it in tax band J (£485 for the first year and £265 thereafter). The V8 is estimated to produce more than 330g/km, meaning it falls into the highest vehicle tax band, M, which costs an eye-watering £1,090 for the first year and £500 thereafter.
Both versions are going to sting owners at the pumps but the road tax savings from the 2.3’s lower emissions could be a deciding factor for some, particularly when it comes to selling the car on.
Technology and safety
Inside the new Mustang is Ford’s Sync 2 infotainment system, which packs an 8in touchscreen and advanced voice control for easier access to audio, navigation, climate control and compatible mobile phones.
Coupés will have eight airbags, including a driver’s side knee airbag, dual side-impact airbags mounted in the seats and a passenger’s side knee airbag that is mounted in the face of the glove box. The convertible model also has curtain airbags that protect the head and neck when the roof is lowered.
Ford’s MyKey system is available, which allows the owner to set up the car according to who is behind the wheel. Parents, for example, can limit the top speed and block certain users from disabling safety systems, and even limit the volume of the car stereo from the vehicle’s menu system.
A bugbear with previous Mustang imports has been the ride and steering, which have made the American brute come unstuck on British roads. The new Euro ‘Stang comes with independent rear suspension for the first time in its history, with geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all modified and tuned for high-speed driving on uneven road surfaces.
Selectable driving modes allow the driver to tweak steering and engine response and transmission and electronic stability control settings.
2015 Ford Mustang specifications
|2.3-litre turbo petrol
|320 lb ft
|400 lb ft
|5.4 sec (estimated)
|4.5 sec (estimated)
|Road tax band
|£485 for first year; £265 thereafter
|£1,090 for first year; £500 thereafter